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Hashmatsa

Defamation

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DEFAMATION

On the one hand, he personally has never been confronted with anti-Semitism, on the other talk of it is part of everyday life in Israel, like a constant background noise people just get used to, director Yoav Shamir explains. Defamation is his own very personal quest to determine the role that anti-Semitism plays today. Among others he spends time with Abe Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and director of the American Anti-Defamation League (ADL) who has dedicated his life to warning about the persisting virulent dangers of anti-Semitism, and with a group of Israeli youths on a trip to Poland who are convinced that they are hated all over the world. The role of anti-Semitism as an identity issue thus becomes the focus of this film. Critics of the ADL question the political dimensions of this premise for Israel’s role and reputation. But Yoav Shamir does not see himself in the role of slaughterer of a sacred cow. The search for answers and the option of reviewing this highly emotional issue are more important to him than creating new bogeymen. As a young Israeli he does this like a son posing awkward questions about the beliefs of his parents’ generation. Good parents are happy to engage in a debate with their children.

Israel / Austria / USA / Denmark 2009, 93 min

by

Yoav Shamir

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