I don't remember the Munich Olympics (had my sights set on Kindergarten then). So, seeing Munich last night was an interesting introduction to a moment in history of which I was largely un aware. Though the subject matter is very different, I would rank it with Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors as an effective portrayal of the banality of evil. It is perhaps even more effective since the subject goes beyond adultery and murder to terrorism, revenge and murder. But, unlike Allen's film, in which Martin Landau's character, in the end, seems to be able to put aside his conscience, Avner, the main character in Spielberg's film, finds that despite the growing ease he finds with killing, putting aside his conscience is something he ultimately can't do. By the end of the film we see clearly, I think, that no amount of killing will end the cycle of violence, even if some still believe it to be necessary. And the backdrop to Spielberg's poignant final scene is clearly no accident. See it if you can.
Still pondering the film, we arrived back at the Jesuit house in New Orleans, where I'm visiting for a few days. Across the streets were the red pulsing lights of four fire engines, in front of the synagogue. Rather eery to come back to that after seeing Munich. The fire officals left without incident. Perhaps it was a false alarm, or a bomb scare.