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“Lebanon” Wins Golden Lion In Venice

"Lebanon" Wins Golden Lion In Venice

Samuel Moaz’s directorial debut “Lebanon” has been awarded the Golden Lion at the 66th Venice Film Festival. The film – which follows four young Israeli soldiers in 1982 – was deemed the best of the festival by a jury led by director Ang Lee. Other major winners included Shirin Neshat’s “Women Without Men,” which won the Silver Lion for best director, and Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen,” which won a special jury prize. The complete list of winners is below.

Official Venezia 66 Awards:

The Venezia 66 Jury, chaired by Ang Lee and comprised of Joe Dante, Sandrine Bonnaire, Anurag Kashyp, Liliana Cavani and Luciano Ligabue, decided as follows:

GOLDEN LION for Best Film:
Lebanon by Samuel Maoz (Israel)

SILVER LION for Best Director to:
Shirin Neshat for Women Without Men (Germany/Austria/France)

Soul Kitchen by Fatih Akin

COPPA VOLPI for Best Actor:
Colin Firth for A Single Man by Tom Ford (USA)

COPPA VOLPI for Best Actress:
Ksenia Rappoport for The Double Hour by Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic (France)

OSELLA for Best Screenplay to:
Todd Solondz for Life During Wartime (USA)

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD for Best Young Actor or Actress:
Jasmine Trinca for Il Grande Sogno by Michelle Placido (Italy)

OSELLA for Best Production Designer to:
Sylvie Olive for Mr. Nobody by Jaco Van Dormael (France)

Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno (Philippines)

Cosmonauta by Susanna Nicchiarelli

QUEER LION for Best Gay Film:
A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford

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Nino M.

Reproach? What does this film’s award have to do with Toronto? The reasons for the academic/cultural/economic boycott of Israel are well documented, and supportted even by progressives with Israel as the ONLY way to change 60 years of racist expansionism. The specific “boycott” you refer to at the Toronto festival was more specifically “an appeal” related to the fact that the Toronto festival organizers accepted money from a Israeli political lobby for the intended purposes of pushing the “Israeli Brand”, at a time when Israel is being governed by an aggressive rightist government.

But regarding this film “Lebanon”: I have not seen it, but the three interviews I have read/seen with the director point to a troublesome trend with so-called “anti-war” films. In none of the interviews does the director express actual remorse for Isreal’s (first) invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which killed over 20,000 but rather he and the film seem “concerned” with the impact these wars have on the poor, brave young men and women who mean to “serve” their countries, i.e. the very soldiers perpetrating these horrors.

It is rather like what John Ross has to say about the US Documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side”:
“Taxi” (the Movie) is an epiphany of the American Dream. Only America can flagrantly invade another person’s country, kill and capture those who resist, detain, interrogate, and torture citizens they suspect of harboring hatred for Americans, make a movie about this war crime, and win the Oscar for it. It’s mindboggling! ”


What a delightful reproach to the misguided Toronto boycott.

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