Friday, July 22, 2016

22-Jul-16: Heavy-handed Swedish efforts to silence an important documentary on terrorism and antisemitism

In "Watching the Moon at Night", Clara Rojas, freed from FARC 
captivity in Colombia, describes her years of suffering at the hands 
of the terrorists
A really fine piece of documentary cinema made by acclaimed Swedish filmmakers Bo Persson and Joanna Helander was recently screened in the European Parliament. 

Prior to that it had been shown in the Swedish parliament, at a prestigious list of international film festivals and in front of selected private audiences in the United States and Europe.

Called "Watching the Moon at Night", the 90-minute-long documentary addresses in a lyrical and insightful way the intertwined issues of terrorism and antisemitism. (There's a trailer here.)

We don't do this often but 
we are asking readers (for the second time) to please sign an important and meaningful petition that relates to what is being done to the film and its authore. You can read more and sign on the GoPetitions site. We blogged about it in previous posts: "13-Jan-15: Terrorism: watching its victims, trying to understand their experiences" and "28-Mar-16: Upcoming premiere screenings (NYC, Washington) of an important documentary on terrorism and antisemitism".
We know from the directors that the project was inspired by some of the world's most eminent authorities in those two fields. They included Walter Laqueur, and the late André Glucksmann and the late Robert S. Wistrich

What distinguishes it from similar-seeming undertakings is the sensitive and enlightening role it gives to the voices of the victims. They (and we are in it) speak, in apolitical terms, of awful personal experiences of terror in a variety of places including Algeria, Spain, France, Moscow, Israel, New York, Colombia, Munich, Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

This film began as a co-production of the producers Kino Koszyk HBFilm i Väst, a regional Swedish film fund; and Sveriges Television; along with important support from the Swedish Film Institute.

Subsequently, Sveriges Television officials shockingly refused to allow it to be screened on TV in its home country.

Several reports in the mainstream Swedish and Danish media in the wake of that decision refer to political correctness and to a concern about a backlash (for showing a television documentary!) from certain corners. How hard to guess which? Not very.

Prominent Swedish commentators have called for this unconscionable decision to be reversed. In these fraught and dangerous times, terrorism and antisemitism threaten the institutions of democracy everywhere. Attempting to hide this reality and distorting the public debate is the worst way to confront these threats when we should instead stand up for human rights and European values.

From "Watching the Moon at Night"
We are joining the call by distinguished Scandinavians and a growing circle of concerned Europeans to require the management of Sveriges Television to reverse its gagging of this important film, and to immediately schedule it for the widest possible television exposure in Sweden.

The silencing of this fine film (full disclosure: as mentioned above, we play a small role in it, testifying to our experience) is an outrageous abuse of bureaucratic power, an act of thuggery dictated by unspoken and shameful motivations.

There's a petition calling for the film to be shown in Sweden and drawing attention to the politically-aligned decision to silence the voice of the film's makers. If you did not already respond to our earlier request, please now go to the GoPetitions site and sign.

And please help us get the word out. (We are working on a longer piece. Hopefully we will get it out soon.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Silence You Infidel !! You hear me !! :-( :-(