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Steven Spielbergs Munich and Eric Rochants Les Patriotes: Portraying Mossad on screen - Essay Example

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Steven Spielbergs Munich and Eric Rochants Les Patriotes: Portraying Mossad on screen

Spielberg decided to take a much more difficult path to express his point of view: the victim becomes the torturer and vice-versa.
Mossad has been portrayed on screen in many occasions. Eric Rochant's "Les Patriotes" is an example of these attempts. The movie describes the journey of an 18 year-old Parisian Jew - Ariel Brenner - who immigrates to Israel and joins Mossad. Spielberg has certainly saw "Les Patriotes" as he decided to cast the actor who played Ariel Brenner - Yvan Attal - for a small part in "Munich".
As Roger Ebert states in his review about the movie (December 23, 2005): ""Munich" opens with a heart-stopping re-enactment of the kidnapping and deaths of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics." The entire world was watching these events in real time on television: from the kidnapping to the deaths of the athletes in a failed rescue mission at the airport.
"Munich" actually opens with the statement "Inspired by true events". While the opening scenes are very close to the real events, the movie follows a fictional character - Avner - a young Mossad agent who is appointed to head a clandestine unofficial hit squad - Operation Wrath of God - to seek out and assassinate the eleven men who are considered to be responsible for the Munich massacre. All Israeli portrayed in the movie are fictional except Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Avner in his mission is only app...
Avner in his mission is only appointed four team-mates: Robert a toymaker, expert at disarming bombs, now asked to build them; Carl who removes the evidence after every action; Steve the trigger man, and Hans who can forge letters and documents. (Ebert) Avner will also be in contact with a mysterious Frenchman: Louis whose father - Papa - fought for the resistance and is now selling intelligence.

Steven Spielberg's source for the story is a novel by the Hungarian-Canadian writer George Jonas: "Vengeance: the True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team". Jonas claims to have received all the information for his book from a mysterious source who claimed to be the head of a Mossad hit team. Many critics have accused Jonas of inventing the mysterious source. As a response Jonas in an edition of Macleans (January 07, 2006) declared the following:
Can such tales be believed I think so, though always keeping in mind many spooks possess the imagination of the Baron Munchausen. They recall being in the thick of every battle and winning it single-handedly. Their information being difficult to check reinforces their inclination to tell tall tales, partly to enhance the financial value of their story, and partly to please their interlocutor by telling him what they figure he wishes to hear. Checking by conventional means is difficult. One can try going through official channels, but secret services rarely confirm employment. Cover identities -- so-called legends -- are set up to withstand inquiries. Fact-checking clandestine operations is virtually a contradiction in terms -- if a government agency reveals anything about a covert operation, it's likely to be disinformation. Proof of provenance isn't proof of veracity. Official confirmation or denial of intelligence ...Show more


Steven Spielberg's last motion picture "Munich" could be compared to Saving Private Ryan or the Schindler's List. They are all part of a personal effort to present historical events that have occurred in the twentieth century through a dramatization of the events…
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Steven Spielbergs Munich and Eric Rochants Les Patriotes: Portraying Mossad on screen essay example
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