Blessed are the Peacemakers
Review Review by Ross Anthony

The film opens with a terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Germany. Eleven Israeli hostages are killed. Israel decides to payback. After 20 minutes of watching a team of revenge oriented Israeli's assassinate a list of people supposedly responsible for the Munich attacks, I wonder, "is this a film all about revenge?"

Thankfully, it seems, Spielberg has other ideas with this picture. Perhaps by way of starting a dialogue with those that think in terms of vengeance, the filmmakers seek to elevate the conversation above the emotional or in some cases non-emotional and into the realm of rationality and heart.

Neither a Jew nor Palestinian, an outsider to that conflict, I admit a great deal of ignorance. But, the more I learn, the more I listen to those on either side, the more I don't see violence as an answer or a solution. I applaud Spielberg for taking a step toward non-violence.

Now that's not to say the film is non-violent. It is, in fact, violent -- as is the reality. But the questions raised, and the internal journey followed by the film's characters subtly tends toward peace -- or at least rethinking all this violence.

As a picture, the film is never break-out fantastic, and may even be in danger of being accused of being a bit slow. But, I found it interesting at each stage, very well cast and acted. Still, there were at least two moments of inappropriate schmaltz: 1) The first dinner with the assassination team goes a bit too sentimental -- smiling laughing, voices muted. 2) A reflection of a dead friend in a store picture window -- wrongly Hallmark.

The clearest point this film makes is simply this: In times of fatal tensions, those that polarize are those that seek violence. Those that consider their conscience are seen as weak, yet perhaps they are the only conduit for peace without massive deaths.

Overall a strong B, we'll push it to a B+ for a brave statement toward non-violent solutions. Can we ever find a peaceful solution if we continue to look past the motivations of the supposed enemy? Why is it so controversial to wonder if "our side" might in some way be in error?

Be prepared, it clocks in over 2.5 hours.

This film screened at a Krikorian Theatre.

  • Munich. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush, Gila Almagor, Michael Lonsdale, Mathieu Amalric, Moritz Bleibtreu.
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Screenplay by Tony Kushner, Eric Roth. Based on the book "Vengeance" by: George Jonas.
  • Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel, Steven Spielberg, Colin Wilson at Universal/ DreamWorks / Amblin.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:55 PDT