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July 9, 2005
Spielberg To Exploit Black September In Iraqi War Protest Film?

The Telegraph reports that Steven Spielberg has started filming a new movie about the terrorist attack on the 1972 Olympics in Munich, in which Palestinian terrorists murdered eleven Israeli athletes. Spielberg has shrouded the project in secrecy. However, Hugh Davies reports that one of the consultants for the project has tipped off the Israelis that the film will concentrate on the Mossad's actions in going after the terrorist planners in the attack's aftermath rather than the attacks themselves:

The material is so delicate that the project, which is being filmed in Malta, is shrouded in secrecy.

For while movies like 1977's Raid on Entebbe, starring Peter Finch and Horst Buchholz, portray Israel in a heroic stance, the new picture is about the misgivings of Golda Meir, the then Israeli prime minister, as agents from Mossad tracked down the perpetrators. ...

The climax will show how the Israeli operatives, tired after months of undercover work, killed Ahmed Bouchike, a Moroccan waiter they mistook for a Palestinian leader. Israel has never claimed responsibility for the team, which included Ehud Barak, the future prime minister, who dressed as a woman to surprise three PLO leaders in Beirut.

One of the actors, Daniel Craig, gave the game away in an interview when he claimed that Spielberg intended to have his film send a message that "vengeance doesn't work". This apparently bothered Spielberg's consultant, Bill Clinton's Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, to such an extent that he felt it necessary to warn the Israelis about the direction of the project.

Craig also said that Spielberg "wants to get it right" as a founder of the Shoah Foundation and as a Jew, but the Israelis may beg to differ. Spielberg has yet to do any research with the Mossad, nor has he contacted agents involved in key intelligence posts at the time. It appears that Spielberg has decided to simply work from rumor and innuendo -- much more in the Oliver Stone mode than in the cinema verit of Schindler's List.

Why would Spielberg decide to focus so heavily on Israel's response instead of the terrorist attacks that initiated their actions? Exactly for the reasons given by Craig, only Spielberg doesn't intend on passing judgment merely on Israel for going after the terrorists that targeted its civilians. If these reports are accurate, he intends on passing judgment on America for going after the terrorists that targeted our civilians on 9/11. Spielberg has long opposed the Iraq War and the Bush administration for its efforts to eliminate the threat of Islamofascist terror and tyranny.

Make no mistake -- if Ross and Craig are correct, then Spielberg wants to use the murders of eleven Israeli athletes to issue an anti-Bush polemic. The film will be used as an argument for inaction and introspection instead of fighting the bloodthirsty lunatics that deliberately target and kill civilians. It will provide the ultimate in moral-relativist thinking and terrorist apologetics.

Spielberg gets at least one thing right in his equation. I remember 1972 and the deaths of those Israelis who only wanted to compete in sports with their fellow athletes from around the world. They weren't in Munich to make a political point. The animals in black masks who took their lives, as well as the animals who planned that disgusting mass murder, needed to be hunted down and killed to ensure that they couldn't do it again. The Israelis understood that terrorism from outside groups isn't a crime, it's an act of war. It's a lesson that most of us learned after 9/11, ending a decade of treating it as an "international crime" and issuing empty indictments.

Too bad Spielberg can't grasp that basic fact, being clouded by his partisanship from grasping the lessons of history. I'll skip this next Spielberg outing, and probably all that follow, under the circumstances.

UPDATE: Speaking of Oliver Stone ...

Three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone will direct superstar Nicholas Cage in the first major Hollywood movie about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, producers announced.

Oscar-winning star Cage will take the lead role of New York Port Authority policeman Sergeant John McLoughlin, who was trapped along with one of his fellow officers in the mangled wreckage of one of the twin towers that crumbled after being hit by hijacked passenger jets.

"I feel someone had to tell the story of the people who were in the Trade Center before and after it collapsed," said McLoughlin of the plans to make his story into a major movie.

"The people involved in putting this movie together are truly making an extraordinary attempt to tell those stories and the stories of those who are no longer with us," he said.

The movie will focus on the two men as well as on their rescuers and families as they battle to find out what happened to their missing loved ones in the aftermath of the attacks that left a total of around 3,000 people dead in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Joe Gandelman asks for an ecumenical plea for holy intervention. (via Michelle Malkin)

UPDATE II: Tony Kushner is writing the screenplay for this movie (hat tip: Ripclawe). For those unfamiliar with Kushner, he wrote the play "Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia On National Themes", which spawned the HBO miniseries "Angels In America". One of the angels according to Kushner was Ethel Rosenberg, who haunts Roy Cohn as he lay dying in Reagan's America in 1985. Got the picture?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 9, 2005 8:23 AM

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