News clips in Munich

An interesting choice that Spielberg makes in the production of Munich is the choice to utilize real news clips in the film. This choice is interesting because he makes the distinct choice to include this footage rather than just tell the story through the film. The most prevalent sequence where Spielberg uses this technique is the entire kidnapping. The following screenshot is a scene that takes place close to the beginning of the kidnapping scene. This is an important scene because it shows that the kidnappers are watching the news too and can see what is going on outside.


One important reason for the use of the news clips in the film is that it makes the viewer feel as though they are experiencing the events unfolding live rather than watching a historical film on the event. This technique also motivates the viewer to become invested in the events. At the same time, the segmented news clips progress the storyline, and keep the viewer informed on what is going on from both sides of the kidnapping.


Another reason for using this technique is that it ties together the events unfolding in Munich to the concerned Israelis back at home as well as the Palestinians. As the incident progresses, Spielberg cuts to people reacting to the news around the world. It is important to understand the bigger conflict that this movie is commenting on, and these reactions help to explain it better.


The most important scene for the screenplay where we see the news clips used in this way is the scene where Spielberg goes from a news footage discussing the killings to Avner watching the news in his living room. This scene is essential because it shows Avner’s emotional response to the situation. This scene sets the stage for the movie, and provides a basis for Avner’s actions in the movie. At the same time, it provides the viewer with a basis for comparison in the film. When the viewer compares his emotion at this time, and his enthusiasm for carrying out the killings with his questioning of the reasoning for the killings at the end of the movie. This change in attitude is an important theme of the movie.

Overall, the use of news clips in Munich is an effective strategy for Spielberg. It is an important element that he includes in the kidnaping sequence of the movie.


1 Comment

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One response to “News clips in Munich

  1. lbhayes

    Until your blog post, I had never really noticed the effects of the news clips throughout the film. I think that is such a great perception, and you are totally right that it really helps the viewers have a good take on Avner’s emotions. The news clips are actually more important that I had ever noticed and your post really showed that to me. I also noticed the striking change in Avner’s attitude throughout the film that seemed so sudden. I totally agree that this change in emotion is a huge theme in the movie that really lets the viewers connect with Avner and be apart of his whole journey, yet also really confuses us on what he is actually feeling. I could never really get a full grasp on what drives his emotions throughout the film.

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