Electronic Intifada: Israel lobby fails to block screening of Palestinian film at Cannes

Ali Abunimah, 17 May 2016
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A Palestinian work was screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film as planned on Monday, despite an intense campaign by Israel lobby groups to have it canceled. Nasri Hajjaj’s Munich: A Palestinian Story was one of four films excerpts of which were screened to industry professionals in collaboration with the Dubai International Film Festival.

Hajjaj told The Electronic Intifada from Cannes that the screening of a 14-minute segment passed without incident and he received a positive response from those present. As The Electronic Intifada reported last week, France’s main pro-Israel lobby group CRIF had been exerting intense pressure on authorities to ban the film, even enlisting the support of the mayor of Cannes.

CRIF claimed that the film engages in “historical revisionism” about the 1972 raid on the Munich Olympics by the Palestinian group Black September, in which 11 Israeli athletes, a German police officer and five hostage takers died. But CRIF could not know this since the unfinished documentary had never been publicly screened. Hajjaj said that CRIF and other critics have made a number of false claims about his film, which they have not seen.

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