Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Munich" and Munich

While many mainstream media oulets indulges in horror and conflict stories -
it's good to help balance the score by mentioning good things:

"Ein Bustan" was established by a group of parents living in the lower
Galilee who wish to enroll their children in the first Jewish/Arab
Waldorf Kindergarten in Israel. These Arab and Jewish parents have been
meeting regularly since January 2005. Together they created established
the non-profit organization "Ein Bustan" and determined the principles
on which it is based.

° ° °
Thoughts and images continue to rise within me, after having seen "Munich".

Spielberg communicating with the audience outside of the story line - as when we see Avner being driven to a Louis-Malle-type French countryside arcadia, where in the yard of a charming farmhouse, around a long table, covered with starched white table cloth, the extended family of the patriarch is having lunch, and embarrassing, revealing things are being said.

When regional food is being discussed and the French host, Papa, played by Michael Lonsdale, a Paris native, whose business it is to sell information regarding the whereabouts of very dangerous people, acknowledges to Avner, a deep yet common tie they both have, You are feeding your family with the trade you're in. So am I.

The last scene with the top assasin handler Ephraim, when he refuses Avner's tentative invitation to his New York home for bread and salt - the old Jewish tradition. And this top handler, with this painful, bitter quiver around his mouth turning down Avner's inviation in a way as if this had been a painfully dumb and naive thing to have asked.

Was the message here something in the direction of, The war for Israel has taken from some of us that which makes it special to be a Jew?

The scene where the German intellectual, obviously a member of a conspirative household, finds her justification in Herbert Marcuse quotes for taking Avner's cash and betraying her sources.

The faces of the terrorists and those of the Israelis in Fürstenfeldbruck, at the moment, when the the terrorists realized the Lufthansa escape was a sham, because they found the plane deserted - no smartly dressed German pilots anyhwere in sight, and the realization on the Israeli's faces that this was the end - that they would be shot - those expressions on both sides were almost identical.

Leaving the audience without any possibility to identify any bad guy. What's left is the sort of sadness which only a sense of the tragic can create.

Munich (German: München), the city as a whole, has failed to cop to this dimension. What comes to mind for one is the endeavor "Olympic Spirit" - not an attempt to at last come to terms and to a sense of healing with the tragedy of the Munich Olympic Games, but a trendy roller blading fun park, not far from where the horrific events began. It now has failed dismally.

And the repetitive statements by police and German secret service spokespersons - It's not our fault - We did what we could.
Alright, alright alright.


Gisela Strauss


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