- Title: USA: Israeli film about anti-Semitism gets nod at Tribeca Film festival
- Date: 3rd May 2009
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (APRIL 28, 2009) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) YOAV SHAMIR, DIRECTOR OF "DEFAMATION", SAYING: "I think that most of the films that we see about anti-Semitism are related to the Holocaust, with a lot of black and white archive material and interviews with survivors. I wanted to make a different movie, a film about anti-Semitism today, examining what it looks like today, what its relevance is now and how it affects us."
- Reuters ID: LVAC6Z656G375KZF17WBFJPHXQRF
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:28
- Story Text: Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir has taken the weighty subject of anti-Semitism and created a thought-provoking, probing and humorous documentary.
"I think that most of the films that we see about anti-Semitism are related to the Holocaust, with a lot of black and white archive material and interviews with survivors. I wanted to make a different movie, a film about anti-Semitism today, examining what it looks like today, what its relevance is now and how it affects us," said Shamir.
"Defamation" follows Shamir's journey from Israel to Europe and the U.S.A. as he tries to discover what anti-Semitism means to different people in the 21st century. Shamir examines two polar opposite views of anti-Semitism; one where it is a constant threat in danger of becoming genocidal and the other, that it's a scare tactic used by right-wing Zionists.
And in doing this, Shamir utilizes plenty of humor.
"I knew that I wanted to make something a little bit different about contemporary anti-Semitism, about perception, about how we are seeing things, about how does it affect us and humor is a great vehicle to get to people," he told Reuters.
Shamir acknowledges that the film is frank and unabashed and as a result audiences are often polarized about their feelings toward it. Shamir says he spoke to two New York women after a screening, a mother and daughter.
One woman loved the film and the other said she hated it.
"I'm very happy that this film is kind of polarizing people and bringing up a debate and that's what it should do. I mean, this is a subject, this a topic that almost nobody touches in an open way. There's almost 2,000 years of dust sitting on this subject and finally to kind of like to be able to look at it in a little bit of a different approach," he said.
Shamir believes that people outside of Israel have a different experience and approach to anti-Semitism and he hopes the film can help Israelis understand the relevance of anti-Semitism, especially for the future.
"I think at the end of the day our almost obsessive interest in anti-Semitism -- all of us that live in Israel and that read Israeli newspapers, listen to the radio and watch television - we are so steeped in it. There isn't a day that goes by with out reading a headline in the paper about some anti-Semite somewhere in the world."
"Defamation" won a special mention award at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 30.
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