I saw "Munich" tonight. Before going in, I was prepared to be furious at Spielberg for positing a "moral equivalence" between the counter-terrorist acts of the Israelis and terrorists acts of the Palestinians, as some very smart critics have been furious (e.g., Leon Weiseltier, in "The New Republic"). I don't think Spielberg's guilty of this, though, at least, not in a serious way (there are two or three scenes that trouble me, but I think they'll be read in any way that viewers want, which in itself is a problem.) And, I enjoyed much of the movie, in the way I'd enjoy any Hollywood thriller. But, that IS what this flick is, a Hollywood thriller.
Where Spielberg goes wrong is in letting the machinery of Hollywood plot making--with it's standard means of creating suspense and building tension--take over, making the politics of the film impossible to judge, either for accuracy or philosophy. So, no. I wasn't offended. I was mildly entertained, even. But, I was neither enlightened nor given fresh reason to think.
That's irritating, but little more.
Note: I re-read Leon Weiseltier's article after writing this post. Here's the last sentence in his piece:
" Munich prefers a discussion of counterterrorism to a discussion of terrorism; or it thinks that they are the same discussion. This is an opinion that only people who are not responsible for the safety of other people can hold."
I do think this is a serious indictment of this film's politics and philosophy, as well as a reproach to the blathering idiocies of both American/European utopians on the left and antisemitic opportunists on both the left and the right.
Here is the link to Weiseltier: