Film withdrawn from the Israeli Film Festival

August 22, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
Read on for article

A Melbourne-based patron of the AICE Israeli Film Festival complained to the organisers that the message delivered by one exhibit was in fact anti-Israeli.

The organisers agreed and the film has been withdrawn from the program.

Patron David Schulberg wrote the following letter to the Chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange Albert Dadon:
“With reference to the film Inch’allah that is being shown at this year’s ‘Israeli Film Festival’, we should note that Inch’Allah’s writer and director, Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, in 2009, was one of 500 Quebec artists (including many filmmakers) “joining the international movement against Israeli apartheid” and publicly signing a petition calling for BDS: boycott, divestment and sanctions.  This explains why Inch’allah is essentially a propaganda film;  it was shot in Jordan probably because of her boycott of Israel. Here’s the link to the petition: that was signed by the film’s director.

Inchallah400During the Q&A session that followed the screening I attended in Melbourne on Saturday night August 18, there was a widespread view that this film should not have been part of the program as it was not an Israeli film in any sense. So much for suggestions of “well-meaning” film-making that the partisan presenter of the Q&A session put forward in his overly enthusiastic support for the film.

This is not bona fide Israeli cinema. The film was shot in Jordan by a French-Canadian consortium with a very tenuous association with an international production company July–August productions that has some Israeli backers. The director herself, because of her BDS affiliation, would be boycotting genuine Israeli cinema and as such would not want to be associated with Israeli product that she would in principle be boycotting. Ironically any Israeli Film Festival would be boycotted by her!

The audience witnessed a film that gravely misrepresents the situation that exists in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting the alleged suffering of Palestinians at the hand of the Israelis by distorting and distending the facts on the ground, using stereotypical symbols of Israeli brutality e.g. a jeep deliberately running over a stone-throwing youth (reminiscent of the story of Rachel Corrie), and a woman giving birth at an Israeli checkpoint and being refused emergency entry to a hospital.

I am thinking that we should now be calling this film festival the ‘Anti-Israel Film Festival’. Please provide an explanation for the inclusion of this film created by a self-declared BDS supporter.”

He told J-Wire: “I have shared my dismay over the film Inch’Allah with others who have expressed anger and disappointment over the fact that the film was wrongly touted as being representative of Israeli cinema.”

Dadon agreed with Schulberg, withdrawing the film from exhibition.

Dadon replied: “Well received. I completely agree with you. The artistic direction for this film was in contradiction with our objectives. As a result I have asked Palace to pull off the film. I usually prefer not to get involved in artistic matters concerning the festival but in this instance (I had not seen every movie) the message of that film is completely at odds with what we are about.

All ads etc have been cancelled and the film has been cancelled from tomorrow for the rest of the festival next week.

Rest assured that such mistake isn’t about to reoccur.”

Below is the trailer for the film:


13 Responses to “Film withdrawn from the Israeli Film Festival”
  1. Kevin says:

    Would someone please explain to me what the term ‘self-hating Jew’ actually means.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      …it is when a Jew ( see definition ) adopts anti Semitic attitudes.
      Anti Semitism extends organically to anti Israel.
      It applies also, of course, when a Jew converts voluntarily to another religion or dismisses the values of Judaism.

  2. Michael says:

    Unfortunately like usual when it comes to the
    Leftist controlled Jewish community the damage is already done .
    Once again we have given more ammunition to
    Al, age and SMH ( Syrian morning Herald) to trash
    Jews and Israel .

    It is unlikely the Palestinian , Arab or islamic film
    Festival would ever include anti Palestinian or
    Pro Zionist films . The Jewish community have a lot
    To learn from the Arab / Muslim community on how to
    Win a pr war that’s for sure .

  3. Michael says:

    Ernest you just don’t get it…For instance there are plenty of anti- America films from people like Michael Moore and Oliver Stone who you could call self hating Americans , it is not a problem America is not under attack by its neighbors and there is no world wide delegitimization campaign against it and Americans can sustain any ongoing propaganda against it.

    Perhaps you are unaware Israel is under severe attack to delegitimize ,ostracize and isolate the Jewish state worldwide by so many different enemies including self hating Jews one the worst is a Israeli born academic living in UK for example,so why should diaspora Jews help them. Sure the film is shown in Israel there are also 5 th columnist organizations in Israel like J street NIF Progressives and NGO’s that work with the Arabs and Muslims a bit like the French collaborators in WW2 so what ?

    Israel in many instances can not be compared to most other countries it is in a very unique precarious position where there are so many that would like to turn back the clock to 1947 have the vote again..{ Do we think the current Russian regime would vote like they did back then, do we think Australia under Carr would vote like they did back then?]

  4. Paul says:

    After viewing this film with a view to a season in my cinema; I have to agree.

    There was an agenda rather than objectivity in the making of this feature which was disappointing to me.

  5. Ernest says:

    It is worth noting this film was not banned in Israel. Why should we be prevented from watching it here?

    Part of being a democracy is allowing artists the freedom express their opinions. Censorship doesn’t help anyone’s public image here, whether you agree with the stance of the film or not.

    • Michael says:

      Ernest That tired old excuse about freedom of expression when it comes to demonizing Israeli/Jews just won’t wash .
      In a perfect world your comments may be valid.

      How ever in the real world Ernest no anti- Palestinian, anti- Arab or Anti-Muslim film would ever appear at a Palestinian, Arab or Muslim film festival.[ and no we are no better than them which is the usual response]
      If We Jews started promoting the Jewish leftist /Progressive anti- Zionist anti _israel films as well as our above enemies who demonize Jews in their propaganda films thats all we need.
      It s about time all Jews starting pulling together in the same direction , its called self preservation.

    • David says:

      It’s not a matter of banning the film – the issue is plainly one of this film being totally inappropriate for an Israeli Film Festival.
      And Earnest out of interest how widely has this film been shown in Israel?

    • David says:

      [Please use this post and not previous one as I misspelt Ernest’s name]

      It’s not a matter of banning the film – the issue is plainly one of this film being totally inappropriate for an Israeli Film Festival.
      And Ernest out of interest how widely has this film been shown in Israel?

  6. Michael says:

    Unlikely any Film even mildly depicting Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims in a bad light would ever see the light of day at any Arab Film festival.. perhaps that is why the Palestinians have the monopoly on Australian sympathy and winning hands down the PR war here…

    BTW The Age’s Foreign News Desk Editor who is also a Palestinian activist Palestinian/ Scottish born Maher Mughrabi has opened the Arab Film festival In Sydney in the past ….

  7. David says:

    Steve, people make mistakes. The artistic director normally is given the latitude to choose the films that are going to be shown and in this case apparently made an error of judgement.
    BTW the guy who moderated the Q&A was Tom Ryan, former film critic from The Sunday Age who is married to a nice Jewish girl Debi Enker.

  8. George Wilson says:

    This is not the trailer of the film. The trailer is here:

  9. steve says:

    What sort of organisation is this that promotes anti-Israel sentiment?
    ….and then,the head of the organisation agrees and withdraws the film….
    It was his responsibility to know exactly what movies were being shown IN ADVANCE,not after one of the patrons alerts him.
    also, who was the moderator of the qand a?
    …if mr d. Wants to show jordanian films,then let him start his own jordanian film festival and stop poisoning Australian minds with antiIsrael propoganda.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.