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Defamation

7.3
196
Ratings
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Original title
Hashmatsa (Defamation)
Year
Running time
91 min.
Country
Israel Israel
Director
Screenwriter
Yoav Shamir
Cinematography
Yoav Shamir
Cast
Producer
CINEPHIL
Genre
Documentary
Synopsis / Plot
An Israeli director travels the world to find out what anti-Semitism means in the modern world. What is anti-Semitism today, two generations after the Holocaust? In his continuing exploration of modern Israeli life, director Yoav Shamir (Checkpoint, 5 Days, Flipping Out) travels the world in search of the most modern manifestations of the “oldest hatred", and comes up with some startling answers.In this irreverent quest, he follows American Jewish leaders to the capitals of Europe, as they warn government officials of the growing threat of anti-Semitism, and he tacks on to a class of Israeli high school students on a pilgrimage to Auschwitz.

The film questions our perceptions and terminology when an event proclaimed by some as anti-Semitic is described by others as legitimate criticism of Israel’s government policies. The film walks along the boundary between anti-Zionism, rejecting the notion of a Jewish State, and anti-Semitism, rejecting Jews. Is the former being used to excuse the latter? And is there a difference between today’s anti-Semitism and plain old racism that is affecting all minorities?

Opinions often differ and tempers sometimes flare, but in Defamation we find that one thing is certain - only by understanding their response to anti-Semitism can we really appreciate how Jews today, and especially modern Israelis, respond to the world around them, in New York and in Moscow, in Gaza and Tel Aviv.
Awards
2009: European Film Awards: Nominated for Best Documentary
2009: Tribeca Film Festival: Best Documentary Feature - Special Jury Mention
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