In October and November 1973, during and shortly after the Yom Kippur War, Susan Sontag travelled to Israel to make a documentary film entitled “Promised Lands.” The movie constituted a mere coda in the recent HBO documentary about her life and work, “Regarding Susan Sontag”, which as Gabe Friedman noted in his review “leaves out a detailed discussion of her work.” Since “Promised Lands” is the principle testament by which Sontag’s view of Israel can be judged, it warrants re-watching.
On January 7, three gunmen open fired at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people, including two police officers. Four of France’s most celebrated cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous, were among the victims. It’s easy to speculate about what sparked this deadly attack. Charlie Hebdo wasn’t exactly known for its tact or subtlety — in November 2011, the publication’s offices were firebombed a day after publishing a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed.
But it would be a mistake to think that the popular magazine only targeted Islam. It thumbed its nose at everyone, reflecting mostly the bad and the ugly, but also the good, of French society as a whole — Jews included. Here are a couple of examples:
When filmmaker Yael Reuveny sought backing in Israel and in Germany to make “Farewell, Herr Schwarz,” film people would ask her, why make another Holocaust film after so many have been made?