Historical Context in Munich

Munich debuted in 2005 and was directed by Steven Spielberg.  This film is based on the long lasting dispute between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. This dispute has been ongoing since the early 1900’s. The dispute is over a national “home” for each group. Both sides want to claim the same piece of land as their own and create their own nation.  The film Munich is based on the kidnap and assassination of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972 by the Palestinian group known as Black September. This launched the secret attack on the Palestinians assassins by the Israeli government known as Operation Wrath of God. In the film Avner is a former government body guard who is chosen by the government to lead the group of Israeli assassins. In the end many of the Palestinian assassins were killed.

In film wasn’t created out of no where. A few years prior to the film’s release, there was a resurgence of violence between the two groups. From 2000 to 2005, the resurgence was deemed the Second Intifada. There was a massive increase in suicide bombings and killings of a lot of innocent people. Not only was there a resurgence of violence in the Middle East but the September 11, 2001 attack on the US by Afghan  militants was also a major dilemma during this time. It seems as though there was a lot of violence coming out of the Middle East as this time. It is possible that Spielberg saw all this violence and decided to put this violence on display for an audience in a way that his message would be widely received. The portrayal of the Munich Massacre  was potentially Spielberg’s way to reestablish American pride in viewing Arab defeat. This seems apparent in the last scene of the film. The scene takes place in New York City and the camera is shot at the Twin Towers (which at the time the film was shot, didn’t stand anymore). The text also reveals that 9 out of the 11 Palestinian assassins had been killed by the Israeli secret assassins. The 9 of 11 and the shot of the Twin Towers seems to be directly intended to strike a nerve in Americans and reinforce the belief that Arabs are dangerous.

 

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