Monday, May 01, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments
There are certain similarities between Munich and United 93. Both are high profile movies about terrorist attacks supposedly based on real life events and are the focus of a great deal of controversy. Let's look at the two of them now.
Munich Budget - 65 Million dollars \ United 93 Budget - 15 Million dollars
Munich was a large scale extravaganza with a top Hollywood director, a prominent cast, a famous screenwriter and lavish set designs. Its scenes were filled with symbolism and metaphors all around.
By contrast United 93 was cheaply shot in England with a small budget. Its actors are unknowns, the director was little known outside of cinematic circles and also handled the screenwriting. It tells its story without ornamentation or resort to metaphor and symbolism but by pointing a camera and showing how people lived and died.
Munich claimed to be based on a book by one of the Israeli agents, but in fact was written by an impostor. None of the actual agents were consulted, not even the agency itself and as a result the movie was filled with an endless cavalcade of absurd mistakes. When the movie came out both the Israeli and Palestinian sides described it as an absurd fiction and many of the family members condemned it.
By contrast United 93 used the actual flight controllers to recreate what had happened that day. Much of the story inside the plane was pieced together from cell phone calls and while additional material had to be added, it has not been challenged by the families or condemned for its inaccuracy.
Munich blatantly pursued a political agenda. United 93 tells the story without special pleading.
Munich bombed in theaters opening in eight place and failed to make back its budget. United 93 opened at the second spot and nearly made back its budget in its opening weekend alone.
Perhaps Hollywood can finally learn a lesson from this. It's not money, noise or propaganda that succeeds. Ultimately truth survives and lies sink.