Internationally-acclaimed film-maker Mira Nair declined an invitation to take her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, to the Israel Film Festival. She cited the Palestinian call for cultural boycott for her refusal.
In a series of tweets, Nair made the following statement:
“I was just invited to Israel as a guest of honour at the Haifa International Film Festival with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone. I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when apartheid is over. I will go to Israel, soon. I stand with the [Palestinian campaign] for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
[PACBI] and the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions [BDS] Movement.”
Nair, who is the internationally-acclaimed director of Salaam Bombay! and Monsoon Wedding was called for her 9/11-based thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist (TRF), based on Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid’s novel of the same name. The movie was released in Pakistan with Urdu subtitles, titled Changez. She has also been awarded the German Film Award for Peace, The Bridge 2013, for TRF.
The film tells the story of two conflicting ideologies – the “fundamentalism” of the capitalists and that of the terrorists – through a young Pakistani man chasing his American Dream.
Nair will be working along Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and British musician Peter Gabriel in a new film by Mexican director and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.