Tuesday, September 9, 2008
What is life like in the trenches of a world war? In World War I the trenches were dug and there were clear lines on the battle field. There were rules of engagement and rules of war. Even today, we still have the Geneva Convention that establishes rules for the conduct of war. But how do you fight a war without a battlefield and no trenches. Contrary to popular belief, this War on Terror did not start in September 2001...it has been going on for decades as we battle extremists who will do anything to forward their cause. How much are we willing to do in return? Do we have the stomach for this fight?
I have been renting quite a few historical movies lately. I have enjoyed most of them because the ones that I have seen put a very personal touch on events that many of us witnessed to some extent while they were happening. I was very young when the Munich Olympics took place, so I don't remember the events as clearly as some of the other movies I have rented. However, I was well aware of the events based on my reading regarding the on-going conflict with Terrorists and the way Terrorism affects us today. This movie covers the Munich event, recounting the terrorist attacks on the Israeli Olympic team and the events that unfolded afterwards. The Israeli Government put together an unofficial group of agents who were paid from foreign accounts to hunt down and kill the terrorists who massacred the Israeli Olympic Team. A noble conquest, but a personal task. In the end, it is a person who is tasked with killing that other person. When it is done face to face it looks much different.
What I liked best about this movie is that it was more than just personal. In most war and/or police movies, killing is very sterile. The bad guy is clearly defined as a threat and he is shot and dies rather quickly. In this film it is much different. The lines are blurred intentionally and the fight is rather opaque. There is a scene where the men who are hunting the terrorists end up in the same Safehouse as a group of PLO Terrorists. They quickly diffuse the situation by claiming to be Arab from various nations and they share the room. There is even an interesting exchange of dialogue and the fight for a Palestinian homeland. The following night the same men who slept together the night before engage in mortal combat. With writing like that, you become personally involved in both sides of the story and it becomes harder to separate yourself from the other side.
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