In the after effects of the Black September's annihilation of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich games, Prime Minister Golda Meir sanctions a black box operation to hunt down and kill all those thought and known to be involved. A team of five men was chosen. These five men gather in Switzerland and are led by Avner, former bodyguard to the Prime Minister, who's father was a war hero and who's wife is pregnant. The team was considered expendable, but relying on paid informants, they track down and kill several members of Black September that had been found in both Europe and Lebanon. They constantly were forced look over their shoulders for government divisions such as the CIA, KGB, PLO, and even their own sources fearing that they had gone from the hunters to the hunted. As the body count escalated -- with retaliation following retaliation -- so did the questions, the doubts, and the sleepless nights. Loyalties blurred. What does/did it mean to be a Jew? As he does so well, Spielberg blends together both action and humanity. You're made to feel sympathy for these men. They are viewed as not cold-blooded killers, but patriots' doing what they believe is crucial to preserve their nation. Spielberg, along with fellow producers Kushner and Roth, also create an understanding and somewhat of an appreciation for the Palestinian position. These are not petty, mad killers, as typically depicted in so many movies. These are men with wives and children, men who believe what they are doing is just as important as their Israeli counterparts. This compelling thriller, sitting at about two hours and 40 minutes, is not hesitant to show the human sacrifice and heartache caused by the viciousness of this undeclared war that still very strongly continues to this day.
Myself personally I had found this film to be very difficult to watch, but also I found it to be very eye opening. Before screening this film, I regrettably did not know anything of what had happened...
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