Steven Spielberg stands by 'Munich'

Jewish director insists film never attacks Israel, but does raise questions.

munich 1 298 88 (photo credit: Universal Studios)
munich 1 298 88
(photo credit: Universal Studios)
Director Steven Spielberg defended his controversial film, Munich, following attacks from various Jewish figures and advocacy groups. The film depicts the Mossad's hunt for the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In comments made at a roundtable discussion with Newsweek editors and a number of Directors Guild award nominees, Spielberg said that the film never once attacked Israel. "So many fundamentalists in my own community, the Jewish community, have grown very angry at me for allowing the Palestinians simply to have dialogue and for allowing Tony Kushner to be the author of that dialogue," Spielberg said.
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"Munich never once attacks Israel, and barely criticizes Israel's policy of counterviolence against violence. It simply asks a plethora of questions. It's the most questioning story I've ever had the honor to tell. For that, we were accused of the sin of moral equivocation. Which, of course, we didn't intend-and we're not guilty of." The director said that he knew from the outset that the movie would generate reactions from the right, but he expressed surprise at the smaller, "but no less painful," volley from the left. The reactions made him aware of the dogma, and the "Luddite position people take any time the Middle East is up for discussion," he admitted.
The director commented on the success of his, and the other nominees' films, saying that he thought "the best performances - from filmmakers and from actors - have happened when there are whole stretches of tremendous instability about the process."