From the very start, this Flotilla fiasco has been a PR war more than anything else. Israel fell straight into this trap and lost the battle quite embarrassingly. Nevertheless, the true danger in this situation is now playing out in the ripple effects. A French group of movie theaters temporarily canceled screenings of an Israeli film in response to Israel's raid of the Gaza-bound flotilla. When there is a censorship of art, or a boycotting of artistic expressions -- there is a closing of dialog.
Film is a tool that breaks down boarders. It allows you to see other worlds and other visions. The film in question, Five Hours From Paris, is an example of hope in the region. It tells the impossible love story between a simple taxi driver with a fear of flying, and a Russian immigrant who is planning to move to Toronto. There is nothing political in the film. It is a universal love story about people who feel stuck. With all of the war films that come out of the region, it is refreshing to have a vision that actually deals with daily life and true humanity. By banning films because the are from a certain country one is creating a raid upon the most basic of human rights - Freedom of Speech and expression.
The Office of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York will be bringing the filmmaker for presentations in the US this Fall. The Israel film center at the JCC in Manhattan will proudly be presenting this film this November in NY.