Film That Tells Story of Rabin's Assassin Wins Israeli Oscars

'There is no place for a movie that attempts to understand Yigal Amir and his motives,' says Culture Minister Miri Regev

Actor Yehuda Nahari Halevi as Yigal Amir in 'Incitement'
Amit Yasur

“Incitement” (“Yamim Noraim” in Hebrew, which means "Terrible Days") that tells the story of the man who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has won the Ophir Award for best film, and will represent Israel at the Academy Awards in the best international film category.

Incitement, which tracks back to the events that led to Rabin's murder from the point of view of his killer, Yigal Amir, also won the Ophir Award for best casting.

When accepting the award, the film's producers called Rabin "a giant of a man who was murdered while fighting for peace. We hope we are at the start of an era of leaders who, instead of causing strife and inciting and sowing evil, will lead us to love one another more."

This is the second year in a row in which Culture Minister Miri Regev was not invited to the ceremony. Nevertheless, she chose to comment on Incitement's win, calling for the Israeli Academy of Film and Television to do some soul-searching.

Regev said that although she did not actually see the film, "I object to the attempt to place the blame, or hint that Yigal Amir got a tailwind from a supportive social and political environment." Awarding the prize to Incitement, she said, legitimizes "groups that widen the rifts and incite against particular communities in the State of Israel."   

She continued, "Yigal Amir is a murderer who shot a bullet into the heart of the nation, doing the worst thing possible. There is no place for a movie that attempts to understand Amir and his motives, and that hints or accuses other elements of being behind his despicable act," she said.

"The movie's creators didn’t miss a chance to attribute some of the incitement [that led to the murder] to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is a lie, a distortion of the truth that mislead the public and is completely detached from the facts," Regev said, adding that Netanyahu's criticism of Rabin's policies following the Oslo Accords was legitimate in a democratic country.