Sunday, November 05, 2017

05-Nov-17: "Watching the Moon at Night", the documentary film Swedish TV has suppressed, is being screened in Israel

Video grab from "Watching the Moon at Night"
We have written about Watching the Moon at Night several times (the links are listed at the foot of this post) in the last two years.

It's a fine, made-for-TV documentary film the leading US Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum described as an intellectually informative, visually compelling, emotionally moving and highly disturbing exploration of the phenomena of terrorism in our time

The film's co-director, the acclaimed Swedish film-maker Bo Persson, will be the special guest at two Israeli screenings during November. 
Tel Aviv CinemathequeWednesday November 8, 2017 - screening at 9:00 pm in Cinema 4 | The Tel Aviv Cinematheque is at Shprinzak 2, Tel Aviv | Purchasing tickets online via the Tel Aviv Cinematheque online booking screen is not the simplest process (and seems not to be working at all right now). Call the box office on 03-606-0800 or email them at
Jerusalem CinemathequeMonday November 13, 2017 - screening at 7:00 pm | The Jerusalem Cinematheque is at Derech Hevron 11, Jerusalem | To purchase tickets online, click here | Tickets can also be bought by phone on 02-565-4333, or dial *9377 | They offer this email address:
The film was shown last year in the European Parliament and the Swedish parliament, at many international film festivals and in front of audiences in the United States and Europe. But it won't be shown to Swedish television viewers because of some outrageous politically-motivated manipulation.

Marianne Ahrne, a prominent writer, film director and observer of Sweden´s cultural life, wrote last month ["Television, terror and Swedish funding"] about the deeply disturbing fate of Persson’s film:
“I approved the funding of their film while working as a commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute. Since then, I have followed its destiny, seeing it praised at festivals and by several of the foremost global experts in the fields that it tackles - terrorism and anti-Semitism. But Sveriges Television (SVT), our country’s national public TV broadcaster, has, for some obscure reason and despite the fact it originally signed on to co-produce it, refused to screen it. And continues to refuse.”
It doesn't take much effort (we wrote a while back) for people with a deep respect for the open sharing and discussion of important ideas to share her fury.
“What's at work here is a brazen betrayal of principles. Sveriges Television, Sweden's dominant television network, is thwarting - silencing is a better word - the screening of an important, thoughtful film that happens to have been created by some of the most admirable minds at work in that country. The scandal is hardly a secret but it has gotten scant media attention.”
The film-makers [Image Source]
Filmed in six countries, "Watching the Moon at Night" juxtaposes contemporary terrorism, anti-Semitism and the experiences of their victims with the articulate – and often very moving – views of noted experts in these fields. Its exam­in­at­ion of these powerful themes goes far beyond the stereotypes. 

Persson and his creative partner Joanna Helander co-directed the film which was produced by Kino Koszyk HB with support from Sweden’s Film i Väst and the Swedish Film Institute.

The late French writer and philosopher André Glucksmann, the late historian of anti-Semitism, Robert S. Wistrich, and the eminent historian Walter Laqueur, who left his native Breslau for Palestine on the day before Kristallnacht 1938 and is one of the inspirations behind the production, are among the film’s pre-eminent on-screen commentators. Arnold Roth, whose daughter was murdered in the Hamas attack on the Jerusalem Sbarro in 2001, and Dan Alon, one of the surviving Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, are important voices in the film.

It also incorporates personal experiences of terror victims from Algeria, Spain, France, Moscow, Israel, New York, Colombia, Munich, Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

Creative camerawork, inspiring music and Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, who reads her own poetry in the film all add to the “personal and emotional” perspective, as Agnieszka Holland, chair of the European Film Academy, described it. She called it
a production that “shows the common ground shared by victims the world over and the similarities between the perpetrators. In the film, there is no simplifying thesis, no ‘political correctness’… The film truly makes you think.”

Following the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem film screenings, Bo Persson will lead a discussion (in English) on the issues raised by the production and its audience.

You can see the film's trailer here. There is additional info and several reviews at the film's official website. For past posts of ours, see

No comments: