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Loach forces audience against Israeli film-maker

KenLoach.jpgKen Loach has been calling for film fans to boycott an Israeli film showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year, however he's at pains to point out that he's not actually against the film-maker.

His words have resulted in a donation from the Israeli Embassy to the EIFF to be returned, and both the film-maker and the Israeli embassy have hit back at the Festival's actions and Loach's comments.

The row has developed after Ken Loach publicly called for film fans to stay away from Tali Shalom-Ezer's film Surrogate at the EIFF this year because of Israel's policies towards Palestine.

Surrogate marks Shalom-Ezer's first publicly released film and is arriving in Israeli cinemas next week. However it's also due to be shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival next month, and when the EIFF accepted £300 from the Israeli Embassy Ken Loach was outraged.

Loach said that the money transfer was, in effect, supporting Israel and said through The Scotsman that:

"...massacres and state terrorism in Gaza make this money unacceptable."

It was at this point that the EIFF returned the £300 to the Embassy. Yet the controversy didn't stop there as Shalom-Ezer stated that Ken Loach's comments portrayed her, and Israeli people, in a very poor light:

"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."

Loach spoke from Cannes on the matter and insisted that he wasn't being racist with his comments nor was he singling out film-makers, in fact he's saying that he supports them in any way he can, except of course in this case.

"The position of those who organise the cultural boycott against the Israeli state are pleased to support individual filmmakers in any way they can. We all know that Tali Shalom-Ezer is more than welcome to come."

Shalom-Ezer hits the nail on the head thought when you put her nationality to the side for the moment when she says:

"He has created a situation in which going to see Surrogate means supporting the state of Israel. He has made this connection."

The Israeli Embassy themselves have even commented on the matter, and none too lightly either.

"This sheds a very unpleasant light on those promoting the festival. This decision was not taken because of anything Tali Shalom-Ezer did, but for what she is."

Add to the fray the fact that the film doesn't appear to be about politics or the situation between Israel and Palestine and the discussion gets even more difficult. Here's the blurb for the film:

"Eli is a 32 year old man who has problems with relationships with women. Hagar is a surrogate, an alternative partner for practical, sexual therapy. They meet once a week and practice a relationship and intimacy in laboratory conditions. The fictitious relationship between them exposes them both physically and emotionally and brings to surface repressed fears from the real world. The changes Eli goes through during the therapy, along with the secrets revealed, not only shake his own life, but also the life of his family. Between clinic walls, due to an "artificial" process, Eli learns how to love for the first time."

I really don't envy the people who have to deal with this situation in the background, because for them, the film-maker and their cast and crew, and for the film fans wanting to see Surrogate at the Film Festival it's not about the politics over in Israel, it's about the film. At least I would hope that's the case.

Loach's comments can't help but be against the film-maker, the film, and their nationality, and there is no way he can support them and their film, and yet tell audiences to stay away from it. Frankly I don't understand how he expects that to work.


Update: I've now actually reviewed Surrogate, which you can read right here on Filmstalker, and I loved it.


Filmstalker at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009





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Comments

Dear Richard,

Your blog entry is a gross and frankly unethical distortion of basic facts. (what the dictionary calls "lies").

Neither Loach nor anyone else called for a ban on Sharon-Ezer or her film, or called for the audience to stay away from it. Loach and the BDS campaign called for the festival not to accept Israeli money and sponsorship.

Neither Loach nor anyone else "generalized all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists." Loach spoke about the state of Israel and its persistent racism and violence, which are a matter of undeniable record. But even those who absurdly deny that record should not be so dishonest as to claim that condemning the laws and policies of the state of Israel implies a belief that all Israelis are racist and warmongers. (although a substantial percentage of them are. 94% of Israeli Jews supported the recent carnage in Gaza, and 50% of them believe that a Jewish woman marrying an Arab man is committing treason.)

The only person in this story who fails to understand the difference between the state of Israel and Israeli-Jews is Tali Sharon-Ezra. So if anybody deserves to be called a racist, she is.

I'm not going to debate the misuse of words in your opening lines regarding the use of the word unethical, but I will address your suggestion that the article is lies.

It is not lies, since it clearly states the sources from which the facts are taken. Now if those sources are lying then I'll happily accept that they've made a mistake, or deliberately lied, and correct it. However I've not lied, I've written the facts as presented to me in the source articles.

