Monday 8 August 2011

Spielberg's Munich

I've been wanting to watch Munich again for a long time because of the mysterious French family that assisted Mossad in their revenge killings across Europe after the Munich massacre at the 72 Olympics by a Palestinian terrorist group. It's an excellent movie with solid reviews elsewhere so this is more about my relationship with it.

I forgot how well cast it is with lovely Jewish performances by Geoffrey Rush who played in The King And I not so long back. Avner the protagonist is also flawlessly acted.

All of the Israeli, Beirut, Cypress, Athens, Rome scenes were filmed in my Malta where my mother was born and I have citizenship. I miss those blue Mediterranean waters.

I'm not a James Bond fan but Daniel Craig is the only modern incarnation I rate and his performance as a cocky South African Jew is impeccable. I love the scene where the safe house has been double booked with an enemy terrorist group on unrelated missions and they quarrel over the radio music between Arabic and Jewish short wave stations settling on Western soul music. It reminded me of a political disagreement I had with a Jewish planner in Bangkok who responded to my political stance by playing Jewish music online unaware I like all music. I didn't like her describing Palestinians in Gaza like rats though. Two wrongs don't make a right.

The German meetup pictured above is with a shadowy left wing group in Frankfurt who smoke joints and deal in violence reminded me of a small hours meeting I once had with a hippy in the deepest Hessen countryside who I later learned was a former Rote Armee Fraktion member where instead of being paid in cash we were dumped with contraband instead. So out of the frying pan, into the fire and we headed more or less immediately to Amsterdam. Early 90's madness.

Since learning about the ancient bloodlines who run much of the power structures that dominate our times, I've always wanted to go back to the scene where Avner lunches with his French information supplier and continent fixer to dig a little deeper. Their code of not working with governments or intelligence agencies sparked my curiousity, but I'm not sure there is anything more to it than family groups who deal in death and dangerous information.

There's two or three scenes including one at the end on the phone where the head of the French family expresses a paternal interest in Avner who lost his father at an early age in an Israeli war. Avner never quite understands that the affection is genuine. A broken childhood spent on a Kibbutz I think.

The film is all about revenge and living with oneself after. About an eye for an eye leaving people blind or blinded to the consequences of their actions. It closes on the twin towers though that's an ironic terminating scene given the likely French and Israeli intelligence agency cooperation in the 911 attacks.