The Israeli–Palestinian conflict has reached the Other Israel Film Festival, with the Palestinian film, Degrade, deciding to withdraw from the upcoming festival. One of the closing night films of the Other Israel Film Festival, a New York festival calling for dialogue and conversation, Degrade has pulled out of the festival as a result of the impact of the Jewish-Arab conflict reaching new heights in Israel.
Degrade, by the brothers Tarzan and Arab Assad, which exposes the diversity of life in Gaza through individuals at a hair salon, was scheduled for its NY premiere at the Festival after a successful run at Cannes and Toronto film festivals.
The Other Israel Film Festival, a non-political festival focused on Israel’s minority populations, is presented by JCC Manhattan as a platform for conversation and dialogue. Isaac Zablocki, Executive Director of the festival, commented: “In these polarizing times, it is more important than ever to hear each other’s voices and create a culture of dialogue. The silencing and boycotting of arts and education only hurts those aiming to create positive change and hear the other side.”
According to the film’s European sales agent, Elle Driver, who contracted the rights for the screening with the film festival, the producers are removing the film from all Jewish related festivals.
Closing night of the Other Israel Film Festival will still feature the previously-scheduled, award winning “Women in Sink” by Iris Zaki, a documentary which also follows women in an Arab-Israeli-owned hair salon who discuss their views on politics, history, and love.
The Other Israel Film Festival opens this Thursday Nov 5th at JCC Manhattan and runs till Nov 12th.