NO on Palestinian Films for Oscars Race
The nation of Palestine has been recognized by some 140 states!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has refused to allow any Palestinian-made films to enter into the Oscars foreign film race because it does not accept Palestine as a "nation". The Palestinian Authority tried to submit Elia Solaiman's film, "Divine Intervention", but was refused, even though the film was highly awarded at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
Below is a response from a Hollywood Producer on this news lightly mentioned in the film industry trade magazine, Variety.
The Academy Goes to War with the Bush Administration in the Oscar Race
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to refuse the Palestinian entry, "Divine Intervention", for the nomination of Best Foreign Film, while accepting submissions from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Chad.
This decision has been expedited under the false pretext that the Academy doesn't recognize Palestine as a nation. It would be interesting to read the definition of "nation" as seen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
What the Academy knows and therefore reminds everybody, is that the government of each nation is allowed to submit one film to represent its country. This more or less defines the right for a film to be presented.
Therefore, as long as the Palestinian government had agreed to submit "Divine Intervention" by Elie Souleimane, the Academy had no right to refuse
to include it in the selection, unless the Academy, sitting atop its unchallenged power and authority doesn't recognize the Palestinian government. That would be unfortunate.
Even the Bush administration, although they would prefer that such government doesn't exist, was able to communicate and negotiate with Palestine, thus recognizing its existence. If Palestine doesn't exist in the movie world, why then was the same "Divine Intervention" selected as a Palestinian entry at the Cannes Film Festival this year? I'm sure that by
now, Palestinian filmmakers - and there are a few, very talented people -wonder what nationality they are. Israeli? How ironic!
As we very well know, the Israeli government would never choose to send to Hollywood, a Palestinian film to represent its country. So for the Academy, it's probable that Palestinian films simply cannot be submitted, denying in a way, their right to exist.
Sounds familiar? Isn't it in the Constitution of the Academy, or at least in its principles, to promote art without any distinction of race, religion or politics? Well, sometimes, the Bush administration would use the phrase "in times of war."
Now that art has to be put to the service of politics, it seems to me that the Academy and the entire Hollywood film industry has lost yet another piece of its credibility.
By Phil Ed for Au-Cinema.com
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