Tony Greenstein | 21 February 2016 | Post Views:

Netanyahu spreads hate, ‘Junction 48’ spreads love and coexistence – Udi Aloni

Israeli Winner at Berlin Film Festival Calls Israeli
Government ‘Fascist’ at Movie Screening
Actress Salwa Sakkara (left), actor Tamer Nafar, director and producer Udi Aloni and actress Samar Qupty pose at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. AP
Haaretz and Reuters Feb 20,
Israeli director Udi
Aloni made headlines in Berlin when he called the Israeli government
fascist” at a Q&A session about his award-winning film
“Junction 48.”
Aloni, whose
Arabic-language hip-hop film featuring mostly Palestinian actors, said that
Germany shouldn’t supply Israel with submarines because of its fascist
government. He also mentioned at the session Palestinian hunger-striker
Mohammed al-Qiq as an example non-Jews’ lack of rights in Israel, saying that
Qiq was dying in administrative detention without being accused of committing a
Udi Aloni – Israel film director ‘Junction 48’
Aloni, who is the son of
Meretz founder Shulamit Aloni, responded to comments on his statements by
saying that he was addressing his criticism toward the Israeli government and
not the state, and added that his film spreads love and coexistence, as opposed
to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who spreads hate.
“Junction 48”
took the Panorama Audience Award for best fiction film. The film “Who’s
Gonna Love Me Now?” by Tomer and Barak Heymann was voted best Panorama
“Junction 48”
tells the story of a Palestinian rap star and his girlfriend who live near Tel
Aviv in the mixed Jewish-Palestinian city of Lod, known until recently as one
of the main drug-running centers of the Middle East. 
Scene from Junction 48
Actress Samar Qupty said it
should be easy for Palestinians to identify with the movie, even though it
depicts people living lives that are radically different from strict Muslim traditions. 
Her character, for example,
allows a picture of her face to be used on a poster advertising a hip-hop
concert, prompting members of her family to say they plan to injure her if she
“It’s still a
revolutionary movie because it doesn’t talk about the way we Palestinians are
usually represented in the world,”
Qupty said.
“We are representing
ourselves by the new generation without trying to prove anything to anyone,
with our ‘goods’ and ‘bads’,”
she told Reuters in an interview. “We
are trying to present what is the real new generation trying to do without
making the reality looking any better or any worse.” 

Director Aloni was pleased
with audience reactions. 
“We are all so
optimistic because we also brought some young kids that we gave them tickets,
you know, 20 years old that don’t know anything about us and they adore

“So probably the
choice of having Tamer [Nafar], he is so charismatic, and hip-hop that is so
universal, it was a very good move.” 
Singer Nafar doesn’t expect
everybody in the Middle East to love the film but he is confident it will open
up a debate. 
“It’s going to open a
stage and I think it’s very important and the movie is not here to give
solutions, the movie is here to raise the right questions,”
he said.

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Tony Greenstein

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