I can't even begin to retort against your statements regarding Shalom-Ezer's statement that Loach has "generalized all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists." because your own comments go back and forth between calling the majority of Israeli's just that, and you even call the film-maker a racist.

In effect you start off morally superior and end up falling apart.

What you fail to see is that Shalom-Ezer has made a film, which Israel has offered to fund the EIFF to show and help bring the film-maker to the festival to talk about.

Now that's not going to happen, and a British film-maker has stopped that from happening.

If the festival was to ban all films and film-makers from countries who were engaged in some form of war, terrorism, illegal acts, anti-humanitarian activities, etc., we wouldn't be seeing half of the films we are, and considering the strong and positive messages of some of these films we've seen in the past, I think that would be a very bad thing in itself.

Ken Loach has been calling for film fans to boycott an Israeli film showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year

This is not true. You did not quote it from anywhere. The sources you quote says it You know it is not true. So therefore this is a lie.

Dear Richard,

slow down. Pay attention, and stop assuming facts that you imagine.

Fact 1: 50% of Jewish Israelis surveyed by a professional pollster agreed with the statement that a Jewish woman marrying an Arab man commits treason.

Fact no 2: 94% of Jewish Israelis surveyed by a professional pollster expressed support for the latest massacre of civilians in Gaza near the end, when the extent of the murder of civilians was generally known.

I can adduce 50 other similar hard facts in an hour, documented and sourced, to prove the statement that "racism and support for atrocious crimes against civilians are widespread among Israeli-Jews to the extent that, depending on the exact phrasing of the question, a large minority, majority, or sometimes overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis express racist and belligerent beliefs"

Now, if you want to challenge that, be my guest. Google is at your finger tips.

Fact 3: Ken Loach did not use facts 1 and 2 above to justify his demand to the festival (which you unethically insist on misrepresenting).

Fact 4:""Generalising all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists is racist".

Absolutely, however.

Fact 5: Ken Loach did not do it. And neither did I despite your insinuations. Unless you claim that correctly describing the mood of Israeli society is racism. There are of course many Israeli Jews who are horrified by these facts, but you cannot be horrified by these facts unless you acknowledge them.

The only persons in the story who understood a condemnation of Israel as an automatic condemnation of every Jewish Israeli citizen (which would include me), is Tali Sharon-Ezer, and apparently you agree with her.

If Sharon-Ezer cannot come to a film festival without it being graced with official Israeli sponsorship, that is unfortunate for her. I am really sorry for the inconvenience. But given that nearly a million Palestinian children who live an hour drive from Shalom-Ezer's home cannot visit the beach of their native country (let alone a film festival), I am not going to break down in tears.

If the festival was to ban all films and film-makers from countries who were engaged in some form of war, terrorism, illegal acts, anti-humanitarian activities, etc., we wouldn't be seeing half of the films we are, and considering the strong and positive messages of some of these films we've seen in the past, I think that would be a very bad thing in itself.

That would be true if your assumptions had anything to do with reality. But again you are misrepresenting the facts. There is no call for a blanket ban on Israeli films or filmmakers. This is simply a lie that you are repeating.

Palestinian activists are calling chiefly for

"Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;"

[Political link removed - Richard]

I understand that this is inconvenient for festival organizers. It's much easier to source the funding to the embassy (and implicitly let the state decide what kind of culture gets promoted internationally).

Doing the right thing is often inconvenient. You can start by correcting your misrepresentations.

Slow down yourself, there's no need to multiple post slanderous comments against me personally, you should listen to your own advice.

Let me address your personal attack first, since you've stooped to that level. Reading the source articles it is what they are claiming, and something I reiterate in my reporting of these articles. I do not know that it is not true as you claim, nor for that matter do you know my knowledge of the incident either since all you've done is to appear on this article about the film and push your anti-Israel agenda.

To your first comment:

"I can adduce 50 other similar hard facts in an hour, documented and sourced"

You haven't sourced those first ones yet.

You also state that these facts are to prove a statement that you've just made in your comment, not from the article.

So no, I don't feel the need to challenge it since it isn't related directly to the topic of the article and is steering off onto your own political agenda.

Fact 3 – Again, there is no unethical aspect to the article, I don't actually understand why you keep saying I'm unethical. I'll put that alongside the comment you keep making about me being a liar.

Also I never stated that Loach used your first two facts.

