Steven Spielberg calls his new movie, "Munich," a “prayer for peace.”
The movie tells the story of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by Palestinian terrorists and Israel’s response to the murders.
In an interview with Time Magazine ahead of the movie’s premiere, Spielberg doesn't hide his affinity for Israel, and says, “there has never been adequate tribute paid to the Israeli athletes that were murdered in ‘72”.
This fondness is expressed in his new movie that is scheduled to open in the U.S. on December 23, in time for Christmas, and in Israel on the January 26.
Spielberg began filming Munich in June, with an estimated budget of USD 70 million. He says, “I don't think any movie, or any book, or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today, but it is certainly worth a try.”
'Silence getting louder'
The movie, starring Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush and several Israeli actors, focuses on Israel's response to the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes.
"I'm always in favor of Israel responding strongly when it's threatened," he says. “At the same time, a response to a response doesn't really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual-motion machine. There's been a quagmire of blood for blood for many decades in that region. Where does it end? How can it end?"
Spielberg added that he is proud "Munich" doesn’t demonize either side. “They're individuals, they have families,” he explains.
Spielberg is critical of the International Olympic Committee for never creating an appropriate memorial to the murdered Israelis. “The silence about them by the International Olympic Committee keeps getting louder for me,” he says.
Spielberg also told Time he plans to initiate a joint Israeli-Palestinian film project in the next couple of months.
“What I'm doing is buying 250 video cameras and players and dividing them up, giving 125 of them to Palestinian children, 125 to Israeli kids, so they can make movies about their own lives - not dramas, just little documentaries about who they are and what they believe in, who their parents are, where they go to school, what they had to eat, what movies they watch, what CDs they listen to - and then exchange the videos.
"That's the kind of thing that can be effective, I think, in simply making people understand that there aren't that many differences that divide Israelis from Palestinians - not as human beings, anyway.”
News agencies contributed to the report