- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Munich, named the best movie of the year in balloting by the Washington Area Film Critics Association last week, may prove an intriguing touchstone to attitudes about the war on terror, circa 2005, by recalling the media shock tactics that made it a conspicuous scourge in 1972. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie recalls the Munich ordeal but concentrates on the aftermath, particularly an Israeli espionage mission that extended through the subsequent year. It was designed to kill exiled Palestinians in Europe who were believed to be instrumental in planning the Munich attack and hostage crisis. We’re encouraged to identify closely with the five agents, led by Eric Bana, but the ultimate drift of the material may prove more of a comfort to people who prefer to remain squeamish about reprisals and self-defense in general. While unlikely to be a consensus-builder, the movie may reflect a widespread desire to equivocate about the war, while also feeling grateful for men willing to act ruthlessly in the national interest.

— Gary Arnold

Santa Fe artist May Stevens’ images of boats and figures floating aimlessly in seas of tiny golden-and-silver writings carry viewers into an elegiac aquatic world. Displayed in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ The Water Remembers: Paintings and Works on Paper by May Stevens, the 13 large-scale paintings on unstretched canvas and 14 prints and paintings on paper show water as a life-and-death continuum and boats as symbols of women through the ages. 1250 New York Ave. NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 15. Closed Christmas and New Year’s days. $6-$8. Free for members and young people 18 and under, and on Community Days the first Wednesday and Sunday of each month. 202/783-5000.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

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