Review of Steven Spielberg's 2005 movie - "Munich"

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Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromizes with its own values.

‘Munich’ is a serious movie targeted on the Munich massacre in 1972 in Germany at the Munich Olympic Games, and its retaliation by the Israeli Government. The operation was organized by a group of terrorists who called themselves – ‘Black September’. A total of 11 Israeli Olympic participants were killed by 5 terrorists. Israelis retaliated by starting operation ‘Wrath of God’ to kill all those who were involved in the massacre.


The movie starts by giving us a brief insight into how the operation was carried out by the terrorists and then majorly focusses on the retaliation by an undercover Israeli team led by Avner Kauffman. Originally the five men of the team were highly motivated but slightly naïve in assassinating their targets, but as they progressed, they improvised and matured. They were cherry picked ordinary soldiers, chosen in such a way that they don’t attract muchattention. They were given a task of killing 11 members of the terrorist organization. They are successful in killing a few of them, but suffer a few losses themselves.


The movie transcends to a much higher level than assassination or retaliation. It depicts the situation the Middle East is suffering from. Both sides are fighting for their ‘home’, but they don’t realize that there is no end to this fight. As long as it continues, no one will ever be safe. But who will surrender first? Carl, a member of the team once tells his teammates, that a field officer he knows, never sleeps on the bed, but in the closet.

I sleep in the closet, because I cannot sleep on my bed. Now even the safe house is no longer safe.

He feels someone might hurt or kill him there. Ironically, Avner faces the same situation as he goes deeper into the quagmire of his operation. Avner pines for his home away from this danger, but he cannot escape until he has finished the job, or the danger will follow him home. Through the brilliant presentation we are able to take a peek into the hazardous lives led by agents and soldiers. The movie changes our perspective towards the war going on as we see that only the innocent, dedicated nationals are killed in the fighting. It is only profitable to a few organizations who are neutral and support both sides and silently watch them die. The impeccable direction by Steven Spielberg gives us insight into the thought process of the people who are involved in the war. All those who go to fight it, do not come back. They are either killed, or are changed by the physical and mental pressure. The surface of this movie tells us mainly about the operation ‘Wrath of God’, but the undercurrent of the war is more of a reflection. As Gandhi has said-

‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.

But unfortunately, now we have much more than eye-piercing knives to use at our fellow humans. The movie presses us to realize that beneath the capricious politics and historical bastion, it is normal human beings who are fighting each other. It makes us appreciate the dauntless equanimity with which they plunge themselves into perilous situations to save the honour of their homelands. But it also insinuates how unfortunate and futile is the practice of vengeance which leads to nothing but despair.