Tuesday, October 9, 2007


(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, OCTOBER 9 - Organisers of the Cairo International Film
Festival have rejected an Israeli production and threatened to boycott any Arab
moviefest that breaks a taboo on admitting films from the Jewish state.
Organisers of the Cairo event, which opens on November 27, have loudly opposed
an application by Eran Kolirin's "The Band's Visit", a fictional tale of an
Egyptian police band that gets stranded in Israel. The film ultimately ends in a
warm exchange between the two populations, and Kolirin has said his production,
which won praise at the Munich and Cannes film festivals, sends a strong
pro-peace message. But Cairo Film Festival vice president Soheir Abdel Kader saw
otherwise: "It is out of the question that an Israeli film plays here," he said,
as reported Middle East Online. The Israelis applied for a place at this year's
31st edition of the Egyptian festival - whose motto ironically is "to advance
understanding through the language of art between all the peoples of the world"
- through the event's representatives in Germany, who Kader said will now be
wiped from the festival's contact list.
A solid "anti-normalisation" front
exists in Egypt's cultural circles which reject collaboration or contact with
Israeli artists or intellectuals, despite a peace deal signed between Egypt and
Israel in 1979.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to fuel anger in
Egyptians who believe the US-sponsored peace deal changed Egypt's role from
regional heavyweight to mediator whose decision-making power is largely defined
by Washington. "We regret to hear that the film has not been accepted in Egypt
for political reasons without consideration for its artistic merit," Israeli
embassy spokesman Benny Sharoni said. (ANSAmed)

2007-10-09 14:08


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