There's nothing like a little Israeli conflict to challenge people's seemingly noble aims. Yahoo is reporting that an Egyptian film festival has rejected Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, and have "threatened to boycott any Arab moviefest that breaks a taboo on admitting films from the Jewish state." So much for the fest's 'noble' motto: "to advance understanding through the language of art between all the peoples of the world." Methinks they're missing a footnote that says: "Unless the film is from those Israeli heathens!" or something.

This isn't just your ordinary foreign movie. Our James Rocchi reviewed the film at TIFF this year, and he called it a film with a "meticulous sense of timing, a gift for small-scale naturalism, a dry sense of humor, [and] a warm sense of humanity." Israel then chose it for it's Oscar submission. (Although it's getting into Academy trouble for having too much English.) Now, the Egyptian fest's VP, Soheir Abdel Kader says: "It is out of the question that an Israeli film plays here." He continued: "They will no longer be on our contact list, we didn't even answer their email. They should have known we are against the showing of an Israeli film." That's really mature.

And besides, why wouldn't they submit it? The film shows a "begrudging interaction between Egyptians and the Israelis [that] eventually develops into a warm exchange," which is something that would be welcome in a fest touting understanding between everyone in the world. Well, at least it would be welcome logically. And, as if that wasn't enough, it is being made into a big, planned Israeli artistic invasion. Rose al-Youssef magazine ran a headline saying: "The Israeli squad was ready to attack the Arab festivals," and said this is part of conspiracy to ignite a cultural crisis. Ah yes, I'm sure that's it.
categories Movies, Cinematical