Magazine article Screen International

Ken Loach Calls for Israel Boycott

Magazine article Screen International

Ken Loach Calls for Israel Boycott

Article excerpt

Honouring two Palestinian filmmakers at the Sarajevo Film Festival, British director Ken Loach branded the US as a "bully" and said cultural happenings supported by the Israeli state should be boycotted.

British filmmaker Ken Loach has called for the "boycott of all the cultural happenings supported by the Israeli state" at an awards ceremony honouring two Palestinian directors.

The director of Kes and The Wind That Shakes The Barley gave an impassioned speech at the Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-23) last night, where he presented the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Award to Palestinian directors Abdel Salam Shehadeh and Ashraf Mashharawi.

Loach branded the directors as "probably two of the greatest filmmakers in the world today, because they are making films in Gaza."

Stirring memories of Sarajevo's four-year siege from 1992-96, Loach said: "I know the people here will know the struggle and bravery you need when you are under siege, and you feel the pain of people of Gaza like no one else. These two people are not only surviving, but are making extraordinary films."

He went on to express "huge frustration and anger" over the on-going conflict in Gaza and said: "My country, to its shame, follows the bully that is the United States. But we are not powerless. We can act together."

It was at that point Loach suggested an "absolute boycott of all the cultural happenings supported by the Israeli state."

"This is film, music, academic contacts. …

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