Spielberg "proud" of widows' support for "Munich"

Director Steven Spielberg said he is "very proud" of two early endorsements from the widows of two of the 11 Israeli athletes killed in the 1972 Olympic massacre detailed in his controversial new film, "Munich." Ilana Romano, widow of weightlifter Yosef Romano and Ankie Spitzer, who was married to the fencing coach Andre Spitzer, are the only Israelis to see the film in Israel before its official release late next month. The movie opened in the US Friday. "We had heard their reaction soon after the screening and we were obviously very, very gratified," Spielberg's Los Angeles-based spokesman, Marvin Levy, said Thursday. "That would clearly be the most sensitive screening we would have. When they said that any concern they might have had was satisfied, this was enormously gratifying and Steven is very proud of that." The movie has drawn fire from Jews and Israelis concerned that it distorts history, with critics arguing it is too sympathetic to the Palestinian terrorists who carried out the massacre. Many of the critics, however, have not seen the film, which has been closely guarded. But the two women, after a screening this week, said the film neither dishonors their husbands' memories nor tarnishes their country's image.