Munich (2005)

Munich (2005)
  • Time: 164 min
  • Genre: Drama | History | Thriller
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush


After Black September’s assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It’s an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts — with retribution following retribution — so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. What does it mean to be a Jew?

One comment

  • I’ve just finished Munich a few minutes ago and I feel strongly urged to give a short review about it. When I decided to watch Munich I was interested in how exactly Spielberg was capable of displaying the Munich massacre in 1972. I asked myself in how far he would be able to keep up with a somewhat difficult topic like this. The Munich massacre is a symbol for the whole middle-east conflict. I had my doubts at first whether a Hollywood producer would be able to not only reproduce but also show the complexity of this conflict to the general public. After watching the movie itself I’m proud to say my doubts turned out to be wrong.

    I was impressed by how deep this movie actually is. I’ve seen quite a lot of those, I call them, “assassination movies”. Munich is the only one I’ve seen yet which does not show the act of killing as something the killer just does, because it’s his job. In fact every single member of Avner’s assassination team is somewhat likable. They’re ordinary people, who have been chosen for a job, they couldn’t know how it would turn out. In contrast to most killers in similar movies Avner’s team is not unscrupulous. Yes, they take the lives of many people, but not without losing anything themselves. At the end three of Avner’s team will be dead and Avner himself will probably sleep with one eye open for the rest of his life. They might be killers in some way, but eventually most people, even the ones we consider as tough enough for killing (e.g. the terrorists who took the Israelian athletes hostage, eventually losing their grip and killing their hostages at the airport), are still human and thus will pay their price for doing something as inhuman as assassinating other human beings.

    Munich’s also telling us a story about justice and how people tend to interpret it until it fits their personal understanding of what justice should be. Justice is a very subjective thing. While Palestinian terrorists find it righteous to kidnap some Israelian athletes, who apparently got nothing to do with the whole middle-east conflict at all, except for their nationality and religion, the Israelian government deems it right to send out a team of 5 assassins in order to force justice. In fact both sides are aiming for their personal justice, something one would call vengeance.

    The golden thread of Munich is the search for home. Israelians claim they’ve been deprived of their home for over 2.000 years. Eventually after WWII they’ve been led home by the winning forces (with America/UK leading the way). The area of nowadays Israel has been taken by the people who lived there. Now those have been deprived of their home. I’m not writing this in order to judge any actions which have been taken back then, also I’m aware this is a very briefly worded version of the history of nowadays Israel. But the actions, which have been taken about 70 years before, caused one of the most complicated conflicts of today. Many people feel homeless nowadays. The message of this movie is that someone, who lost his home, is capable of everything. At the end Ephraim tells Avner he killed all those people “for the sake of peace”. This is the root of all evil. As long as both Israelians and Palestinians won’t stop to kill each other the middle-east conflict will go on for eternity. Neither will you ever be able to fight violence with violence nor will you ever gain peace by violence.

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