“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Stick It Where the Sun Don’t Shine.

with 8 comments

Ok, a bit rude and I know that’s not what was said, but you get the impression that’s what the film director, Gary Sinyor, actually meant to say.

The Indie explains:

“A Jewish film-maker has handed back a prestigious award from the Edinburgh International Film Festival in an ugly spat with the British director Ken Loach.

Gary Sinyor, who won a Charles Chaplin Award at the EIFF for his Jewish comedy Leon the Pig Farmer, said he wanted nothing more to do with the festival after accusing it of caving in to Mr Loach’s anti-Israeli views.

The row began after the festival accepted a £300 donation from the Israeli embassy to pay for a film studies graduate of Tel Aviv University to attend the premiere of her short movie Surrogate at the festival in Scotland next month. But the sponsorship raised the hackles of Loach, who backed a boycott unless the money was returned forcing the EIFF to find alternative ways to fund Tali Shalom-Ezer’s trip.”

Sinyor explains it himself:

“Ken Loach took it upon himself publicly to endorse the boycott of the entire Edinburgh Film Festival. And hey presto! The EIFF suddenly decided to give the money back to the Israeli embassy. According to The Scotsman, the EIFF said: “Although the festival is considered wholly cultural and apolitical, we consider the opinions of the film industry as a whole and, as such, accept that one film-maker’s recent statement speaks on behalf of the film community, therefore we will be returning the funding issued by the Israeli embassy.”

I’ve tried making sense of that but I can’t. It’s possible that Ken was speaking on behalf of all film directors/writers and producers worldwide, but my phone never rang so at best it would be the entire global film community minus one. If someone at the EIFF made an absolute howler of a comment to The Scotsman, it should admit the mistake publicly. It hasn’t.

We can only assume, therefore, that Ken Loach exerted sufficient pressure on the festival that one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world actually caved in.

It’s a shame that Ken feels particularly strongly about not having anything to do with Israel or Israeli money.

It’s shame because clearly Israelis obviously like Ken. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (dir Ken Loach) was distributed in Israel in 2006. Ae Fond Kiss (dir Ken Loach) in 2004. Perhaps he insists his films only get shown in Gaza. Even then, though, he is supporting the Israeli economy and, therefore, the government. Is he happy to take the money or does the thought that it may have paid for a tank, or a bullet, keep him awake? When a two-state solution comes, will Ken rejoice, or will he stamp his feet in frustration along with the President of Iran, because Israel is allowed to exist?

There is a much more serious point here than one film-maker’s hypocrisy. To argue that Israeli money, or Israeli government money, is tainted, and shouldn’t be accepted as legitimate currency by a third party, is to equate Israel with a solely terrorist entity, rather than a country. It’s a little thing, I know, to get worked up about, £300. But the principle is beyond huge. Type in the words “Israel”, “rescue” and “earthquake” into Google. Peru, China, Turkey. Should they all should have said no to the Israeli government’s offer of help? Is there nothing redeemable, no help worth accepting, from the entire country? Support for film-makers, schools, hospitals, Israel does all this as well as buying weapons. It’s what countries do. If Jordan and Egypt can work with the Israeli government, why can’t the Edinburgh Film Festival? “

For background see Engage and We Are All Tali Shalom Ezer.

I’ll bet that Ken Loach would hate this film.

Update 2:
Apparently that antisemite, John Wight, has written a piece defending Loach on SU blog, how typical.

Written by modernityblog

30/05/2009 at 20:07

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. It’s funny that Loach calls this a “personal attack” on him. Presumably anyone that publicly disagrees or contests with him makes a “personal attack” on him.


    30/05/2009 at 21:23

  2. Yep, that’s the thing Loach can’t understand why Israelis might be a bit annoyed at being attacked by him, Loach’s lack of self awareness is staggering.


    30/05/2009 at 22:09

  3. One correction, mod: Gary Sinyor is British, not Israeli.


    31/05/2009 at 00:26

  4. Thanks gene 🙂

    Please do post on the matter, it needs wider publicity


    31/05/2009 at 00:30

  5. […] Modernity, Gary Sinyor, director of Leon the Pig Farmer, among other […]

  6. Good on you. “Stick It Where the Sun Don’t Shine” is not at all rude in the circs. Where antisemites are concerned, it’s on the polite side, if anything.
    I understand you have copied my SU post to HP: great, thanks.

    Nearly O

    31/05/2009 at 20:42

  7. Several of my later posts on SU, where I rebutted the hysterical nonsense of the miscellaneous antisemites (and replied politely and in detail to Kris’ polite question), have been deleted – and the posts renumbered so as to hide this fact.
    Utter morons.

    Nearly O

    01/06/2009 at 10:10

  8. […] announced plans for a six-week lecture tour.” Update 2: Silly me, I had forgot that I have covered Wight’s disgusting views before. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Believable […]

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