January 24, 2006

Maybe If There Were Talking Bats

Munich is on the lips of many these days. The screenwriter of the film, Tony Kushner,  based the film on a book called Vengeance, by George Jonas, is being hailed and panned across the blogsphere, the internet, in the media and maybe in your home. Supposedly it relates the events following the release by Germany of the terrorists who massacared 11 Jewish athletes  in Germany during the Olympics, in which the Mossad hunts down and kills the guilty men.

One of the charges levied against the movie is that the book on which it is based has been discredited. To which Kushner states:

No, I answered, it's based on a book, "Vengeance," that has been challenged but never discredited — these are not the same things. There is no definitive account of what was, after all, a covert operation.

So in other words, the book may or may not be true, but  I'm going to use it anyway.

I don't mind historical fiction, but fictionalizing history is a wrong in my mind. I minded when the animated movie Anastasia came out; but at least that, being a cartoon replete with talking bats and dancing bugs, was obviously fictional. I would hope most movie goers over the age of ten wouldn't count on it for historical fact.

And that is the main problem in my mind with this movie. There is no verification of the truth. Does it accurately depict the emotions of the Mossad team? Did they come to regret their actions? Did it cause an upsurge in terrorism?

According to an article in the Jerusalem post by Alan Dershowitz, the answer is a resounding NO. The PLO had been hijacking planes PRIOR to the kidnapping and murder of the athletes; it was precisely because the terrorist had used subsequent hijackings to release those guilty of prior hijackings that allowed a climate where these men felt they could kidnap and get away with it.

Why did Israel feel the need to chase down and kill the murderers?
Maybe beacuse Germany had already released them once, following a subsequent hijacking of the Lufthansa.
(Dershowitz covers this also in his article, which I can't access from the Jpost site.)

Lots of questioin.
Now, I can't really dissect the movie as I haven't seen it, and I'm unlikely to. We have better uses for our limited funds. So I did what I normally do when I don't know something.

I researched. The background. The book the movie was based on.

I had a whole lot of questions myself, that no one seemed to be answering.
Such as:
Who was the author of the book? What did he have to say about his sources? Did he still believe them? What about the movie? What does he have to say for himself?

And I found out.
Go read.
Because, I found
George Jonas response to the movie quite enlightening.
Maybe you will too.
Now I don't agree with everything he has written, and I think, based on my research, that he was most likely "had" by "Avner" the purported leader of the assassination team. But it is does make for informative reading.

Posted by Rachel Ann at January 24, 2006 02:21 PM | TrackBack

Saw your comment over at Esther's and came here to read George Jonas's commentary. I'm glad that I did!

It will eventually take five writers to satisfy the masters of Universal and Spielberg's DreamWorks: two credited, three unsung.

The script had to be adjusted and readjusted to fulfill Spielberg's agenda. I'm not Jewish, but Spielberg's agenda seems anti-Semitic to me.

When the shoot moves to Budapest a few weeks later, he informs me again. Reflexively -- Budapest is my native city -- I ask if there's anything I can do to help. Mendel seems amused. "Help?" he asks. "Maybe you can recommend some restaurants."

Good grief!

Inevitably, Spielberg's film will have 21st- century answers to 20th-century questions -- and progress isn't necessarily for the better....By the time Spielberg's film went into production in 2005, the world had become a different place. People had adjusted considerably their sense of right and wrong.

Moral relativism!

Not demonizing human beings is dandy, but in their effort not to demonize humans, Spielberg and Kushner end up humanizing demons.

I haven't seen the movie, but I've read at least a half-dozen reviews. IMO, the film demonizes those seeking justice and, at the same time, humanizes evil ones. The truth turned upside down!

The film Munich amounts to more revisionist history. And revisionist history is always dangerous, whether the revision is done by the Right or the Left.

George Jonas's commentary needs wide distribution. But I'm not waiting for that to happen.

PS: I'm thinking that Munich can play into the hands of Ahmadinejad as he spins the truth about the Holocaust. I may be reaching too far, but I don't think so.

PPS: How widely distributed will Munich be in Islamic nations?

Posted by: Always On Watch at January 24, 2006 03:00 PM
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