“Degrade,” a Palestinian film about life in Gaza seen through the eyes of the owner and customers of a hair salon, has been withdrawn from the Other Israeli Film Festival in Manhattan.
The film “has pulled out of the festival as a result of the impact of the Jewish-Arab conflict reaching new heights in Israel,” according to a press release from the festival, which also says that the film’s producers have withdrawn it from all Jewish film festivals.
"In these polarizing times, it is more important than ever to hear each other's voices and create a culture of dialogue,” said Isaac Zablocki, the festival’s executive director, in a statement. “The silencing and boycotting of arts and education only hurts those aiming to create positive change and hear the other side."
“Degrade,” by the brothers Tarzan and Arab Assad, has already been shown at the Toronto and Cannes film festivals.
The Other Israeli Film Festival describes itself as “a non-political festival focused on Israel's minority populations.” It runs Thursday, Nov. 5 through Nov. 12 at the JCC Manhattan. For more information go to otherisrael.org.