Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 13:08:22 EST
This is a review of the controversial new Steven Spielberg movie "Munich". In this review, Walter Reich expresses views that all of us who hold strong opinions about the Palestine-Israel issue will find very thought-provoking. For us, it is a strong recommendation of the movie in the name of both art and history.
Washington Post -- Sunday, Jan 1, 2006 -- Outlook section
Something’s Missing In Spielberg’s ‘Munich’
Photograph by Rineke Dijkstr
Pieter Hugo/Corbis, for The New York TimeHenry, the closest thing to a quagga in more than a century, on a preserve near Cape Town.
Can You Revive an Extinct Animal?
Reinhold Rau is one of the last of his breed. He was once part of a team of seven taxidermists who, during the apartheid years in South Africa, mounted mammals and birds for the natural-history museum in Cape Town. You can still see his work there. The leopard moving toward its prey on the third floor is Rau's creation, as is the zebra fawn in a nearby glass case, taking shelter under an adult. Rau loves his work - the stripping of the animal's skin from the body, the construction of the mold that replaces its flesh, the sleight of hand that brings about a permanent version of the animal's old self. "Sometimes when the schoolchildren come and see taxidermy, they almost faint," he told me recently in his accented English (he grew up in Germany). "But it never had that effect on me."
During apartheid, displaying South African wildlife trophies behind glass accorded with the regime's image of itself as a first-world power; it showcased its dominion over nature. But since the changeover to a majority black government in the mid-90's, the natural history museum has turned away from Rau's kind of work. In addition to fauna, African culture has become an increasingly important focus; and video installations have superseded mounted animals in an attempt to present the natural world more on its own terms. Over time, all but one of Rau's colleagues in taxidermy have left the museum.
Strange to think that the flamboyantly lethal nut job Idi Amin died in Saudi Arabia just three years ago. About 80 at the time, he had fled Uganda in 1979 after murdering upwards of 300,000 souls. Larger than life physically and metaphorically, he was a former heavyweight boxing champion with a brilliant sense of leadership as a performance: as a dictator, his methods were brutally antediluvian, but his public relations cunning was consummately 20th century. Smiling into cameras, he dropped provocations like bombs: “I don’t like human flesh. It’s too salty for me.”
Wed Sep 27, 8:01 AM ET
Steven Tyler, lead singer of rock band Aerosmith, has battled Hepatitis C for three years and at one point underwent chemotherapy that "about killed me," he told celebrity television show Access Hollywood.