Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Anti-Semitism: The Movie"

That's the tongue-in-cheek tagline of Defamation, a new documentary by Israeli director Yoav Shamir that promises to address a very contemporary question: Is anti-Semitism still a significant problem, or are Jews (and others) who think so merely paranoid, insecure, or worse?

As is nearly always the case in such matters, the answer seems to be "both." What excites me about this movie is that it apparently engages with both sides of the debate, unlike Marc Levin's bratty 2005 film Protocols of Zion, in which the director presented a series of hardcore Jew-haters as "proof" that 9/11 unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitic feeling. (Whether the attacks did or didn't galvanize people who loathe us, selective interviewing isn't a persuasive way to show it. I said as much in 2006, when the movie opened here and I reviewed it.) I'm not sure when Defamation will come to Seattle, but you can count on the Kibbutz hosting an excursion to see it and a discussion afterwards, led by yours truly.

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