Why not Call it a German Film?

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from Reuters today.

Oscar organizers said on Tuesday they have not yet decided how to designate a film about suicide bombers in the West Bank but denied they were being pressed by Israel to say the movie came from the Palestinian Authority rather than Palestine. John Pavlik, a spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said no decision has yet been made on how to designate the film “Paradise Now” even though the March 5 Oscars were only about three weeks away.

 And this from Trans-Int last October:

…Why so much engagement by a German federal agency on behalf of a Palestinian film? Well, the answer to this question lies in the fact that “Paradise Now” is not a Palestinian film, but rather in large measure a German one.

The making of the film was financed by a variety of German public agencies: the German Federal Cultural Foundation (via the so-called World Cinema Fund), the German “Land” of Nordrhein-Westphalia, the Media Board of the German “Land” of Berlin-Brandenburg and the German-French public television Arte (which readers of the old Trans-Int will remember from posts such as this one and this one). The producers also received a grant from the Council of Europe film fund Eurimages and funding from the MEDIA program of the European Union. For what it is worth, the German co-producer of “Paradise Now”, Bero Beyer, also wrote the screenplay. It is thus that “Paradise Now” could win the award at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival for Best European Film: a fact that, as I noted at the time, is “symptomatic of the increasing symbiosis between the Palestinian ’cause’ and European institutions and personalities”.

For much more on Germany and “Paradise Now”, see the Trans-Int Dossier by that name here. (Other dossiers available in the sidebar.)

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