Fact 5 – Again you say he didn't do it and don't provide sources. Forgive me if I believe national newspapers which I have sourced over a commenter called "Evildoer" with a strong political agenda.

As for the racist comments, I think your comment stands quite clear from earlier.

My agreement with Sharon-Ezer is in the way that her film is being treated and used by those outside of the Middle East with a politically biased agenda.

Once again though you're missing the entire point of this article and are using it to pimp your own political beliefs, this site is Filmstalker, it's about films, and while the article refers to a very important point within the film industry, it is not here to debate the rights and wrongs of politics, that would be for another site, perhaps Politicstalker.

So pushing aside the manipulative messages and images your using, this article is focused on the film story here, and the film story is that films shouldn't be stopped from being seen by the audience, and neither should the director be stopped from engaging with their audience.

You go on to quote me where I begin, "If the festival was to ban all films and film-makers...", and then say I am misrepresenting the facts once more, and again return with slanderous comments saying that I am once again lying. Yet you totally miss the fact that the whole paragraph was opened with the word "If" and you miss the entire point of the comment. I am extrapolating from this single article and your comments, nothing more than that.

Finally you are doing the Festival organisers a huge injustice by suggesting that they accept money from foreign countries and show their films regardless, therefore allowing the countries to "decide what kind of culture gets promoted internationally". They do a lot of work to find great, interesting, and diverse films to bring to audiences that would usually never see them, they aren't sitting waiting to accept films that they are paid to show.

Your closing remarks also show that you have no understanding of the issue in the article and its relevance, and again are flying off promoting your political agenda.

This is inconvenient to the Festival organisers I'm sure, but it's the audience who are denied the film and the access to the film-maker, it's the expansion of culture and the access to broaden people's minds and understanding through film that is harmed here.

Film, film, film. Not politics. If you want to debate your point of view on the Israeli-Palestine conflict them find the right medium to do so.

Dear Richard,

Amazing how much you can hyperventilate.

You said,
Ken Loach has been calling for film fans to boycott an Israeli film showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

That is not true.

The article that you claim said it, said that Ken Loach "called on movie fans to "stay away" from the Edinburgh International Film Festival for political reasons." It then explains in the next paragraph these "political reasons" with Loach's own words, which are all about Israeli money and nothing about the film or the director.

So you accuse Loach of saying something he didn't. And then you put the blame of making a false allegation on a newspaper article that also did not make that accusation.

How about just correcting your reporting?

My sincerest apologies for posting twice. I made a grammar mistake and I did not use the preview as I should.

And my sincerest apologies for disturbing the world of film with such extraneous issues that are too complicated for a poor film buff.

Incidentally, I gave you a link to PACBI that you deleted, to explain why the point Ken Loach made in the article you couldn't understand, that he did not ask for a boycott of the film, is based on the fact that no such demand exists. But giving evidence about your misrepresentation of the facts of the story is "politics" whereas actually misrepresenting the story and drawing (false) political conclusions from it is obviously "film." Nice categorization.

"Amazing how much you can hyperventilate." - How would you know if I was? You have no source for your statement and no idea what my current breathing patterns are.

When you say it is not true that Loach said that, where's your sourced evidence? An individual online saying something isn't true doesn't make it so.

Saying that, my comment refers to the opening lines of The Scotsman article, and while I did not quote it word for word in mine, that's where the statement comes from, I shall quote now and the link to the source is in the article above.

"FILM director Ken Loach last night defended himself against a claim that he was "racist" after he called on movie fans to "stay away" from the Edinburgh International Film Festival for political reasons."

If you follow the link to the newspaper you can see for yourself. No lies, nothing made up from this end, it's all in the Scotsman. If you want to refute that, go to the source, prove it to them, have them alter the article and then I'll see that my source has changed and I'll change my article.

To correct you, I did not "put the blame of making a false allegation on a newspaper article that also did not make that accusation."

As you can see the article does say that, and I never blamed the Scotsman for a false allegation, I said that is where I sourced my information, I did not blame the Scotsman for any false information.

Once again with the insults:

"...issues that are too complicated for a poor film buff."

I'm sure my film readers would be most happy with you for that statement. You obviously don't watch a lot of films, know a lot of film fans, know me, nor do you read this site.

As for your last accusation, the source article has no mention of Ken Loach, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Tali Shalom-Ezer, or her film Surrogate. It's a political statement on a political site.

