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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 11:01 GMT
Bush 'inspires' political films
Steven Spielberg
Spielberg defended his latest film Munich
Director Steven Spielberg has said US film-makers are more politically vocal since President George Bush was voted back into office in 2004.

Spielberg, whose film Munich deals with the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics, said directors were "trying to declare their independence".

"No-one is really representing us, so we're now representing our own feelings and trying to strike back," he said.

"Film-makers are much more proactive since the second Bush administration."

Spielberg said Munich caused controversy because it raises questions over the moral price Israel paid for targeting the Palestinian gunmen who killed its athletes.

'Accusations overblown'

He said he knew the film was going to "receive a volley from the right", but he was surprised "that we received a much smaller, but no less painful, volley from the left".

The film's historical accuracy has been widely questioned in Israel. Critics say the moral soul-searching of Mossad agents portrayed in the film is unlikely.

It has also been criticised for suggesting equivalence between terrorism and Israel's response to it, the assassination of some of the Munich perpetrators.

But Eyal Arad, the Israeli publicist for Munich, recently told the BBC News website the accusations were overblown and the film "is a thriller inspired by real events, and the film-makers never set out to make a documentary".

'Questions raised'

Speaking after the Directors Guild Awards, Spielberg said criticism of his film "made me feel a little more aware of the dogma, and the Luddite position people take any time the Middle East is up for discussion".

"Munich never once attacks Israel, and barely criticises Israel's policy of counter violence against violence," he said.

"It simply asks a plethora of questions. It's the most questioning story I've ever had the honour to tell. For that, we were accused of the sin of moral equivocation.

"Which, of course, we didn't intend, and we're not guilty of."

Ang Lee won the Directors Guild of America award on Saturday, for his cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain.

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