Munich is a Steven Spielberg-directed historical drama film from 2005, co-written by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth. It is based on George Jonas’ 1984 book Vengeance, which tells the story of Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli government’s covert reprisal against the Palestine Liberation Organization in the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
Munich garnered five Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Score, and was distributed by Universal Pictures in North America and DreamWorks Pictures through United International Pictures internationally on December 23, 2005. The film grossed $131 million globally, but only $47 million domestically, making it one of Spielberg’s lowest-grossing pictures. A publication ranked the film the 16th ‘Best Film of the Twenty-First Century So Far’ in 2017.
Some reviewers chastised Munich for comparing Israeli assassins with “terrorists,” as they put it. “Worse, Munich prefers a debate of counter-terrorism to a discussion of terrorism; or it believes they are the same conversation,” Leon Wieseltier said in The New Republic.
Despite being a work of fiction, Munich depicts numerous real-life events and personalities from the early 1970s. On the Israeli side, the video features Prime Minister Golda Meir, as well as prominent military and political figures like Attorney General Meir Shamgar, Mossad chief Zvi Zamir, and Aman chief Aharon Yariv. John Williams created and conducted the film’s score.
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