Ed Driscoll

"If You Start With An Ax To Grind, You Write A Bad Movie"

In The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens quotes from Tony Kushner, the screenwriter of Steven Spielberg’s Munich:

Kushner [is] the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright brought in by Mr. Spielberg to rework the original screenplay by Eric Roth. Mr. Kushner (who, like Mr. Spielberg, is Jewish) believes that the creation of the state of Israel was “a historical, moral, political calamity” for the Jewish people. He believes the policy of the government of Israel has been “a systematic attempt to destroy the identity of the Palestinian people.” He believes that responsibility for making peace between Israelis and Palestinians lies primarily with the Israelis, “inasmuch as they are far more mighty.” He believes Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is an “unindicted war criminal.”

Or as Kushner recently said, not intending to be ironic, but unintentionally summing up Munich to a ‘T’, “If you start with an ax to grind, then you write a bad play or movie.”


Via Roger L. Simon, who describes Munich as “almost laughable at times and the end of the movie crosses the line into a virtually incoherent grand guignol of sex and mayhem that approaches opera bouffe“, adding, “When it comes to a movie about the problems of revenge, I would skip this mish-mash and go rent John Ford’s The Searchers“.

For more examples of how grinding axes turned into grinding movies, Mark Steyn has a terrific round-up of Hollywood’s Year To Forget.