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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 22, 2005 / 21 Kislev, 5766

Spielberg's history howler would be funny if it weren't so calculating

By Bob Tyrrell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The camera always lies. That is one of my most dearly held beliefs, and an early screening of Steven Spielberg's "Munich," which I saw last week, provides me with more evidence. The camera always lies — and Steven Spielberg lies quite a lot too, at least when he uses a camera pursuant to his Art.


Not long ago he did a movie, "Shark Tale," in which all the bad guys spoke with Italian accents and were supposed to summon up visions of the mafia. This movie was for children. Spielberg covers himself on this sort of thing by speaking out against stereotyping even as he stereotypes. Now he has committed another simplistic botch. In "Munich" he portrays a hit team of Israeli agents ordered to kill the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics as morally equivalent to the terrorists. That, of course, is untrue. The act of the Israeli agents is morally justified as an attempt not only to eliminate murderers but also to demonstrate to the terrorists' leaders that kidnapping private citizens will not further their political goals. In the anarchy of terrorist war what the Israelis did is, alas, for the good and morally defensible.


But Spielberg's camera lies in other ways. The movie begins with a chaos of scenes exploding across the screen and lasting far too long. This is an assault on the senses, not an engagement of intellect. In fact the whole movie is an assault on the senses and hardly ever an engagement of intellect. And the assault — which is to say, the movie — lasts far too long. After enduring "Munich" the normal viewer will be in need of a drink or some other sort of "coping mechanism," as they say.


I attended the movie with a veteran of law enforcement officer who sneered at howlers committed by Spielberg's camera. Almost everything was exaggerated. Bullet holes on the lovely body of a beautiful naked actress were far larger than they would be with the caliber guns used to shoot her. The body of a knifed Mossad agent was perfectly and dramatically filmed as sitting upright on a bench, to the snickers of my friend who pointed out that the knife wound would have caused the dead person's muscles to relax and the corpse to fall over. Action was everywhere. Explanation was almost nonexistent.


What the agents did to hunt down and kill the terrorists went completely unexplained, as did the training they underwent to become so proficient in their grisly arts. "Munich" of course is a modern movie. That means there is very little explanation. Dialogue is kept to a minimum. That might be for the best. What dialogue there existed was banal and at times, as with all else in the movie, devious. There is one ludicrous scene where the Jewish hit team and a Palestinian terror squad spend the night together. Call it their sleepover. A conversation follows between a Jew and a Palestinian. It is perhaps the intellectual denouement of the movie. It is also an attempt by Spielberg to demonstrate moral equivalence between the two, which does not come off very well. Those who know the history of this conflict understand that the Israelis are defenders. The terrorists are aggressors and particularly brutal aggressors at that.


Yet this simple-minded scene, the sleepover scene, is the great piece of wisdom Spielberg hopes to impart. "Munich" is Spielberg told Time magazine "a prayer for peace." Actually it is just another example of the camera's lies. Aided and abetted by sound effects, it jolts the senses with huge hands or other appendages thrust across the screen, towering men and women filmed from the ground up, from other weird angles, all to convey impressions that are dramatic but very unreal. Colors are brighter than real or darker than real. Sounds shriek, howl, and explode at the viewer. My friend from law enforcement has covered crime scenes and crimes themselves. She assures me the real thing is much less entertaining.


According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Spielberg insists that "the biggest threat to the Middle East was neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis but intransigence on both sides." Given the Sharon government's generosity in its negotiations with the Palestinians, I guess we can understand "Munich's" errors. Spielberg is a Hollywood ignoramus. But he has another problem in his treatment of such serious issues as peace in the Middle East. His favorite artistic instrument is the camera, and the camera always lies. Maybe he should give up the camera for a lump of marble and a chisel. .

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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