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Two movies, two views

Dear Editor: Within the past few weeks, I saw “Munich” at the Isis and then “Paradise Now” at the Wheeler. Juxtaposing these two movies is to comprehend the tragedy of Israel’s distorted image in the international imagination. Both films portray sensitive young men conflicted about violence as a viable course of action. Of course in audience perspective the two will merge so that there is no difference between Mossad agents retaliating against a terrorist attack and prospective suicide bombers on the brink of committing one. Spielberg should have made a movie as current as “Paradise Now.” The director who so brilliantly recreated World War II Krakow could have done the same for postmillennial Israel. He could, for instance, have developed an interlocking storyline about an extended Israeli family, such as one I know, whose members include peace activists and settlers, charity workers and students, soldiers and entrepreneurs, the secular and the religious. The director of “Schindler’s List” could have used his genius to portray the complexity and anguish of the precarious choices available to contemporary Israelis seeking a balance between humanitarian and security considerations in a heterogeneous and democratic society struggling with a myriad of identity dilemmas. Instead, Spielberg chose to twist the realities of the period in which the Munich massacre occurred to create a stylized, simplistic and anachronistic film that is too tedious for a thriller and far too conceptually flabby for a focused morality tale. Apparently feeling much maligned, Spielberg has stated that he “would die for Israel.” No one is asking him to do that, just that he refrain from employing fuzzy thinking and currently chic clichés to stab Israel in the back. With friends like these …Judith KingValley Voices for Mid-East PeaceGlenwood Springs


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