Saturday, January 18, 2003

"Jenin, Jenin" is a film made by Israeli-Arab actor Mohammed Bakri which contains personal accounts (and I also heard "reenactments") of "events" from the mythical Jenin massacre. The Israeli film censor deemed the movie inflammatory and banned it from being screening in theaters, but it is being shown nonetheless.

This article describes a screening of the film to skeptical and critical viewers at a college in Tel Aviv. Bakri excised parts of the film before showing it to Israeli audiences. David Zangen, an endocrinologist who did reserve duty together with the IDF unit that fought in Jenin appeared at the screening to debunk the film (in an earlier article translated here Zangen showed that the most dramatic personal accounts from the film can be easily shown false, such as an allegation about a destroyed wing of a hospital)..

A women's leftist group called "Bat-shalom" put on a showed the film Jerusalem and accompanied it a panel of representatives from four different political parties (Collette Avital from Labor, Meretz, Hadash, Green Leaf). Apparently they did something similar in Tel Aviv.

I'm curious as to what extent the film is being shown and abroad and in Arab communities here. It was screened at film festivals in Rome and in Amsterdam where it apparently won a prize. This German-Jewish site takes a positive view of the film. Here's a report on a screening being cancelled (I think), in Padua, Italy. And this Italian site discusses the film in pretentious critical jargon.

Update: Another article on the film.

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