Julian Schnabel’s ‘Miral’ spurs controversy at the UN

Director Julian Schnabel arrives for the premiere of "Miral" at United Nations headquarters, on Monday, March 14, 2011. Photo: AP/Jason DeCrow

Julian Schnabel’s “Miral” made its U.S. premiere Monday night at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, despite vocal protestations from the Israeli Delegation to the U.N. and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) leading up to the event.

In a statement issued last Friday, Haim Waxman, Israel’s deputy permanent representative to the U.N., wrote, “We find it very troubling that the U.N. has chosen to feature this film in the GA Hall. We are not aware of any other films with such contentious political content that have received this kind of endorsement from the President of the GA.”

“Miral,” based on the eponymous novel by Rula Jebreal, sets the story of a young Palestinian woman’s coming of age against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And as Steven Zeitchik observed in the L.A. Times last year, this film is significant if only because it is the “most mainstream film project to take a Palestinian point of view on the genesis and modern aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

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