Israel: Film banned from festival over protests calling for boycott

9 November 2017
On 22 October 2017, Ramallah officials banned Ziad Doueiri’s film from being screened at the Cinema Days film festival after groups called for his boycott.
Photo: Cinema Days/Facebook


On 22 October 2017, Ramallah city officials banned Lebanese-French director Ziad Doueiri’s film “The Insult” from being screened at the end of the Cinema Days film festival, after groups called for his boycott, claiming the director supports the agenda of Israel “normalization”, reported BBC.

One group – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – organised demonstrations and a social media campaign before the screening to call for his boycott, accusing Doueiri of “defending normalization” with Israel since he partly shot a previous film, 2013’s “The Attack”, in the country, reported Times of Israel on 23 October 2017.

In a  24 October statement, the movement stated: “Since Ziad Doueiri is still defending normalisation; the screening of his film by Arab festivals, regardless of intentions, can only be seen as encouraging him to continue his destructive and normalising approach,” reported Al Jazeera.

Director General of Ramallah municipality, Ahmed Abou Laban, said the screening was cancelled due their “responsibility to keep the peace,” citing concerns for security, reported French Palinfo.

This is not the first time the director has faced problems over the filming of his 2013 film.

In September 2017, Doueiri was held and questioned by security officers for two and a half hours upon his arrival at Beirut airport from the Venice Film Festival. The next day he appeared in front of a military tribunal for a three-hour hearing where he was questioned about shooting the 2013 film in Israel. Lebanon is still technically at war with Israel, thus traveling to Israel is a violation of Lebanon’s laws.

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