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Munich

Munichlast night we decided to watch Munich, which i must have downloaded several months ago but have been waiting to watch since i didn’t have time for a movie. put it in my movie folder, fired up Front Row w/ my lovely Macbook remote (that’s got to be one of the best recent innovations in home computing) and sat back to enjoy the show. the first scene showed what appeared to be 2 sets of athletes trying to sneak in or out of the Olympic Village in Munich, who’s really to know. one group spoke Italian, the other group just kind of shrugged indicating that they didn’t understand the first group. the second group, though, was really a terrorist group who proceeded to kidnap and murder the Israeli athletes. we finally caught on to the fact that something wasn’t quite right with this movie when the scene jumped to people in Israel watching the events unfold on live TV – in Italian. there were no subtitles, but there is no way that it should have been Italian at this point. perhaps it was the Jewish community in Milan? fast forward a bit – still Italian. damn it! how long had i spent downloading an Italian version of Munich?! there definitely wasn’t any notification on the file that it was going to be Italian.

at that point I hopped in the car and drove to I Luv Video, the best video store in Austin, picked up a copy of Munich, and drove home. total time = 20 minutes. pop it in the dvd player (when was the last time i actually used that thing?) and get started. about 35 minutes into the movie, it seems to get stuck on one frame for a few seconds, and then jumps back to the beginning of the movie. we were just not meant to watch Munich, it seemed. i jumped back to the proper location and then scanned through the jumpy frames to get us back up and running. things are fine for about another 20 minutes, until this happens again and it goes back to a scene 10 minutes into the movie. damn it again! i pop out the dvd and see that it is completely smudged w/ fingerprints. bad I Luv Video! clean your discs! i clean the disc, pop it back in, and everything plays normally from that point to the end, though there were still points when video got all pixelated and discolored. the disc is most definitely not in good condition.

soooo, ultimately i saw the whole movie, which i found to be pretty good. i know there was uproar in the jewish community about this movie for the way it seemed to portray Israeli politically and military machinery as killers, and showed sympathy for the Palestinian killers and their cause. i had an argument with a family friend about it last summer – neither or us had watched the movie, but argued about the topic. it’s touchy – i agree that israel needs to generally be militarily aggressive in defending its borders as it is pretty much surrounded by hostile neighbors (though there may be uneasy truces with surrounding countries, there are terrorist organizations working within those countries that generally work uninhibited in their attacks against israel).

i think the lebanon war last summer was completely botched and too trigger happy – surely more behind the scenes negotiation could have occurred first. on the other hand, this is a terrorist organization backed by Syria that Lebanon has done nothing about. also, Hama continues to instigate violence against Israel when political cooperation would result in a Palestinian state. it’s a constant tit-for-tat struggle, but if Israel sat back and did not assert itself, then nobody would help them. political condemnation from the world community is rhetoric w/o any concrete actions to back it up (generally). how long did it take an international consortium to take over the southern border of Lebanon after the Israeli incursion? months. when we’re talking about securing a border that would otherwise continue to result in dead civilians and military, that is ridiculous.

what i think this movie helped to show was that both sides have legitimate claims, the issues are emotional, and that it is always imperative to question your actions. i think my favorite line in the movie was when the bomb-maker broke down and argues against continuing the assassinations: ‘We are supposed to be righteous. That’s a beautiful thing. And we’re losing it. If I lose that, that’s everything. That’s my soul.’

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