Heavy lobbying to obtain Oscar nomination for Israeli war movie

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli diplomats and American Jewish organizations have launched an intensive lobbying campaign to obtain an Oscar nomination for the recently released Israeli movie Beaufor, which examines the experiences of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed in southern Lebanon during the final days before Israel's 2000 withdrawal from the area.

The movie, which has been compared by critics to several classic American films in the same genre, is believed to have an excellent chance of winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

The effort to promote Beaufort, however, comes amid relatively widespread displeasure with the political slant of the movie at home. Many Israelis who served in southern Lebanon between 1982 and 2000 decry the film's overt left-wing tone, which questions Israel's right to have ever invaded Lebanon and established a security buffer zone in response to the terrorist attacks emanating from its northern neighbor.

Despite their opposition to the movie's political message, nearly all veterans of the war in Lebanon say that Beaufort very accurately portrays the conditions under which they lived and fought and the social dynamics between the soldiers stationed there.

Beaufort was based on the book If There's A Heaven by Ron Leshem, at the conclusion of which the author predicts with eery accuracy the circumstances that led to the Second Lebanon War. Leshem also warned that Israel would not emerge victorious from its second foray into Lebanon.

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