Filmmaker Marcel Ophuls, whose four-and-a-half-hour documentary “The Sorrow and the Pity” on the Nazi occupation of France was banned on French television, is looking to crowd-fund his newest film “Unpleasant Truths” on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
The 87-year-old, who is collaborating with Israeli filmmaker Eval Sivan on the film, has appealed for $62,000 on KissKissBankBank, a French crowd-funding site, and has released a trailer for the uncompleted film.
The project started out as a co-authored documentary between Ophuls and legendary French filmmaker Jean Luc-Godard on the issue – the documentary was made in 2009, with a preamble book coming out in 2002.
According to Sivan, the filmmakers hoped to find an answer to the question “Is Israel provoking anti-Semitism”.
The film will also try to explore the “very strange linkage between the far right in Europe and Israel”.
“The traditional anti-Semitic right is becoming very pro-Israeli”, Sivan said.
The question the filmmakers want to explore is whether “Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism”.
According to Sivan, the two turned to crowd-funding because “it’s a question of emergency” if they can meet the self-imposed deadline of finish the film in time for the Cannes Film Festival. The project has raised around half its budget so far; the two plan to return to the occupied territory soon after they visit Berlin and look at what Sivan calls the “ironic” phenomenon of young Israelis who are against the occupation of territories, “seeking refuge from Israel’s politics in Berlin”.
Sivan added that after Berlin, “Marcel is going to Gaza”, noting that as an Israeli, he can’t go with him; Sivan currently lives in Europe.
They also intend to interview Israeli politicians, including ultranationalist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
When asked about criticism from conservative Israelis, Sivan contended that anti-apartheid minority in South Africa and French resistance during World War II “were the minority too”.
“As you say in Hebrew, ‘It’s easier to bark with the dogs’”, Sivan said.
“Maybe we are the minority of today, but maybe the traitors of today are the heroes of tomorrow, and the heroes of today are the traitors of tomorrow”, he added.
To know more about the crowdsourcing campaign click here.