September 16, 2019

Seven Thumbs Up

An unscientific, random sample of moviegoers who turned out for the new Steven Spielberg’s film, “Munich,” overwhelmingly liked what they saw. All of these patrons saw the film at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.

Slow going at first; 40 minutes longer than it had to be. A terrific job of making a movie with no heroes that raised very thorny questions of morality — evenhanded and thought-provoking. There is no Ghandi. No Martin Luther King. No one stepping up and saying enough bloodshed. Let’s talk peace. The assassins who perpetrate the terrorist attack in the Olympic Village are clearly portrayed as bad guys. After that, there are no clear good guys and no clear bad guys. — Gary Gentile, 48, Jewish

Spielberg bent over backward so that everyone was human and had a full agenda of good points and bad points. None of the characters were cardboard or monodimensional. They all seemed like if you got to know them, they could be like the person next door or someone you had dinner with. — Peter Inova, 61, non-Jewish

The movie takes more of the perspective of the Israelis, but it does not dehumanize other groups. The bad guys represented the bad in all of us. Even the most noble characters have a capacity for violence and evil, and the worst characters have the capacity for some good. They all had their reasons and motivations. — Marian Inova, age not given, non-Jewish

It showed both sides of the story. I was expecting to go and see a biased portrayal of the situation because Spielberg is Jewish, but it wasn’t like that. Toward the end, I thought the Israelis were fighting terrorists by becoming terrorists. It started to show them as terrorists. They were sending a message to evoke fear, but it changed at the end, which showed the humanity of it all. — Christopher Roosevelt, 26, non-Jewish

Really moving and somewhat disturbing. Palestinians will continue to kill until their voices are heard. If people thought twice about killing, maybe it would stop. It is just a vicious circle. The movie portrayed the Palestinians as cold-blooded killers who killed innocent people. For the Jews, it was about trying to kill that particular person who had a hand in the terrorism. It is a movie. I don’t think it is OK to kill period. — Samantha, 31, non-Jewish

They, the terrorists, killed innocent sportsmen. They are animals. I am Armenian and thinking as an Armenian, if someone killed an Armenian, I would want that person to be punished. I am more sympathetic to the Israelis. It was their task. They had to do it. — Hov, 32, non-Jewish

A pretty good thriller. The film didn’t take a side. In the end, Spielberg’s take was that revenge never stops. You get rid of these guys and there is always someone there to replace them. It is not a documentary. There is going to be artistic license. You didn’t really see the terrorists. They were basically targets, just plot devices. Looking at it further than as a movie would be a waste of time because it is only a movie. — Thomas Mathai, 35, non-Jewish