Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three cheers for the Melbourne International Film Festival

First the Melbourne International Film Festival stands up to China:
Organisers of Melbourne’s International Film Festival have defied calls from China not to show a documentary about an exiled Uighur leader.
Now it likewise stands up to an anti-Israeli bigot:
ENGLISH filmmaker Ken Loach has withdrawn his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival because the festival receives funding from the Israeli Government. Loach told the festival if it did not reconsider the sponsorship, he would not allow the festival to screen his film.
In a letter to festival executive director Richard Moore, he said that “Palestinians, including artists and academics, have called for a boycott of events supported by Israel”. He cited “illegal occupation of Palestinian land, destruction of homes and livelihoods” and “the massacres in Gaza” as reasons for the boycott. It was, he said, aimed “not at independent Israeli films or filmmakers”, but at “the Israeli state”.
Mr Moore said he would not accede to the request: “I wouldn’t do it. The festival wouldn’t. It’s like submitting to blackmail.”
Interesting that communist China and Israel-haters should be linked in this way. Richard Moore deserves respect for showing both the door.
Moore has more backbone than the Edinburgh Fim Festival - and more integrity - in standing up to Loach, whose other link to China is his Marxist politics, as evidenced by his valorising of communism and support for the Socialist Resistance.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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