Munich —The Edge of War tells the story of the 1938 Munich Conference. The new Netflix thriller centres on a plot to expose Hitler’s plans to invade Europe.
Hugh, a secretary at Downing Street, is sent to the Munich Conference to meet Paul, an old Oxford friend who now works for the German foreign office. Paul is in possession of a document outlining Hitler’s invasion plans—a strategy that was kept a secret at the time of the conference.
The two hope that the document will prevent a peace agreement, exposing Hitler to a rebellion by his war generals. The film’s main focus seems to be a ridiculous defence of then prime minister Neville Chamberlain.
Chamberlain’s policy at the conference was to appease Hitler. The film aims to repaint this failure as an act of heroism, suggesting that Chamberlain’s actions allowed Britain to win the war.
Of course, little can be expected from an adaptation of a Robert Harris novel. The author regularly speaks of his friendship with Labour war criminal Tony Blair.
Far from rescuing Chamberlain’s reputation, the film only succeeds in making him look like a bigger fool. As a thriller, Munich works fine, with enough tension to stay entertaining. Paul’s character development is interesting. He initially welcomes the Nazis, saying that they will deliver Germany back to greatness.
But he can no longer ignore the racism and bigotry when personal tragedy strikes. He joins the resistance to Hitler inside the foreign office.
But his attempts to expose the true nature of the Nazis fall flat. Some critics have called the film “posh washing for the elite.” But looked at another way, it shows their utter ineptitude.
Munich—The Edge of War is available now on Netflix
A familiar concept with a twist
The impact of industrial agriculture
A film that deserves its acclaim