Film hated by Israel culture minister gets nominated for Oscars

Film hated by Israel culture minister gets nominated for Oscars

Titled "Foxtrot", it won country's best film award but Minister Regev castigated as an insult to the Israeli military
22 Sep, 2017

Israeli film "Foxtrot," which Culture Minister Miri Regev has castigated as an insult to the military, has won the country's best film award, making it a candidate for the Oscars.

The surreal and complex movie by director Samuel Maoz includes what could be seen as a critical view of the Israeli military.


It also won the Grand Jury prize at this month's Venice Film Festival, but Regev, who has frequently criticised Israel's cultural elite, is not a fan ─ though she reportedly said at the time of the Venice festival that she had not seen it.

After having walked out last year, she was not invited to this year's Ophir Awards ─ Israel's version of the Oscars ─ on Tuesday evening.

She instead appeared live on her Facebook page to criticise the movie and members of Israel's Film and Television Academy.

She referred to a striking scene in the film and called it a "blood libel."

Israel's culture minister slammed "Foxtrot" as anti-Israel in live video.
Israel's culture minister slammed "Foxtrot" as anti-Israel in live video.

"As a minister and mother who has served in the Israeli army, I am ashamed that such a film has won such a prestigious prize," she posted on Facebook after the award was given.

"It's outrageous that Israeli artists contribute to the incitement of the young generation against the most moral army in the world by spreading lies in the guise of art," the minister said in the post.

An allegation from the Middle Ages -─ that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood for ritual purposes ─ gave rise to the term "blood libel".

Academy director Mosh Danon said: "Criticism is meant to strengthen and support.

"Some of us choose to do this by means of stories," he said, according to Israeli media.

"There is no us and you. There are no enemies. There is only a strong desire to fix and improve, together with the establishment."

Winning best picture at the Ophir Awards makes the film eligible for inclusion in the foreign-language category at the Oscars, or Academy Awards, in the United States.

Regev, who belongs to what is seen as Israel's most right-wing government ever, has repeatedly taken on the country's largely left-wing Jewish cultural elite.

They have accused her of seeking to muzzle them, including by promoting a bill to cut subsidies to cultural institutions deemed not "loyal" to the state.

Last year, she was booed on arrival at a cultural conference and hit back from the podium.

"As the famous Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once said: 'Cut the BS,'" she said.


indian dude Sep 22, 2017 11:04pm
He is a great director.His last film Lebanon was controvercial too.
Zafarov Sep 23, 2017 12:51am
Part of critique of the film by Rami Kimchi: “Could a better representation of the Israeli narrative be expected? The film points a clear finger of blame towards Europe. Admittedly, we shoot it claims, but it is you who made us do it when you slaughtered us and expelled us from Europe. Foxtrot is the name of a dance. As explained in detail in one scene of the film, it is a peculiar dance. No matter how and in which direction you dance, you always find yourself back where you started. We Jews, the film claims, dance the foxtrot. Instead of marching steadfastly with history, we take two steps forward, two backwards, and two to the other, always returning to our initial position: the position of the victim. We were victims over there, and we remain victims over here. The distinction between victims of murder and victims who murder is purely semantic.”