Court Orders Theater To Screen Israeli Movie After Backlash: REPORT

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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A Pennsylvanian judge ordered the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) to screen an Israeli movie Tuesday after the institute caved to pro-Palestinian protesters by canceling the engagement, NBC 10 reported.

The movie, “The Child Within Me,” is a documentary about an Israeli musician whose screening was part of the 28th annual Israeli Film Festival (IFF) of Philadelphia that runs from April 6 to 14, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Media Refuses To Cover ‘Death To America’ Protest Even Though White House Condemned it)

The Philly Palestine Coalition objected to the screening in a petition on because one of the sponsors of the event was Israel Bonds who, according to the pro-Palestine group, “have funneled tens of billions of dollars into almost every sector of the Israeli economy” and that “[a]fter six months of genocide, and more than 35,000 Palestinians killed by Israel, I urge you to cancel the remaining screenings of the festival.” The petition, which was started Monday, gathered over 600 signatures.

At least 33,137 Palestinians have died in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israel-Hamas War, according to Al Jazeera who cited the unverified Hamas-run Ministry of Health statistics.

BMFI issued a press release Monday announcing the cancelation of the film writing that “it has become clear that our showing this movie is being widely taken among individuals and institutions in our community as an endorsement of Israel’s recent and ongoing action” and this was not a message they endorsed.

The Jewish community reacted negatively to this development. “The IFF intentionally offers a multifaceted view of Israeli society. Each season, carefully curated feature films and documentaries provide glimpses into the intricate tapestry of Israeli life, allowing audiences to form their own informed opinions,” a spokesman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and ADL Philadelphia told NBC 10.

Guy Brodetzki told the outlet that the documentary had nothing to do with the current Gaza War or even the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“There’s no mentioning of the Arab-Israeli conflict at all [in the documentary]. There’s no mentioning of the war. There’s no mentioning of Palestinians. Nothing. It’s all about him. It’s about Jewish-Israeli culture. So why on earth would you want to cancel the showing of this kind of movie?” Brodetzki said, according to the outlet.

“When they [BMFI] notified our client, yesterday afternoon that they were canceling tonight’s showing, it caused, what’s called, irreputable harm,” Lori Lowenthal Marcus, an attorney for the IFF, told NBC 10. “And that’s the showing you need to make in order to get a temporary restraining order and an injunction requiring them to fulfill their end of the contract,” she added.

BMFI acknowledged in a press release that they “handled all of this very badly” and that “we have been ordered to show The Child Within Me, so we are showing the movie.” The institute argued in the statement that they had canceled the event out of their concerns  “for public safety.”