By now you may have read about Ken Loach withdrawing his latest film, Looking For Eric, from MIFF. Loach's reason? Because MIFF accepts funding from the State of Israel which, I believe is to pay for the airfares of people involved in the making of $9.99, an Australian-Israeli co-production.
I personally abhor the attempts at politicisation of MIFF, whether it be by the Chinese government over The 10 Conditions of Love, which I recently wrote about, Loach linking the Palestinian issue with Israel paying for airfares, or Australians For Palestine planning to protest at MIFF's opening night and other sessions. Loach is, of course, entitled to his opinion but, on face value, I disagree with his stance entirely.
For what it's worth, here are copies of the correspondence between Loach and Moore, as posted on the AFP website (click on images to enlarge):
While Loach may have legitimate concerns about Israel and its policies towards the Palestinian territories (concerns that I share, by the way), it seems to me that his stance is inappropriate. Should MIFF refuse funding from, for example, the British Council, the Australian government or the US because of those governments' involvement in recent war crimes? I mean, this just gets ludicrous, and hence the title of this post.
I wholeheartedly support Richard Moore's stance on the issue of MIFF's political independence.
I know this is a potentially emotive issue, and feel free to post your opinions one way or the other, but one request - please keep on topic.