Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Schnabel’s “Miral” Screens Monday Night at UN Amid Controversy


Julian Schnabel‘s “Miral” is being screened Monday night at the United Nations–and there is controversy galore. The film is being attacked by various groups for alleged anti-Semitism even though most people haven’t even seen it. I was in the audience last fall in Toronto, and I can tell you –being sensitive to anti-Semitism–that Schnabel’s film is nothing to worry about. Apparently there’s been a lot of pressure from the American Jewish Committee on the UN to cancel the screening, but it’s going forward, I hope, in peace. Jon Kilik, the producer of “Miral,” sent out a statement a little while ago. Kilik wrote: “We are surprised and saddened that the American Jewish Committee would pre-judge MIRAL and move to block the showing of the film. We made this film in order to encourage the very dialogue that the AJC seems to want to prevent.  We hope the AJC will come to the premiere instead of trying to cancel it.” Julian Schnabel said: “I love the State of Israel. I believe in it, and my film is about preserving it, not hurting it.  Understanding is part of the Jewish way and Jewish people are supposed to be good listeners.  But, if we don’t listen to the other side, we can never have peace.  Instead of saying ‘no,’ I ask the AJC to say ‘yes,’ see MIRAL and join the discussion.” The real story of “Miral,” by the way, is how Schabel fell for Palestinian novelist Rula Jabreal, who is gorgeous, and turned over his life to make a movie out of her story.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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