"Amazing how much you can hyperventilate." - How would you know if I was?

Sigh, irony is dead!

I'm sure my film readers would be most happy with you for that statement.

I sure hope not all your readers are as lacking in reading comprehension as you are, and wouldn't think that mocking your obvious limitations is a statement about film buffs in general, just as I hope they would understand, as you cannot apparently, that what Ken loach said was not a "racist" generalization about all Israelis.

When you say it is not true that Loach said that, where's your sourced evidence? An individual online saying something isn't true doesn't make it so.

So now you want me to prove a negative? Are you really that challenged? It is not true because YOU have no evidence that he said what you ascribed to him.


As for your last accusation, the source article has no mention of Ken Loach, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Tali Shalom-Ezer, or her film Surrogate. It's a political statement on a political site.

Yes, it is. It is also the original call that Ken Loach refers to when he says, quoted by the article you sourced:

The position of those who organise the cultural boycott against the Israeli state are pleased to support individual filmmakers in any way they can. We all know that Tali Shalom-Ezer is more than welcome to come."

Loach did not make that up. And I provided the evidence. That's all.

If you follow the link to the newspaper you can see for yourself. No lies, nothing made up from this end, it's all in the Scotsman.

Are you actually stating that you believe that anywhere in the article in the Scotsman the writer says that Loach called for the audience "boycott an Israeli film"?

Or are you actually saying that "boycotting a festival for taking money from the Israeli embassy" and "boycotting a festival for showing a film made by an Israeli" are one and the same?

I'm getting very tired of this and your contining personal comments. I haven't stooped to that level, and I won't put up with it any longer. It's juvenile and pathetic.

The article link you gave me has no mention of any of those topics on the page, I checked for the following words on the page before I removed it:

Ken Loach, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Tali Shalom-Ezer, or her film Surrogate

None appeared.

Also you are getting so emotionally involved in the attack that you are confusing my beliefs with what I was writing about in the article. I have not accused Ken Loach of being a racist, others have, not me.

As for the comment coming from Loach:

Reuters:

In national newspaper reports, Loach had called for his filmmaking peers and anyone who might go to the festival "to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away."

The Hollywood Reporter:

"Loach had called for anyone who might go to the festival and his filmmaking peers, "to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away," in national newspaper reports."

BBC:

"Loach said the grant was "unacceptable" and urged pro-Palestinian supporters to "stay away" from the festival."

Ed West sums up the situation very well over at The Telegraph, and there they discuss the politics of it all, if you want to go there for the political debate, please do.

Richard, I must confess I too thought your article title and some of the wording did not represent what this issue has been about and your defence of yourself for what you wrote in some of the replies to the other poster above I thought to be just (ever so slightly) specious.

After all your headline does clearly state 'Loach forces audience against Israeli filmaker' which is your own interpretation (and obviously the Israelis) you also later remark in a reply to the poor poster above 'Saying that, my comment refers to the opening lines of The Scotsman article, and while I did not quote it word for word in mine, that's where the statement comes from'. Yet, when you go on to quote the full Scotsman headline it clearly states, and you copy and pasted, something far different in meaning, 'Director Loach: I'm no racist for Film Festival boycott'. Did not quote it word for word, indeed! you know as well as I do it has a vastly different implication. Or maybe you are the one trying to push your own political agenda, maybe you're just more subtle at it than the poster above. You also clearly stated 'Ken Loach has been calling for film fans to boycott an Israeli film showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year', and in your summation you say 'Loach's comments can't help but be against...and there is no way he can support them... and yet tell audience to stay away from it', which again, is obviously and justifiably, your own interpretation.

Nowhere that I've read (Scotsman or other) did he ever tell audiences to stay away from only her film, the only boycott he called for was of the festival itself, for its actions in accepting Israeli state money - so in effect he was calling for a boycott of all nationalities who had films in the same festival this year, so every nation and film maker would have been equally penalised - yet you fail to point that out. By failing to point that out, by misinterpreting the Scotsman headline for your own, you do lay yourself open to being called an untruth teller as the other person points out. Or, as I would call you, a selective chooser of the truth.

