What is going on with the cultural boycott of Israel?

I have been going to the AFFR (Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam) for a few years now. They always have both incredible films and very very bad organisation. My abiding image of the festival is leaving a late screening one evening and seeing a bunch of men in shirts drinking champagne. That’s AFFR. All about networking. Paying lip service to ethical concerns by showing provocative films but continuing to build shitty things. Cackhanded debates? Patronising male interviewers? That’s AFFR.

This year they continued with their dumb idea of adding unannounced short films to screenings. This meant that when i went to see Pantarei Pantanella, a film about a former factory in Rome, which was squatted by thousands of Bangladeshi migrants in the 1980s and then got renovated into flats, i first had to sit through two shorts. One was just shit, a short film about a former factory in Paris which got turned into a bloody shopping mall (woohoo). The other one was actually offensive. It was a Zionist film about a building called the Red House. It was obvious pretty early on where the film was going, but how can i walk out and come back in again to watch the film i want to watch when i don’t know how long the fucking short lasts for? But at least i saw Red House and thus can criticise it.

The Red House was built on PALESTINIAN land on the edge on Tel Aviv a century ago, and then the Zionist city grew around it. Of course the Zionist history was cherished not the land theft, and the story of the Polish immigrant Jews who worked there lovingly told WHAT ABOUT THE DISPLACED PALESTINIANS. Then the rest of the building’s history was told, it became a synagogue (yay religion) and then an art space. Yes there was a token Palestinian artist working there. THIS DOESN’T MEAN THIS WASN’T A ZIONIST STORY. Can art conquer all? Fuck off! I support the struggle of Palestinians to regain their land and escape a militarised apartheid, not shitty art projects.

On the very day i saw this film, it was announced that some Zionist idiots had successfully sued two activists based in New Zealand for their part in persuading Lorde not to play in Israel. An Israeli court ruled that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab must pay $13200 / 45000 shekels to three ticket holders, as recompense. The court said that the two New Zealand women had affected the “artistic welfare” of the Israelis and caused “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”. Afterwards their lawyer then said “no one can boycott Israel without paying for it.”

However i’m happy to say the two activists (who founded Dayenu: New Zealand Jews Against Occupation) refused to pay and the fine was quickly crodwfunded and redistributed to the Gaza

So what is happening with the cultural boycott of Israel nowadays? I see a few festivals of Israeli culture popping up in the Netherlands and there was a (shit) Israeli film at IFFR last year, so it appears the Israeli state is obviously pushing back against the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement because it is a political and economic success.

As Ken Loach says

We should not have anything to do with projects that are supported by the State of Israel. Individuals are not concerned; we have to concentrate on the actions of the Israeli State. That is what we have to target. We target it because you cannot just stand by and watch people live their lives in refugee camps forever.

So anyway, to get back to where we started, I got to see three films, all about factory spaces getting turned into bourgeois spaces YAY. And how was Pantarei you might ask? Well i don’t know actually, becuase they fucked up the subtitles so it was only in Italian. Nice huh? I don’t care because i have cineville, otherwise i would have been hopping mad to have paid 10 euors for that shitshow. It was just rubbing salt in the wound. I’d just met the filmmaker, i hope she wasn’t too pissed off!!

Fuck the AFFR.

Boycott Israeli products including Israeli culture!!

 

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NetfluX

Well it’s autumn and it’s all going to shit so i thought i may as well join the majority and get a netflix subscription. Or at least the one month for freeeeeeeeeee.

So far so good actually, the interface is smoooooth and i like how i can switch between laptop and mobile, and different users.

I wasn’t so impressed with the amount of UK drama, but at the same time for UK comedy it has the IT Crowd and i have been chugging my way through that recently on youtubes but eveyr episode isn’t online so it’s a boon to have it on netflix. Something put me off watching it at first even though it had Chris Morris in it, but actually i now know and like all three of the main people (Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson and that Irish guy with the big cakey face and the currants for eyes) and it’s fairly amusing. At least it beats looking at the leaves slowly decaying outside.

The dominance of Netflix is weird and scary and it does make you think about how other excellent shows do not get viewing figures or third seasons becuase they are made by soemone other than Netlix. For example Utopia, which was fucking brilliant. And also maybe Expanse, although i did see another SyFy show on netflix so i dunno…

It is cool that on mobile you can download shows and then watch offline, less cool that you can’t then transfer them out and away but yeah i do understand why, i guess…

Anyway I guess I’m gonna watch loads of show so i may as well record it here….

  • IT Crowd
  • Elite
  • Happy! (meh)
  • Secret City
  • 13 Reasons Why 1 & 2
  • Crashing
  • Total Recall 2012
  • Baby
  • Sicknote (meh)
  • 3%
  • Sense8 (meh)
  • Prooi
  • Paranoid

Another Cineville post

I just want to say, again, how great Cineville is 🙂

I checked my account for the first time in a while and I’ve seen over 100 movies since they started counting in 2016. This seems to exclude festivals like AFFR, GoShort and ENFF, with those films not being recorded, sadly.

It is super cool to go for example to Den Haag and binge three movies at the consistently good Eastern Neighbours film festival, just as part of the 20 euros a month deal. I really enjoy making the most of it!

Big up Cineville 🙂

That will be one thing about the Netherlands I will miss. Fuck pretty much everything else.

Sweet country

This is a fairly heavy movie about the interactions between white australian settlers and their aboriginal workers. I can imagine it will have quite an impact in oz.

It is a nuanced postcolonial film where everything is in shades of grey. I don’t think it will come as a surprise to hear there isn’t a happy ending.

Like with loveling, all the acting is excellent and although i would not say the film is amazing it ticks the boxes of being wellmade and thought-provoking whilst having a social political impact.

Loveling

Sweet brazilian movie about a family and their day2day living situation which focuses mainly on the mother’s relationship with her son. Lots of empathetic sighing from the mums in the packed out room!

Really good acting from everyone including the kiddy winkles.

That is the second good movie i have seen from brazil this year, the first was cannibal club.