The Palestinian Authority resident director of the film Five Broken Cameras was detained for over an hour at an airport in Los Angeles, Haaretz reports. American director Michael Moore reported the incident in a series of tweets sent Wednesday.
“Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar-nominated "5 Broken Cameras" was held tonight by immigration at LAX as he landed to attend Oscars,” Moore wrote.
In a later tweet, he said, “Emad, his wife & 8-yr old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn't have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars.
“Although he produced the Oscar invite nominees receive, that wasn't good enough & he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine.”
“Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee,” Moore theorized. “Emad texted me for help.”
Moore said he informed Academy officials of the situation, and “I told Emad to give the officers my phone # and to say my name a couple of times.”
Emad was released after one and a half hours, he said. “It's nothing I'm not already used to," he told me later,” Moore wrote. "When u live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence."
Five Broken Cameras focuses on protests against Israel’s security barrier in Judea and Samaria. The film documents riots in the PA-controlled town of Bili'in, with a focus on rioters’ clashes with IDF soldiers.
Israeli victims of terrorism, including parents of Israeli children slain in terrorist attacks, have written to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences asking members to reconsider the Oscar nomination for Five Broken Cameras, which they described as “a film meant to incite, that demonizes the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and contains anti-Semitic elements.”
Bereaved father Yossi Tzur wrote his own letter saying the Oscar nomination for Five Broken Cameras made him feel the world had “gone mad.” The security barrier in Judea and Samaria has been proven to save lives, he wrote.
“A group of anarchists, including some professionals who come to Israel from abroad just to sow anarchy, come to Bili'in every week to protest, to challenge the rule of law, to create provocations in the hope that a soldier or police officer will lose his temper,” Tzur wrote. “Stationed alongside the professional anarchists are the professional documenters with cameras donated by leftist organizations, sworn enemies of Israel, whose aim is to portray the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces as violent and out of control. The directors direct, the anarchists act, and the photographers film.”
“And now, in another stage in their assault on Israel, the rule of law and the security forces, they have presented the rotten fruits of their labors, this movie that has been nominated for an Oscar nomination.”