Sunday, September 11, 2016

Don't Make a Scene: Munich

The Set-Up: Nothing to say, really. All that needs to be said is in the date at the top of this blog entry. We won't forget that day, where we were when we heard, any of us. We all heard stories, some first hand from friends of individual acts of courage or fatalism or overwhelming generosity. Nor should we forget—ever forget—the result of that day, the last 15 years. The many multiples of those original lives lost, the essential crippling of our Nation and its principles for revenge in the guise of Homeland Security.  We have lost a lot in the past 15 years....and not in terms of billions of dollars, but in national character, national principles, and our national soul. We "got" Usama Bin Laden.

What did we get in return?

And here I had nothing to say...

We won't forget. Not that day. And if there's any justice, the days after.

The Story:  Following the events of the 1972 massacre at the Olympics in Munich,  a team of secret operatives (Daniel Craig, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler) are recruited (with total deniability—they "don't exist") by the Mossad to hunt down the leaders of Black September and the architects of the Munich massacre. The team kill seven targets, compromising principles and going 'off-book" for information, also losing three of their number in the process, killed by counter-counter-assassins. It weighs heavily on the survivors, particularly the leader Avram Kauffman (Eric Bana), who refuses to name his intelligence contacts to his handler, Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush), and instead goes to New York to be with his wife and new-born child. But, the risks persist and the paranoia grows. Avram thinks he's being hunted, but not by the Palestinians terrorists, nor his French contacts...but possibly by the Mossad.

He is contacted by last time.


Deletions to the script while filming or editing are crossed out.  Additions are in GREEN.
Ephraim and Avner are walking past an overgrown park on the Brooklyn waterfront. There's an abandoned jungle gym on one end of the park.
EPHRAIM You think we'd hurt your family?
AVNER I think anyone is capable of anything.
EPHRAIM I think you're losing your mind.
AVNER Did I commit murder?
They stop walking. Ephraim looks out over the East River.
AVNER I want you to give me proof that every man we killed had a hand in Munich.
EPHRAIM I don't discuss such things with people who don't exist. You want to discuss, come back to...
EPHRAIM ...existence. You want your daughter to grow up in exile?
AVNER I want evidence.
EPHRAIM Professor Hamshari with the beautiful wife and child?
EPHRAIM He was implicated in a failed assassination attempt on Ben Gurion, he was recruiting for Fatah France, enlisting enthusiastic non-Arab fanatics eager to destroy the international Zionist conspiracy.
EPHRAIM You stopped him.
AVNER We should have tried to bring him to Israel.
EPHRAIM And Zwaiter, your harmless little writer in Rome?
EPHRAIM He was behind the bomb on El Al flight number 76 in 1968, he worked on another bomb last August. I can go on and on with this shit.
AVNER According to evidence no one has seen.
AVNER If they committed crimes, we should have arrested them, like Eichmann.
EPHRAIM If these guys live, Israelis die. Whatever doubts you have, Avner, you know this is true.
EPHRAIM We are telling them: If you kill us, you will never be safe. We'll find you.
EPHRAIM You did well, but you're unhappy.
AVNER I killed seven men.
EPHRAIM Not Salameh.
AVNER Fuck you.
EPHRAIM We'll get him, of course.
EPHRAIM You think you were the only team? It's a big operation. You were only a part.
EPHRAIM Does that assuage your guilt?
AVNER I don't even know anymore what I want from you. Did we accomplish anything at all? Every man we killed was replaced by worse.
EPHRAIM Why cut my fingernails they'll grow back.
AVNER Did we kill them to destroy the terrorist leadership or the Palestinian leadership? You tell me what we've done.
EPHRAIM You killed them for the sake of a country you now choose to abandon. The country your mother and father built. That you were born into. You killed them for Munich. For the future. For peace. If you killed them. If I know you. If we have met before, which we have not.
EPHRAIM If you signed a paper, which you have, saying you have no connection with us, with Israel, or any connection with anyone anywhere, anywhere onn Earth, Avner Kauffman, and you have no context. No wonder you're unhappy. I'm unhappy just looking at you.
AVNER There's no peace at the end of this. Whatever you believe, you know that's true.
EPHRAIM Here's what I know: Your father's sick. Your mother will be alone. You're a sabra, your wife and daughter are sabras. What I came to say is this. Come home.
Avner shakes his head "no."
Ephraim looks down, then nods.
AVNER Come to my house for dinner tonight.
A beat. Ephraim doesn't respond.
AVNER Come on. You're a Jew. You're a stranger. It's written someplace or other...
AVNER ...I'm supposed to ask you to break bread.
AVNER So? Break bread with me, Ephraim.
Ephraim shakes his head sad.
Ephraim walks away.
Avner watches him go.

Words by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth

Pictures by Janusz Kaminski and Steven Spielberg

Munich is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

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