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Director Ken Loach Boycotts Israel — But Still Shows His Films There

(JTA) — The British film director Ken Loach has become a fierce advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, but his films have been shown there for over 20 years.

Loach’s producer told the Guardian on Friday that it is a “mistake” that his latest film, “I, Daniel Blake,” is currently showing in Israeli cinemas. Rebecca O’Brien said the distribution company Wild Bunch had made a deal to bring the film to Israel during last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“We have asked Wild Bunch before not to sell to Israel,” O’Brien said. “But what happened this time – and what has happened before – is that during Cannes, things happen very fast and a junior member of the company went and sold it to Israel in the heat of the moment, forgetting we had asked for it not to be sold there.”

Loach’s Israeli distributor told the Guardian that the claims are “absurd.”

“We’ve been showing his movies for years,” said Guy Shani, who runs Shani Films and the Lev cinema chain. ” I have been paying him money every year. His latest film, ‘I, Daniel Blake,’ has been really successful in Israel.

“It is a conundrum that has puzzled me, too. It seems that Ken Loach feels himself exempt from the cultural boycott.”

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