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Monday, February 13, 2006


Your Movie Is A Terrorist!

Palestine's first-ever nominee for the Best Foreign Film Oscar is a movie called Paradise Now, a complex, thoughtful work that requires a complex, thoughtful audience. (You may remember that I liked it.) Sadly, it now doesn't have a chance. Today two very different attacks on the film went public...attacks not for its substance, but for its very existence as a challenging, assured piece of art.

First, Carpetbagger brough to light the anonymous petition demanding that the Academy withdraw the film's nomination because "glorifies" terrorism. (It most certainly does not.) On a separate front, the state of Israel and U.S. Jewish groups have made a formal request to the Academy to change the name of "Palestine" during their March 5th broadcast to "Palestinian Authority"...because, of course, if Hollywood even says the word 'Palestine', Israel will melt into a pool of butterscotch Jell-O.

For the record, Paradise Now had an Israeli Arab director, Israeli actors, a Palestinian crew and locations, a Jewish Israeli producer, and private European funding. This is an example of how Palestinians and Jews can work TOGETHER, instead of blowing their tiny shared square of desert to smithereens over useless prejudices.

It is important for people to see this film, and then respond to it with the full force of their intellect. Anonymous petitions and political foibles will never solve the Middle East crisis. But films like Paradise Now will, given half a chance.


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