Palestinian actors to boycott Cannes Film Festival against Israeli film

Last week, the cast signed a letter citing their objections to the nomination of the film at the Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from 6th to 17th July, as an Israeli production, saying they would withdraw from the event. 

Palestinian actors in the film “Let There Be Morning” have decided not to attend the Cannes Film Festival in protest against the film being called an ‘Israeli production’.

Written and directed by Eran Kolirin, an Israeli tells the story of a Palestinian Israeli citizen, Sami, who is unable to return to Jerusalem when Israeli soldiers force the Palestinian-majority village he has travelled to into a lockdown. The film follows Sami’s journey as he faces a midlife crisis and rediscovers his family and purpose. 

The film is an adaptation of a book by Palestinian writer Sayed Kashua, and stars a number of prominent Arab and Palestinian actors, including Alex Bakri, Juna Suleiman, and Salim Daw.

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Last week, the cast signed a letter citing their objections to the nomination of the film at the Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from 6th to 17th July, as an Israeli production, saying they would withdraw from the event. 

“We cannot ignore the contradiction of the film’s entry into Cannes under the label of an ‘Israeli film’ when Israel continues to carry its decades-long colonial campaign of ethnic cleansing, expulsion and apartheid against us – the Palestinian people,” their statement read. 

The letter also calls on the artistic and international community to amplify the voices of Palestinians and Palestinian artists. “Each time the film industry assumes that we and our work fall under the ethno-national label of ‘Israeli’, it further perpetuates an unacceptable reality that imposes on Palestinian artists with Israeli citizenship.

Besides the lead actors, other members of the cast who signed include Ehab Elias Salameh, Izabel Ramadan, Samer Bisharat, Yara Jarrar, Marwan Hamdan, Duraid Liddawi, Areen Saba, Adib Safadi and Sobhi Hosary.