I still hope for a day when Israeli filmmakers will be allowed to show their films in festivals throughout the Arab world and Palestinian filmmakers will once again show their oeuvres in Jerusalem, Haifa and other festivals around the country.
One man who has been working extensively in both Doha and Abu Dhabi is Palestinian filmmaker Scandar Copti. I caught up with the filmmaker to interview him for my piece on cinema in the Gulf featured in Shawati' Abu Dhabi.
Even if a film is critical of Israel, it is also an expression of the open character of our democracy. This is why I was astonished by the outrageous statement by Scandar Copti, an Arab Israeli director, that he does not represent Israel.
This was an unusually strong year, with many films worth recommending. Last year, I thought the five nominees were all good choices. Unfortunately, this year was different, and two of the five nominees were not even in my top ten.
Ironically, Ajami introduce American viewers to a new brand of Israel/Palestine that seems to reflect the political, social and cultural realities of this region more than the fantasies being concocted by the PR geniuses.