Mira Nair boycotts Haifa Film Festival

Mira Nair boycotts Haifa Film Festival

Indian-born director of ‘Monsoon Wedding’ says she won’t visit Israel until ‘apartheid is over’

Director Mira Nair (photo credit: CC BY  	Bollywoodhungama.com, Wikimedia Commons)
Director Mira Nair (photo credit: CC BY Bollywoodhungama.com, Wikimedia Commons)

JTA — Director Mira Nair snubbed an invitation to be a “guest of honor” at an Israeli film festival.

Nair, the director of “Monsoon Wedding,” tweeted Friday that she will go to Israel “when Apartheid is over.”

Nair, an India native who lives in New York, tweeted that she was invited to attend the Haifa International Film Festival as a guest of honor for her 2012 film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”

In a series of tweets, she gave her reasons for not attending.

“I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone,” she said in one tweet.

In the next tweet, she said, “I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over.”

Finally, she tweeted, “I stand w/ Palestine for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) & the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Mov’t.”

Pnina Blair, artistic director of the Haifa Film Festival, told Haaretz on Sunday that she opposed cultural boycotts of any kind and the festival “is an exemplar of pluralism and coexistence, and our program reflects this approach.”

The festival had intended to screen “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” but it was not clear if it would still do so in light of Nair’s snub. The film tells the story of a young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street who finds himself embroiled in a conflict with his American dream, a hostage crisis and the call of his family’s homeland.

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