Monday, June 1, 2009

Chaplin's tradition

Modernity and Mira Vogel call attention to Gary Sinyor's public response to Ken Loach. Long story short: Ken, unfortunately a pretty important filmmaker, is pretty antisemitic and involved in boycotting Israelis.
The row began after the festival accepted a £300 donation from the Israeli embassy to pay for a film studies graduate of Tel Aviv University to attend the premiere of her short movie Surrogate at the festival in Scotland next month. But the sponsorship raised the hackles of Loach, who backed a boycott unless the money was returned forcing the EIFF to find alternative ways to fund Tali Shalom-Ezer's trip.
Loach called the festival organizers and got his way. (If a Jew had done such a thing, to suggest to organizers that they might not want to provide a platform to an antisemite, surely it would be unfair and stifling interference - a gross display of power, even.)

In a blog, Tali Shalom-Ezer, aged 31, was quoted as saying: "Generalising all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists is racism and outrageous, and as members of the peace camp we are personally hurt by it."
A coincidence, so far unmentioned but kind of poignant to me, is that Sinyor was the recipient of the Chaplin award. Chaplin, of course, made The Great Dictator while most of Hollywood was cowed into silence over Germany's horrors. I hereby call on the EIFF to change the name of their award.

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