And you say of the Tali Shalom-Ezer statement "He has created a situation in which going to see Surrogate means supporting the state of Israel. He has made this connection." that she 'hit the nail on the head' - however she is clearly wrong, as are you, since the connection was of course made as soon as the EIFF accepted the Israeli embassy money. The same is equally true of any other embassy supporting films by their nationals, films unsupported by their governments are the only truly independent ones in this regard, otherwise the connection is obvious, upfront and very overt. They are representing their countries.

Now whether or not Israeli money should be accepted by a Scottish film festival is a whole other matter, as is freedom of expression and cultural boycott calls. But since all and sundry seems to be jumping on the bandwagon of calling him an anti-semite now, then I do think it is up to everyone starting topics like this - in the interests of fairness - to report accurately. And I didn't find your post here to do that.

Other than this venture of yours (and the EIFF's) into politics, I like your film blog.

Kirsty, at the beginning of your comment you said:

"when you go on to quote the full Scotsman headline it clearly states, and you copy and pasted, something far different in meaning, 'Director Loach: I'm no racist for Film Festival boycott'"

You have cut in half what I copied and pasted from the Scotsman article:

"FILM director Ken Loach last night defended himself against a claim that he was "racist" after he called on movie fans to "stay away" from the Edinburgh International Film Festival for political reasons."

The full quote shows quite clearly the second half which has the comment attributed to Loach, the same comment attributed from the BBC, Reuters and The Hollywood Reporter.

They all show that he told the audience and film-makers to stay away from the film. That's the story, and one I stick by.

I haven't written anything in pushing a political agenda other than the attempt to stop people from seeing this non-political film.

The problem is that Loach, the commenter, and many other people are making it into a political issue.

Also my comments regarding Shalom-Ezer hitting the nail on the head I feel are spot on. This whole controversy has made going to see this film a political statement, when it wasn't before. Now going to see the film will be seen as a nod towards supporting a more political view, something that the film-maker did not want.

That's also reflected in this very article and the comments and how it is no longer about the film and has been made to be about political beliefs.

It's about the film and the right of people to go and see the film by their choice without any assumptions being made about them or what statements they are making by going to see it, a statement which is probably none other than going to see a film they might not have had the chance to see before.

Actually I do concede upon reading the comments that perhaps he was calling for a boycott of all the films and the entire festival, and that's something I find even worse than the single film.

Asking for audiences to stay away from all the films shown from all countries, and the festival would cause terrible damage to the EIFF and quite possibly the economy of businesses who thrive on the money brought into the city during it. I do find that much worse.

I also don't believe I've made the leap into politics with this story, not any more than I did with the story about Michael Moore's documentary about the financial crisis.

I feel the politicisation and pressure is from those who want to make the story out to be about the political situation and not about the unfair call to boycott a film, or all the films and the festival itself.

I don't understand why Ken Loach should allow his own films to be shown in a film festival which receives state funding from a country that started an illegal war. Or is it do as I say not as I do for Loach?

Richard, I concede I cut your copy and past of the Scotsman article short, though certainly not from any wish to distort what you had written. Nor did I distort. I merely felt the first sentence of their piece only reinforced the headline I quoted and which was very different to your own headline. But even using the full version:-

'Director Loach: I'm no racist for Film Festival boycott.
FILM director Ken Loach last night defended himself against a claim that he was "racist" after he called on movie fans to "stay away" from the Edinburgh International Film Festival for political reasons.'

and this time I've copy and pasted your own link in its entirety, which you think so important. Nowhere there does it state people should avoid her film only. yet your own headline:-

'Loach forces audience against Israeli film-maker'

says precisely that and does indeed single the Israeli out as being the only source of Loach's opprobrium.

This is a point which you later do concede in your reply to me, and you acknowledge he is in fact asking people to boycott the entire festival. And don't you see that is the whole point I was making? However saying, as you still do, even when conceding my point, that

'They all show that he told the audience and film-makers to stay away from the film. That's the story, and one I stick by.'

is merely compounding the mininterpretation. And by so willfully sticking to the meaning in your original headline you do begin to add to the politicisation, since you focused on him only boycotting her film. And boycotting only Israeli films leads to the accusations of racism and anti-semitism etc..

