September 3, 2010
Filmmaker Julian Schnabel tells the story of Palestine
The filmmaker Julian Schnabel premiered his new movie about the Middle East conflict at the Venice Film Festival this week, telling audiences he felt a personal responsibility as a Jew to tell the story from a Palestinian perspective.
That makes Schnabel one of those rarefied artists with the courage to challenge established paradigms with his work.
The film, told through the eyes of two Palestinian women and based on the autobiographical book by Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal, spans 40 years in Israeli history, from the creation of the state in 1948 to the failed Oslo Accords in 1993.
According to The Guardian, Schnabel told a Venice audience: “Coming from my background, as an American Jewish person whose mother was president of Hadassah [the Women’s Zionist Organisation of America] in 1948, I figured I was a pretty good person to try to tell the story of the other side.”
“I felt it was my responsibility to confront this issue because, maybe, I’ve spent most of my life receding from my responsibility as a Jewish person,” he said.
With the renewal of peace talks this week between Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, Schnabel’s timing couldn’t be timelier. “One of the reasons why I made this film,” he told his audience, “is that it was so obvious to me that there are more similarities between these people than differences.”
Read more from The Guardian: