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No Pride In The Occupation

After the 4th Kansai Queer Film Festival, the festival committee received an email from J. The email was about the posters "No Pride In The Occupation" on the wall of Hep Hall at the festival. Here we put the email from J (with J's permission) and the reply from the film festival.


♦Email from J♦

Dear Hibino-san and other organizers of the Kansai Queer Film Festival:

Please accept my apologies for writing in English.

I cannot imagine how much work and time has been invested in order to bring the films to Osaka to be enjoyed by the community. I personally appreciate it and thank you very much for your efforts. I attended three films and was impressed by the quality of the movies and the organization of the festival. Well done!

However, there is one issue which I wish to bring to your attention. Sunday, January 25, before the showing of “Breakfast with Scot” I noticed a sign (in fact there were three other signs with the same message) that said in English “No Pride In The Occupation” and below that Japanese. Unfortunately my Japanese skills are very limited. I asked one of the staff members what the sign was attempting to communicate; he referred me to Hibino-san.

Admittedly the conversation was somewhat difficult, due to my lack of Japanese ability, and I thank Hibino-san for making the effort to speak in English. Hibino-san told me that he put the posters up. I stress that I likely was not able to understand everything that Hibino-san wanted to communicate regarding the poster and his reason for putting it there, however from what I understood his main ideas were: the poster was against Israel’s actions in Gaza and Israel abuses human rights. Hibino-san is certainly entitled to his opinion but is a queer film festival really the place to discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict? The issue of human right was stressed if that is the case why wasn’t there a poster protesting the thousands of missiles sent from Gaza to Israel in recent years? I also asked if I could bring a poster expressing my opinion; first I was told if I put up a poster he would put up more posters, then after pressing the point I was told that it needed to be decided by a committee. Since the festival was only a few more days that is the same as a “no” answer.

Perhaps more appropriate for a queer film festival and most definitely a human rights issue that is relevant to the Kansai LGBT would be a poster to inform the audience about LGBT Palestinians who not only face social discrimination but very real physical fear due to their sexuality from their own society. In fact Palestinian gays have come to Israel to escape persecution and even death.

As an Israeli I find it ironic that Israel, the ONLY country in the Middle East with a visible active gay community that is protected under the law is portrayed as an abuser of human rights at a queer film festival! I did not come to the festival to argue about the extremely complicated Israeli-Palestinian conflict but simply to enjoy and support the film festival.

My point is simple: Was the poster appropriate? I think not. This is simply outside the parameters of a queer film festival.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you for your time.

Regards,

J


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関西クィア映画祭 実行委員会 Kansai Queer Film Festival Organizing Committee
http://kansai-qff.org/