Meanwhile. In the context of the ongoing announcements of verdicts in the Bombay bomb blasts trial, in the context of this post I had here a couple weeks ago, these few paragraphs. This an excerpt from an interview the German paper Der Spiegel did with Steven Spielberg after his film Munich was released earlier this year.
- SPIEGEL: The main charge against "Munich" is political or, if you wish, ideological: you are accused of morally equating the Palestinian terrorists with their Israeli pursuers.
Spielberg: That is utter nonsense. Those critics are behaving as if we all had no moral compass. Naturally, it is a terrible, despicable crime when, as in Munich, people are taken hostage, people are killed. But probing the motives of those responsible and showing that they are also individuals with families and have their own story does not excuse what they did. Wanting to understand the background to a murder doesn't mean you accept it. To understand does not mean to forgive. Understanding has nothing to do with being soft; it is a brave and very robust attitude to take.
SPIEGEL: Your opponents say that you "humanize" terror.
Spielberg: Do these critics really mean that terrorists are not human beings? I try not to demonize them. Again, this has absolutely nothing to with relativizing their acts or sympathizing with them. But I do believe that it sullies the memory of the victims if we do not ask questions about the reasons, about the roots of terror. My film is not supposed to be a pamphlet, not a caricature, not a one-dimensional view of things. I refuse to give simple answers to complicated questions.
SPIEGEL: Isn't that also part of the problem: the situation in the Middle East is so complex that even an almost three-hour, multilayered film cannot come close to tackling it?
Spielberg: I do not claim to be providing a peace plan for the Middle East with my film. But is that a reason to leave it all to the great simplifiers? Jewish extremists and Palestinian extremists who to this day regard any form of negotiated solution in the Middle East as some kind of betrayal? Keep my mouth shut just to avoid trouble? I wanted to use the powerful medium of film to confront the audience very intimately with a subject with which they are normally familiar in an abstract sense at the most -- or only from a biased point of view.