The Pestle


Ep 206: “Munich” (Spielberg, 2005)

September 20, 2022

We attempt to responsibly discuss Spielberg’s “Munich” and discuss:

  • Cinematography, heightening a moment through contrasting camerawork;
  • Story & Writing, questions being raised, contextualizing the film;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

It has perhaps always been the case that the waging of peace is the hardest form of leadership of all.Queen Elizabeth II

Notes & References:
“The Jaunt” short story by Stephen King (GitHub)
“Once” Pestle episode; “Once” opening scene
Damien Rice “O” (album on YouTube); “Volcano”
NPR article on 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympics
“Shia LaBeouf” Live – Rob Cantor

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This Week’s Recommendations:


  1. Uwe says:

    Great review, thanks guys.

    I agree with what you said about the conflict Eric Bana has about his work, which could at least – since the filmmakers already had the retrospect view – be questionable. In fact, it’s a movie that reminds us subtly about the necessity of due process and the law itself, which are the biggest contributors to peace and freedom.

    You both declared Munich Spielberg’s most serious movie (maybe you used another word but that’s the direction). I would put Lincoln (2012) above that. Gosh, that movie gives you so much insight and realism…about powerlessness and the need to compromise. As Bismarck said: “Laws are like sausages. It is best not to see them being made.” ^^

    Both Munich’s and Lincoln’s messages seems to be “to strengthen the moderates”, in very different ways, though: the first in catharsis of the “villain” and the latter by political tactics, which seems to be the even more problematic way regarding the political system nowadays, even since 2012.

    Can’t wait for Crusade…and maybe the Fabelmans one day.

    1. wes says:

      Yesss! Love your observation about the importance of due process and the law. Big foundational contributors to peace and freedom, and entirely subverted by these kinds of actions, which obviously seem to produce less peace and freedom.

      You may be right about Lincoln being more serious, unfortunately that was the hardest Spielberg film for me to get through, even though Daniel Day-Lewis is excellent and it’s a story worth telling. But maybe time for me to revisit it with fresh eyes! I’d also put The Post and Bridge of Spies in that conversation about his serious films, though not quite as stoic as Lincoln. I did love The Post though, but I’m a sucker for Ellsberg’s story, so that’s a layup lol.

      That’s a fascinating takeaway that I hadn’t considered at all. “Strengthen the moderates” would be a great great direction for the political system to go nowadays, and agreed, even since 2012.

      1. Uwe says:

        You’re absolutely right, The Post and Bridge of Spies belong in there, too. Both with beautiful performances of Tom Hanks and Jesse Plemmons who – in the meantime – has arrived which is great to see. The introduction scene of Tom hanks in that business club where he discusses the outcome of the car accident is actually an unsolved discussion to this day in the insurance business regarding when an incident is one or are more events (9/11 as the most prominent example of that). This scene is so well executed and so thoughtful – a real masterpiece (and the movie doesn’t get any better after this^^).

        The Post on the other hand is a gem in its entirety. Just mentioning it makes me wanna rewatch it right now which I’m going to do…

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