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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Withdrawal Expulsion from Gaza - the Movie

Joel Blasberg has made a full feature documentary called "Withdrawal from Gaza." Blasberg set out to make an unbiased movie, but of course, anything that's not pro-'Palestinian' is biased to the Hollywood leftists. The previews of Blasberg's movie have been panned in the Los Angeles press.
After a showing at the Laemmle movie theater in Encino, California, where the film made its theatrical premiere on March 23, the film's co-director and executive producer Joel Blasberg told The Jerusalem Post that he didn't intend the film to serve as hasbara (public relations) for the Gush Katif settlers' plight.

"I don't think it's particularly pro-settler, it portrays what happened there," he said.

Blasberg is a long-time Hollywood writer and producer for television and film, but this is his first documentary. He traveled to Israel months before the disengagement to chronicle this pivotal event in Jewish history. A self-proclaimed "very pro-Israel Zionist" who served in the Israeli army in the early '70s, Blasberg geared the documentary as "a portrayal that was favorable to Israel because I thought most films wouldn't be."

He expected the largely liberal media and film industry to hone in on settlers as "wide-eyed fanatics," as did one foreign TV documentary which followed a particularly hawkish Gush Katif resident. Withdrawal From Gaza interviews relatable, down-to-earth Gush Katif residents, including an injured Israeli war veteran, a doctor, a zookeeper, a widow, and a farmer, who describe at eye-level their reasons for settling in Gush Katif, their love for the region, their tragedies, and their fears, hopes and faith.

Blasberg is not surprised that his humane portraits elicited some criticism from local critics, such as the Los Angeles Times reviewer who lamented the omission of "any serious criticism of the settlers, whether from the Jewish left or any Palestinian point of view" and the LA Weekly reviewer who described the film as "carefully skewed toward likable, reasonable evacuees littered with shots of weeping soldiers who find their mission unbearable."

"If you show a film showing the Palestinian side," says Blasberg of such comments, "you wouldn't find a newspaper in American calling it pro-Palestinian propaganda. They'll say it's a film about Palestinian suffering."
They sure will. The Post reports that the film premiered at the Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles, with April screenings to follow at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Santa Cruz Film Festival and Lenore Marwin Jewish Film Festival in Detroit, where it will receive the award for best directors. Let's hope that this film gets seen in other places as well.

Watch the trailer and decide for yourselves:


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