Indian Star Shuns Haifa Film Fest Until ‘Apartheid’ Ends
Award-winning Indian director Mira Nair has turned down an invitation to be guest of honor at the Haifa Film Festival for political reasons, posting on her Twitter page that she would not visit Israel until “Apartheid is over.”
“I will not be going to Israel at this time,” she tweeted last Friday in the second of five tweets on the subject of Israel. The first tweet announced that she had been invited to the film festival as guest of honor. “I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone.”
By declining the offer, Nair joins a long line of artists and intellectuals – including the Pixies, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Alice Walker and Stephen Hawking – who have boycotted Israel in recent years in protest over the government’s policy toward the Palestinians. The Haifa Film Festival, which opens September 19, will run for ten days. Festival officials wanted to screen Nair’s latest film, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2012.
Nair tweeted three additional messages on Friday. “I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over,” she wrote. Then she added, “I will go to Israel, soon.”