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“The Gatekeepers,” on the other hand, is seen both by its creators and by Israeli officials, as an Israeli movie. “As far as the directors are concerned, they made clear that one movie is Israeli and one was not, so therefore “Gatekeepers” is and “5 Broken Cameras” is not,” said Siegel.
Neither film is easy for Israeli officials to watch. They both carry a strong message of opposing policies of Israeli government regarding the continuation of Israeli presence in territories seized in the 1967 war. Siegel, however, used his full diplomatic skills to see the benefits Israel can reap even from movies that openly criticize its policies.
“We make a distinction between the professional recognition of the films and their political content, which is in debate in Israel,” Siegel said.
The Israeli consulate in Los Angeles co-hosted a reception for makers of “The Gatekeepers” as part of an event marking ten years of Israeli-French co-productions, a program that funded such films as “The Gatekeepers.”
A viewing party for the Israeli expatriate community in Los Angeles, which was hosted by the consulate in previous years, will not take place this time around.
But Siegel deftly explained that the decision had to do with the fact the films were nominated in the documentary category, not the foreign film one, in which movies are officially representatives of their countries.