Top German Director: No Reason to Boycott Israeli Cinema

Wim Wenders, who directed Buena Vista Social Club, makes comments at press conference in Jerusalem.

City Mouse
Oron Shamir
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City Mouse
Oron Shamir

World renowned German film director Wim Wenders said in Jerusalem on Monday that there was no need to boycott the Israel film industry, since all such moves inevitably backfire.

Wenders, who has directed dozens of internationally acclaimed films, including "Paris, Texas" and "Buena Vista Social Club," arrived on Sunday as the guest of honor for the 20th anniversary of the Sam Spiegel Israeli film Academy.

During a press conference, the director said Israel has exported some excellent films over the past few years, and that European groups should focus on screening Israeli movies, not boycotting the country's film industry.

He cited the example of Cuba as an example of why all boycotts eventually yield the opposite of the intended result. International boycott secured Castro's ruling for 20 years, Wenders said, adding that he supports a boycott of boycotters.

When asked about fellow director Ken Loach's anti-Israel comments, Wenders said he thinks Loach is a strange man and cannot be taken seriously.

Wenders said that he can't treat Israel as a whole entity, just as he finds it difficult to say that he likes America as a whole. Israel is one of the most complex places in the world, he said.

The director also made special reference to the recent Israeli films "Waltz with Bashir" and "Ajami," and their directors Ari Folman, Scandar Copti, and Yaron Shani as examples of exceptional cinematic work coming out of Israel.

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