The reason I feel this is important enough to go over this point-by-point is because Ken Loach is certainly not a racist, nor an anti-semite, nor a hate-monger nor any of the other things many people have started to call him. Have you seen some of the abuse that has been heaped on him since this started? Abuse of his opinions, his life, his body of work, of what he looks like, of everything about him. Much of it has also been completely untrue. The attack dogs are out in force. Now you might say he brought it on himself. He is certainly political and forthright and is entitled to be so with his own views. Whether or not his views (or those of any film maker) should sway a festival or the public is again another matter and what you or I think of that is irrelevant to the point I raise. Whether or not you like his films (I personally don't) is also irrelevant at the moment. But no reasonable person could deny he is one of our great film makers or that he is entitled to his own opinion and to express that opinion, or that he should, like everyone else, be quoted verbatim if a point is to be made at his expense.

Some of the vilification and nastiness being thrown at him in the wake of this is unjustified and I worry that misleading headlines and articles - and I still state yours is misleading - can do more damage by giving some of those very people who wish to push a particular agenda the belief in something they already want to think about him. Your headline, and some of your phrases, whether you care to acknowledge it or not, could and would reinforce the supposition that he is anti-semitic. Whereas he is against Israeli government policy or the accepting of Israeli government funds.

I too love the film festival and have been proud it's one of the oldest in the world, the only one running continuously I think I'm right in saying, so am sorry Scotland has become embroiled in a dispute like this. Just as sorry as I am that the Church of Scotland became embroiled in their recent furore which it could have done without.

I understand what your saying Kirsty, but I'm happy with the story as is.

Telling people to stay away from the festival and all films there because of this film, the film-maker and what has happened is still the same issue, and her quote about the film now being associated with the political issue is very relevant.

As for how other people are behaving, I haven't seen that at all, perhaps because of the sites and publications I read. I certainly haven't stated that, and the only negative comments I've seen are between the two parties in the sourced articles throughout the conversations here.

Well Richard, I grant you that what we're both talking about is the same issue. But I (and the Scotsman I may add) give it one interpretation and you apparantly give it another, and your headline definitely gives it a very different focus. It is obvious that you either can't, or you refuse, to see the distinction there. Maybe my own comprehension is becoming faulty for having gone by the articles on films I had read before I didn't think you couldn't have been able to see that difference and judging by your generally liberal attitude I thought it even less likely you wouldn't want to see it. But either way, we disagree, there is little point in continuing the discussion since you still think the Scotsman headline and your own are identical.

My concern of course was that since that other poster seemed to me to perhaps have found this site solely because of the furore, then others might too. And if from the opposite persuasion, your headline would reinforce their prejudices as it inflamed his/hers. Perhaps my reading, both in print and online, is wider than yours but I have seen such reaction. And obviously I deplore it. Of course I never for a moment thought of implying you had deliberately participated in that. But although you may not have seen some of the reactions to Loach since this began, I would go so far as to say that by sticking with your headline you are participating in it to some degree. And of course I would still disagree with you that films at international festivals, when they come supported by their governments, are not already political from the very start. I think they represent their country.

But anyway, to put that behind us, I actually agree with you that total cultural boycotts aren't helpful, because as you rightly point out many film makers are critical of their own government policies. If they are silenced then people aren't aware of the diverse opinions within that country. As you said it is good for the world to hear different voices. I think of South Africa and films like Boesman and Lena or Marigolds in August. Or Man of Marble/Man of Iron from Poland. And what about Ido Haar and 9 Star Hotel from Israel itself much more recently? All great films. People need the showcase to see those types of films. My only lasting regret in all this is that the film in question isn't one of more substance to bear the weight of the furore with more gravitas.

Anyway enjoyable film watching and back to being a lurker for me. :)

Kirsty, to clarify something I never said that my headline was the same as The Scotsman's.

Also I disagree that I can't, won't or refuse to see anything, it's that I do agree with what I've written. I think that's a very relevant distinction to make.

I believe that the comments made against the Festival and all the Festival films, comments which were clearly made because of the funding for the film-maker and the showing of the film itself at the Festival, have resulted in a very negative image of the film and the film-maker, and as they say themselves, the film will now be associated with this political debate when it is not actually about it.

That's my understanding and belief of the story regards films, the Festival and the audience.

Disagreement is fine though, many people disagree with me, and I do with them on many issues, even friends, that's life.

Interesting you mention cultural boycotts. What you've written has me thinking that perhaps there's a feature to be had on that score. However I fear that, as with this, the focus will turn to the politics and not the film and the story to hand.

I may have a crack at writing something.

Many thanks Kirsty.

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