Politics at the Oscars

This is a classic case of how “one man’s meat is another man’s poision”

The Oscars or the Academy Awards as they are called shall be held this Sunday. A lot of films will vie for top hounours and one among them is “Paradise Now” in the Foreign Film category

“Paradise Now” won the Golden Globe award. The movie shows the route that two young Palestinians take to become suicide murderers, up until the minute they board a bus in Tel Aviv filled with children.

However the showing of this movie rankles some Israeli families.

Academy Award-nominated movie Paradise Now is under attack from Israeli families who lost children in Palestinian suicide attacks, and they are urging Oscar officials to disqualify the film. The bereaved relatives claim to have a 32,000 signature-strong petition against the movie’s nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie charts two West Bank friends hired to be suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. Yossi Zur, whose teenage son Asaf was killed in a bus bombing, says, “What they call ‘Paradise Now’ we call ‘Hell Now’, each and every day.

It is a mission of the free world not to give such movies a prize.” The controversial film, which won a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film in January, explores the perspectives of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, and whether their frustration justifies resorting to violence. Steven Spielberg’s multi Oscar-nominated movie Munich, about 11 Israeli athletes massacred at the 1972 Olympic Games, has also met with controversy. Film industry experts claim an Oscar nomination has never been withdrawn since the awards began in 1928. [ …link…]

It amazes me as to how every single debate about Palestinea and Israel takes the general moral conviction that everything the Palestinians do is wrong and everything that the Israelis do is correct. After all the former are the occupied and the latter the occupiers.

It is interesting to see how this goes and if the movie wins the award. Going by how Hollywood is represented, I think it is highly unlikely that the Jewish cabal within Hollywood will allow the movie to win.

Let me state at the outset that I am not taking sides. I personally think that any kind of terrorism is to be condemned. But then a pragmatic side of me says that no one would give up their lives unless forced by circumstance to do so.

I see a certain parallel here that always comes up in my mind when this issue is discussed. And that is the occupation of Kashmir by Pakistan. Not exactly an identical issue but pretty similar to what happens in the Middle East.

All in all for arts sake, I hope the movie triumphs and gets the justice it deserves. Most movies are seen and forgotten. This is one of the few that remain in the mind long after you have seen them.

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