Spielberg's Munich triggers a divided response among initial viewers

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Steven Spielberg calls his latest movie, "Munich," a prayer for peace.

But the filmmaker's tale of the Israeli hit team avenging the 1972 massacre of 11 of its Olympic athletes is already dividing viewers. One of the year's most anticipated movies and a potential Oscar contender, "Munich" has triggered debate among audiences -- including Oscar voters -- who have been the first to see it.

Some are finding fault with how the film tries to balance the initial terrorist act with the retaliation that followed. Others are challenging the historical accuracy of the book "Vengeance," by George Jonas, upon which the movie was based. While some commend Spielberg for creating multidimensional characters in an attempt to humanize the conflict, not everyone is applauding that approach.

As Spielberg avoids the traditional junketeering on the eve of the film's premiere, the marketing forces have staged screenings for community leaders and opinion-makers in Los Angeles, Washington, Berlin, Munich, Paris and Tel Aviv.

Heading the effort in Israel, where the movie has triggered mixed response: one of Ariel Sharon's top strategists, Eyal Arad. Last week, a screening held for the widows of two of the slain athletes was attended by producer Kathleen Kennedy and writer Tony Kushner, who have been touring Europe with the film.

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Lorraine Paul - 12/25/2005

If Spielberg's films trigger debate on a sensitive subject such as what happened at the Munich Olympics isn't that a good thing?

Would that "Hollywood" made more films for questioning adults rather than testosterone fueled teens.

Congratulations to Aussie Eric Bana; from watching the trailer it appears that he has hit his straps as an actor!!