Friday, January 27, 2006

Quick Thought on Munich

I have not seen "Munich" though I'm hardly boycotting the film. Frankly, after suffering through 3 hours of "King Kong", a movie that should not have been remade, especially twice, I don't have the stomach for three more hours anytime soon. What bothers me, and I think it's what bothers Milhouse, is that the film really ISN'T true. The book that was the primary source of the film has been discredited, and now two British documentaries have basically come out and said that Spielberg's film is mostly made up. Now, I can't comment on the moral equivalency aspects of the film because I haven't seen it. But I do remember that when "Hurricane" came out a few years ago, IT got hammered by the critics for taking some liberties with Rueben Carter's life. That torpedoed the films Oscar chances, and probably cost Denzel Washington an Oscar. Spielberg and Tony Kushner can talk about how the film is only "inspired" by true events, but it certainly wasn't sold that way. I'm not saying Munich doesn't deserve consideration as the Oscars, nor am I passing judgement on the film itself. I'm just wondering why playing fast and loose with the truth is OK in this film, but not OK in a "historical" film that dealt with much smaller a subject(though an important one, to be sure).

ETA: I have just read John O'Sullivan's excellent critique of Munich at National Review Online. It turns out that the book "Vengence" that the film is based on is not quite discredited, but is controversial in a way. He also lays out some strong arguments against Spielberg's take on the film. I'm going to see it and read the book, and O'Sullivan suggests. I recommend the article be read because it's one of the first ones I've seen that actually places the souce and themovie side by side.

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