Sunday, July 26, 2009

Documentary Controversy at Jewish Film Fest

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF)is the most recent festival to come under fire for its selection of controversial documentary material. This time though, the fight seems just as much internal as it is external. The film at the center of the controversy, titled Rachel, covers the story of Rachel Corrie, a Washington state girl killed in 2003 while attempting to prevent an Israeli military bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian's home.

Though it has already aired at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, it seems major donars to the SFJFF don't think the film is appropriate material and have even gone so far as to call it a part of the new wave of anti-Semitism. Rachel was sponsored by another group of festival donors who believe the discourse is necessary and important to the community.

Beyond the fierce war of words, audiences boycotted opening-night ceremonies and even the festival board's president resigned. The SFJFF runs until August 10th, so expect this issue to persist for the next couple weeks and beyond.

Head over to the San Francisco Chronicle for a complete and detailed summary of the controversy.

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