Thursday, November 17, 2005

Movies: Steven Spielberg's 'Munich'

11.17.05 - During the 1972 Olympic Games held in Munich, Germany, gunmen of the terrorist group "Black September" raided the Olympic Village, taking the Israeli Olympic team hostage—and eventually murdering eleven atheletes.

Whilte the German police managed to kill all the terrorists, the games continued the following day! After all, Jewish blood had been spilled for centuries and there was no reason to make a fuss and disrupt such an important world event.
Israel, of course, was not going to sit back and take it. The surviving Israeli atheletes returned home the next day, and plans began in finding and killing the masterminds behind the murders.

Golda Meir, then the Prime Minister of Israel, put together a team of Mossad agents that would hunt down and assassinate the PLO terrorist responsible for the slaughter. Now, Steven Spielberg, the director who brought us the unforgettable "Schindler's List," has documented the clandestine operation that spanned Europe and the Middle East and resulted in the elimination of several dangerous Palestinian figures.

Munich, to released December 23, follows the historical tale of the agents that tracked down those responsible for the murders. Starring Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down, The Incredible Hulk), the film promises to offer a generous dose of drama and international intrigue of the true story, which reads like a Robert Ludlum thriller.

When I first heard of the upcoming film, I recalled reading a book entitled "Vengeance", sometime in the 1970s, that told the story from a first person's point of view—that of the leader of the counter-terrorist team. The book, I recently discovered, was just re-released in time for the movie's opening. The new edition's cover boasts, "The book that inspired Steven Spielberg's Munich."

It was one of the most memorable books I have ever read.