Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wimps In Edinburgh

It's a film that could just bring greater understanding -- that fantastic goal of liberalism -- because the cameras were rolling as Gaza's Jewish communities were being evacuated last August, capturing interviews with angry settlers, confused Israeli police, and ecstatic Palestinian neighbors.

The film is Five Days by Israeli director Yoav Shamir, and it's set to run at the world's longest-running film festival, starting in a few days in Edinburgh. Here's what the festival's organizers say about the film:
Utilising no less than seven different crews, and featuring some seamless editing, Shamir builds a composite impression of the withdrawal that does justice to the complexity of the issues at stake, the conflicting aims and worldviews of those taking part - all building inexorably to the final day, when the most militant settlers are confronted. Neither indictment nor apologia, it's instead a nuanced, even-handed look at a global hotspot.
Here's what they say to Shamir: Stay home! Haaretz:
In an email seen by Reuters, Shamir was informed by the organizers that due to expected protests over Israel's attacks on Lebanon, "it might be in your best interest not to attend the festival this year for your own sake, rather than for ours." ...

The organizers said they would continue with the screening of Shamir's new documentary ...

An Edinburgh film festival spokeswoman confirmed a letter had been sent to Shamir."We seem to be in the eye of the storm - we have political views from every point on the compass coming to us so naturally we would inform him about that," she said. "It is an amicable, advisory note."

"Things are quite tough here and we are leaving the choice to him," she added.
Shamir, to his credit, is saying he'll attend nonetheless. Shame on Edinburgh, though, for giving into fear of the Islamist hordes instead of standing up to them and shouting, "This is art! This is truth! This is the power of communication! If you come, we will water-hose you into the next block!" But instead, they wimp their limp wrists at Shamir.

Why aren't they afraid the hordes won't attack the festival for the films being shown from Muslim countries?

There's It's Winter, from Iran:
A small town in winter, and as one man leaves his wife, mother and young daughter behind to look for work abroad, another arrives by train - also looking for work. Charismatic and confident, Marhab has what can only be called a roving eye, and before long, begins moving in on the other man's wife. With its unconventional anti-hero (a swaggering, ruthless bad boy, right down to his rock-and-roll haircut), its intimations of film noir, and its definite sexual undertones, this is one of the most quietly subversive Iranian films made since the Revolution ... [a] tale of forbidden passion (think the Islamic The Postman Always Rings Twice) both stirring and unforgettable.
Shouldn't the hardliners be protesting this film and its message of sexual passion and liberation? And what about the offering from Tajikistan, To Get to Heaven, First You have to Die?
At 19, Kamal has a problem: he can't satisfy his new wife in bed. A journey to the city, to visit a specialist, yields little in the way of answers and, frustrated, he decides to delay his return to his village, paying a visit instead to one of his cousins, a sharp-talking playboy who proposes 'fixing' Kamal via a trip to some local prostitutes. But the country boy is a romantic at heart, and instead spends whole afternoons loitering around bus stops, hoping in vain for a girl to turn him on. Finally he meets Vera, a Russian factory lass, whose shy carnality seems to do the trick. But her husband, a thuggish local gangster, has other ideas.
If Islamists were truly concerned about upholding their precious Quran and their vicious Sharia law, wouldn't the director of this film be the one needing the warning?

But no, it's an Israeli director who gets singled out. Why? Because he advocated the destruction of Islam or dared to show the face of the Prophet? No. Simply because he's a Jew from Israel.

Edinburgh should hang its head in shame.

Related Tags: , , , ,