1) Film Excluded from Oscar Competition for Being Palestinian
2) Standing Ovation in Ramallah for Suleiman’s ‘Divine Intervention’
Film Excluded from Oscar Competition for Being Palestinian
Palestine Chronicle - 8 Dec 2002
WASHINGTON (PC) - On the grounds that “Palestine is not a nation”, the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has refused the Palestinian
entry “Divine Intervention”, for the nomination of “Best Foreign Film”.
The movie, which was directed by the renowned Palestinian director Elia
Suleiman, recently won the Jury Award in the world famous “Cannes Film
Festival” of France.
The film describes a love story between a Palestinian man from Jerusalem,
and a Palestinian woman from Ramallah, set against the background of the
harsh conditions of Israeli occupation and repression.
The American film industry has often been accused of “backwardness” with
regard to the recognition of Palestinian rights, and of the standard
portrayal of Arabs in negative stereotypes of aggression and savagery.
The sharp contrast between the film coming out as a winner in the Cannes
festival on the European continent, while not being allowed to enter the
competition in the United States, also illustrates the differences in the
political climate between the two continents.
Hollywood producer Phil Ed sharply criticized the Academy’s stance,
stating : "it seems to me that the Academy and the entire Hollywood film
industry has lost yet another piece of its credibility. "
Editor’s Note: To contact the academy regarding its decision, direct your
letters or queries to: (Academy Foundation, 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly
Hills, CA 90211; Phone: 310-247-3000; Fax: 310-859-9351; www.oscars.org;
(2) Standing Ovation in Ramallah for Suleiman’s ‘Divine Intervention’
[Palestine Chronicle 3 Nov 2002]:
RAMALLAH - Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s “Divine Intervention,”
the winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes film festival,
received a standing ovation at its premier in the Palestinian occupied
territory here in Ramallah Saturday night.
The crowd in the West Bank city of Ramallah got their first look at the
film despite a military blockade around the city imposed when the Israeli
Occupation Forces (IOF) reoccupied most of the West Bank in June.
“Divine Intervention” was praised at Cannes as an imaginative treatment
of moments in the lives of Palestinians trying to get by while being
hindered by Israeli military controls and checkpoints.
Suleiman “managed to enter our hearts, speaking a very simple language
and through sarcasm and irony, he showed the stupidity of the
occupation,” Palestinian writer and director Liana Bader said after the
However, the film’s depiction of checkpoints left some cold.
“The rendition was too soft, it’s way worse in reality, many more cars
line up for hours at military checkpoints,” said Norwegian Hanna Haaland,
a worker at a local non-governmental organization.
But Suleiman, an Arab citezen of Israel and native of Nazareth, one of
the locations for the film, along with Jerusalem and an unnamed West Bank
checkpoint, told AFP that, “the most important thing is to hint at
violence, to create an ambience.”
“I will not ever pollute my images with brutality inside the frame, even
if I understand that somebody could have felt like that,” he said.
Checkpoints manned by IOF have mushroomed throughout the Israeli-occupied
West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the two-year
Palestinian uprising and severely hamper, if not halt, the movement of
goods and people.
The film will be shown in Israel later this month.