International Espionage Thriller. “Based on true events,” this is a self-loathing Jewish “Godfather” interpretation by Spielberg of the Israeli assassination of terrorists in response to the Munich slaughter of Jewish Athletes in 1972. Movies do not happen in a vacuum. Period pieces are ultimately interpretations of the present by using the past as an analogy, and this movie is no exception. It is more than an anti-Israel polemic about Munich, it is an attack on the American policy of hunting down terrorists in the wake of 9/11. In the film, one of the characters says, “What happened in Munich changes everything.” This is an obvious reference to the oft-quoted notion that this is a different world since 9/11, that 9/11 changed the way we as a nation respond to terrorists because of their cowardly cruelty and evil in killing innocent people in the name of Allah.
This movie is a shocking piece of insanity that concludes that hunting terrorists breeds terrorist attacks and perpetuates a “cycle of violence” and creates monsters like Osama Bin Laden (In this story, the claim is made that Carlos the Jackal came into being in response to these hits on evil criminal terrorist cowards—yeah, right). It is an attempt to establish moral equivalency of the US and Israel with evil criminal terrorist cowards. There is a cut that shows the Israelis going over the list of evil criminal terrorist cowards that they are about to kill, just after we are shown the list of innocent Jewish athletes targeted by the evil criminal terrorist cowards, as if this is the same kind of hit list. Another Jew says they won’t win unless they “learn to act like them.” Golda Meir is quoted as saying something she would never have even thought, “Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values.” This is supposed to somehow indicate that the Israelis considered what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway. The reality is that it is NOT a compromise to kill evil criminal terrorist cowards, but it is the incarnation of moral justice for a sovereign nation to do so.
Interestingly, “justice” is a concept that is never even addressed in the movie. The pursuit is pictured as revenge and bloodlust of people like the South African convert who says, “the only blood that matters to me is Jewish blood,” thus making the Israelis out to be racist Nazis just like the evil Palestinian criminal terrorist cowards who hate Jewish blood. A key scene where the Hero has an argument with a PLO member who does not realize he is a Jew tries to redefine evil criminal terrorist cowards as merely wanting a place to call home, “home is everything.” Funny, how the storyteller leaves out an important bit of factual information that the real desire of Palestinian evil criminal terrorist cowards is to, and I quote from the Palestinian evil criminal terrorist cowards themselves, “Drive the Jews into the sea.” This is not some secret plan that nobody knows about, its documented all over the place, and reinforced every time in history that the Israelis would give in on negotiations and the Palestinian response would not be rejoicing but another murder bomber.
But there is an unwitting dialectical tension here, because Spielberg tries to show that killing evil criminal terrorist cowards breeds more killing by showing televised historical events that occurred in response to the assassinations. But what Spielberg does not seem to notice is that the evil criminal terrorist cowards respond by hijacking and killing innocent people. As if there is any comparison. Oh, so let’s not execute capital criminals because look at how criminals respond to law enforcement by engaging in more crime. It’s interesting that the movie portrays most all the evil criminal terrorist cowards as “normal” men being nice to people, teaching literature, being nice to his family, etc. so that it would be questionable as to who they are killing. What he should have done was that effect done in Run Lola Run, where you would show snapshots of each of these evil criminal terrorist cowards killing people, plotting their evil, making their bombs, killing Jews etc. But of course he doesn’t, that would show that it was justice and that these evil criminal terrorist cowards deserved it, and we can’t have that confusing concept enter into the discussion.
It is certainly bordering on lunacy to suggest that Israel should not respond to evil criminal terrorist cowards and that we should not fight crime because it might make criminals mad and they might do more crime in response. Since there is no nation where evil criminal terrorist cowards reside, and they parasitically and hypocritically live off the societies that they seek to destroy, then there is no other moral way to fight them than through international espionage. I think some of the truths that come through this otherwise politically correct drek is that justified killing does affect you negatively, regardless of its righteousness. The hero gets paranoid that others are trying to kill him, just like he is trying to kill others. He ends up distrusting Israel itself, believing that it will kill him because he knows so much and after all, Israel is just like the evil criminal terrorist cowards, right? Interestingly, Israel did not kill him. And they always sought to avoid killing innocents. What does that tell you? Maybe, just maybe, there is a difference between evil criminal terrorist cowards and imperfect nations seeking justice and righteousness. Another funny contradiction in the logic of the film is that the Jews are portrayed as stereotypical “moneygrubbers” who are worried about getting receipts and talking about the high cost of killing people, as if this is immoral reduction of people to objects of money. But then, the hero protects his information source and is loyal to them over his country, yet that source is the epitome of people who worship only money and no ideology. As if it is good to favor no government and betray anyone and everyone for money. This source betrays ALL sides to each other for money, as well as tipping off the hero’s whereabouts to his enemies. So this STUPID hero kills a whore who turned in his friend for money, but protects the worst of them all, the betrayers of everyone for money. You know, even though this story was an attempt to prove moral equivalency, I was unmoved by the attempt. Every time an evil criminal terrorist coward got assassinated, I cheered and felt justice was done. And I was affirmed that this is exactly how we need to respond to evil criminal terrorist cowards, the Winston Churchill way, not the Neville Chamberlain way of appeasement.