Israel's New Culture Minister Set to Cut Funds for Film on Palestinian Child Detentions

Less than two weeks after he took office, Miki Zohar has already followed through with his threat to revoke funding from films that harm Israel's reputation

עידו דוד כהן - צרובה
Ido David Cohen
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From the film "Two Kids a Day"
From the film "Two Kids a Day"Credit: Adi Mozes
עידו דוד כהן - צרובה
Ido David Cohen

Israel's new culture minister Miki Zohar ordered his ministry on Tuesday to look into slashing funding for the film "Two Kids a Day," which deals with detention of Palestinian minors in the West Bank, on the grounds that it "tarnishes" Israel's image.

Zohar agreed with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to "deny funding to films of this nature, even retroactively, in accordance with the law."

The film will be showing on Tuesday evening at the Cinematheque Herzliya, with further screenings slated in other venues in the near future. It is also available on Israeli TV provider Yes' on-demand VOD service.

"The Culture and Sports Ministry under my leadership will not fund art that harm Israel's good name both in Israel and around the world," said Zohar. "It is inconceivable that a cinema fund will use taxpayer funds to spread lies against IDF soldiers and the state. Not on my shift," he added.

The film had originally received funding from the New Fund for Cinema and TV and Mifal Hapais, the national lottery of Israel.

The movie trailer

"Two Kids a Day," a film by David Wachsmann, deals with the method behind the arrests of Palestinian minors in the West Bank relying on documentation of recorded investigations, interviews and archival material.

The film was screened this summer at the Jerusalem Film Festival and won the investigative award for documentary films. According to the judges, the prize was given to the film "for providing some of the many Palestinian children, who are arrested and imprisoned for throwing stones, the opportunity to reflect on their past actions and their plans for the future."

"None of the people commenting on the film, or those who protested against it in the small demonstration that took place near the Holon Mediatheque, watched it, which is a great shame," Wachsmann told Haaretz. "Come see the film – and then we'll sit down to talk," he said.

Wachsmann added that in his view the attack on the film was the continuation of the campaign that took place against the film "H2: The Occupation Laboratory," which led to the cancellation of its screening in Pardes Hanna-Karkur in December 2022.

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