Thursday, 2 February 2012

Denis Villeneuve to direct adaptation of Joe Sacco’s 'Footnotes in Gaza' about 1956 massacre

Paris-based Tu Vas Voir developing adaptation of Sacco’s graphic novel on 1956 Gaza massacre; company also confirms new Walter Salles film to start shooting at end of 2012.

Incendies director Denis Villeneuve is set to direct an adaptation of Joe Sacco’s graphic novel Footnotes in Gaza, Paris-based production company Tu Va Voir, which is developing the project, has announced.

“It took a long time for us to convince Joe Sacco that we were the right people to adapt the work,” says Tu Vas Voir producer Amiel Tenenbaum, who started bidding for adaptation rights shortly after the work’s publication at the end of 2009.

Footnotes in Gaza is based on Maltese-American cartoonist and journalist Sacco’s own research in the Gaza Strip into the shooting dead by Israeli soldiers of 111 Palestinians in the town of Rafah in 1956.

Sacco first achieved international fame with his 1996 book Palestine. Other works include Area Gorazde and The Fixer, both capturing the Bosnian War.

“Joe was always adamant that it was important for him to have confidence in the director… from the beginning we’d had Denis in mind,” continues Tenenbaum.

After talks with Villeneuve’s agent Claude Girard at the Cannes Film Festival, Tu Vas Voir set up a meeting between the director and Sacco in New York at the end of last year.

“Joe came out saying I think you’ve found the right person,” recounts Tenenbaum.

Tu Vas Voir plans to adapt the work as a feature-length animation, taking inspiration from Sacco’s original black and white illustrations. more

Anti-boycott attacks at Uni of Pennsylvania spread intimidation and anti-semitic smears

by Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada)

Yesterday I wrote to University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, asking her to condemn a vile and inflammatory attack by Professor Ruben Gur on the University’s own students.

Gur likened those participating in this weekend’s conference on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) (at which I will speak) to Nazis, and Omar Barghouti to Hitler.

The unchecked inflammatory rhetoric by opponents of the conference, especially Professor Gur, is making students and conference participants feel unsafe.

Most disturbingly, Gur singled out Jewish students and speakers, calling them “capos” at Nazi extermination camps. “Capo” or “kapo” is the term for a concentration or death camp inmate who collaborated with the Nazis.

It would seem that Gutmann has no problem with such anti-Semitic attacks as long as the Jews being singled out in this despicable manner are deemed to be supporters of equal rights for Palestinians.

And Gutmann has failed to speak out even as pro-Israel groups are bringing a violence and torture advocate to campus to counter the BDS conference. more

EU parliamentarians call for immediate release of Palestinian MPs

Palestinian Parliament speaker Aziz Dweik is being held by Israel along with dozens of other parliamentarians

STRASBOURG, February 1, 2012 (WAFA) – A group of 26 members of the European Parliament Wednesday called on Israel to release 26 Palestinian lawmakers it is holding in prison, including the speaker of the Palestinian parliament.

In a letter of appeal, the 26 European Union parliamentarians, who represent a broad spectrum of the European parties, urged “the EU and its Member States to take immediate action” in order to ensure the release of all detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

They recalled the European Parliament resolution of September 4, 2008 calling for “the immediate release of the imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council including Marwan Barghouti.”

The EU lawmakers condemned the arrest of PLC speaker Aziz Dweik, who was arrested two weeks ago and sentenced to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial, as well as arrest of the lawmakers from Jerusalem taken from the premises of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

They described these arrests as “unacceptable and provocative,” particularly plans to expel the Jerusalem lawmakers from their city of residence. more

Gaza protesters throws shoes and stones at Ban Ki-Moon's UN convoy to protest pro-Israel bias

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Dozens of people threw shoes and stones at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's convoy as it entered the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Ma'an's correspondent said.

No one was injured during the hostile welcome and the vehicles, which crossed into the Hamas-ruled territory from southern Israel, pushed through the crowd and sped away.

Ban is visiting the region to try to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Many of those who protested as the UN convoy passed were family members of Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. They hit the vehicles with signs bearing slogans accusing Ban of bias towards Israel and of refusing to meet the relatives of Palestinian prisoners. more