Some of the directors who have had their films shown in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival have issued a statement calling for peace in Gaza and Israel.
The statement said that “in these violent days, it is impossible to talk only about cinema while ignoring the killing and horrifying events” taking place on Israel’s border. It continued: “With the invasion of Gaza now underway, this is not a time to…be intimidated into silence by those who fear talking about the roots of this tragedy: Israel’s ongoing occupation, and the growth of extremism and racism inside Israel and in Hamas.” The statement was signed by nineteen directors, including Academy Award winners Jeffrey Friedman (“Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt”) and Jeffrey D. Brown (“Molly’s Pilgrim”), Doug Block (“51 Birch Street”), and Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow (“Thirst”).
At several points in the statement, the filmmakers quoted from a statement released earlier this month by the Israeli directors of the Jerusalem Film Festival.
“We join the Israeli filmmakers,” the statement read, “in their call ‘to…issue a clear, loud cry for change,’ and for ‘the Israeli government to cease fire…we call it to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Palestinian people and its leaders, to achieve a viable peace for both sides.’”
Many of the films in the festival are documentaries, and several deal with political issues.
The annual San Francisco festival is the largest and oldest Jewish film festival in the country. It runs through August 10.