Sunday, December 04, 2005

Steven Spielberg: Solving the stalemate in the Middle East worth a try

Time Magazine's latest issue calls Steven Spielberg's new movie a "secret masterpiece":

The first and most important thing to say about Munich, Steven Spielberg's new film, is that it is a very good movie--good in a particularly Spielbergian way. By which one means that it has all the virtues we've come to expect when he is working at his highest levels. It's narratively clean, clear and perfectly punctuated by suspenseful and expertly staged action sequences. It's full of sympathetic (and in this case, anguished) characters, and it is, morally speaking, infinitely more complex than the action films it superficially resembles--pictures that simply pit terrorists against counterterrorists without an attempt to explore anyone's motives...
Steven Spielberg's latest film, "Munich," centers on the aftermath of the killings of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

According to Reuters, in the interview with Time, Spielberg says he hopes his movie can take a shot at reviving the Middle East peace process :

"I don't think any movie or any book or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today, but it's certainly worth a try. We don't demonize our targets.They're individuals. They have families. Although what happened in Munich, I condemn."

"There is something about killing people at close range that is excruciating," Spielberg tells the magazine. "It's bound to try a man's soul."
According to Drudge Report, Spielberg also responds to the rumors and suggestions that he is too pro-Israel to make a fair movie:

"I'm always in favor of Israel responding strongly when it's threatened. At the same time, a response to a response doesn't really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual-motion machine," Spielberg says. "There's been a quagmire of blood for blood for many decades in that region. Where does it end? How can it end?"
In "Munich", Eric Bana stars as a Mossad agent who leads a secret Israeli squad assigned to assassinate 11 Palestinians suspected of planning the killings. Reuters adds that Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner "would not reveal the identity of the man Bana portrays, whom they interviewed at length."

The Munich massacre occurred at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian terrorist organization "Black September", assumed to be an operational cover for Yasser Arafat's Fatah group. The attack led directly to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes, five of the eight kidnappers, and one German police officer, and was followed by a series of Israeli revenge assassinations of the principal planners.

According to Wikipedia, British Author Simon Reeve writes that the Munich massacre was one of the most significant terror attacks of recent times, one that "thrust the Palestinian cause into the world spotlight, set the tone for decades of conflict in the Middle East and launched a new era of international terrorism.

"Munich" is due out December 23 here in North America. Click here to watch the trailer.