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Hashmatsa
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Defamation (2009) More at IMDbPro »Hashmatsa (original title)

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Defamation -- Intent on shaking up the ultimate 'sacred cow' for Jews, Israeli director Yoav Shamir embarks on a provocative - and at times irreverent - quest to answer the question, "What is anti-Semitism today?"
Defamation -- What is anti-semitism two generations after the Holocaust? In his exploration of modern Israeli life, director Yoav Shamir travels the world in search of the most modern manifestations of the 'oldest hatred', and comes up with some startling answers. He f

Overview

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7.2/10   924 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Yoav Shamir (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Defamation on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 August 2010 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Intent on shaking up the ultimate 'sacred cow' for Jews, Israeli director Yoav Shamir embarks on a provocative - and at times irreverent - quest to answer the question, "What is anti-Semitism today?" Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
5 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
a moore-esquire film raising some serious issues See more (8 total) »

Cast

 
Uri Avneri ... Himself
Yaakov Bleich ... Himself (as Rabbi Bleich)
Gianfranco Fini ... Himself
Norman Finkelstein ... Himself (as Professor Norman Finkelstein)
Abraham Foxman ... Himself
Abraham Hecht ... Himself (as Rabbi Hecht)
Isaac Herzog ... Himself - Minister in Charge of Anti-Semitic Affairs
Dov Hikind ... Himself - Assemblyman
David Hirsch ... Himself - Sociology Professor
Charles Jacobs ... Himself (as Dr. Charles Jacobs)
Teddy Katz ... Himself - Gush Shalom
Noah Klinger ... Himself - Journalist
Joel Levi ... Himself - ADL Regional Director New York
Benjamin Lifschitz ... Himself - Reporter
John Mearsheimer ... Himself
Arieh O'Sullivan ... Himself - ADL Spokesman
Dina Porat ... Herself - Professor
Harvey Prince ... Himself - ADL, Los Angeles
Suzanne Prince ... Herself - ADL, Los Angeles
Stephen Walt ... Himself
Bob Wolfson ... Himself - ADL Regional Director

Directed by
Yoav Shamir 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Yoav Shamir  writer

Produced by
Ori Bader .... line producer
Sandra Itkoff .... producer
Philippa Kowarsky .... producer
Karoline Leth .... producer
Knut Ogris .... producer
Nynne Marie Selin Eidnes .... line producer (as Nynne Selin)
 
Original Music by
Mischa Krausz 
 
Cinematography by
Yoav Shamir 
 
Film Editing by
Morten Højbjerg 
 
Sound Department
Neal Gibbs .... sound editor
 
Visual Effects by
Peter Höhsl .... visual effects artist
 
Editorial Department
Kenneth Laugaard Andersen .... assistant editor
Søren Gamborg Knudsen .... assistant editor
Nicolai Griffens .... assistant editor
Elin Pröjts .... additional editor
Stephen Vittoria .... editor: Theatrical Trailer
 
Other crew
Daniel Karpantschof .... researcher
Jordan Savel .... production coordinator
Signe Vinther .... production coordinator
Jaime Wolf .... legal counsel
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hashmatsa" - Israel (original title)
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Runtime:
91 min
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Language:
Color:
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Did You Know?

Quotes:
Uri Avneri:None of them fights anti-Semitism. They fight criticism of Israel. These are two totally different things. There's hardly any anti-Semitism in the US. It's a myth.See more »

FAQ

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11 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
a moore-esquire film raising some serious issues, 27 December 2009
Author: dromasca from Herzlya, Israel

'Hashmatsa' ('Defamation') by Israeli director Yoav Shamir dares to attack one of the sacred cows of Israel and of the Jewish people thinking - how it reacts to antisemitism around the world, how it looks at the evil of the Holocaust, and how young generations are being educated in Israel with respect to these painful and fundamental issues.

The result is mixed I must say. Without emulating completely the Moore style (he appears seldom on screen for example) Shamir uses the same approach - picks a number of characters and interviews them longly until they lower guard and reveal their weaknesses, which then are used as part of the demonstration of the thesis.

There are actually two slightly different themes in the film, although they are related and interleaved in the presentation. The first deals with the definition of antisemitism and the question whether real antisemitism exists in the world today at the scale claimed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and some of the Israeli and Jewish press. Here the director presents two leading characters, one on each side of the dispute - Abraham Foxman, one of the leaders of the ADL and Norman Finkelstein, Jewish thinker, author of a book that argues against the exaggerated usage of the Holocaust on political purposes by Israel and Jewish people. None of the two get a very clean image in the film, both have arguments that sound valid at some point, but show weaknesses and ideological bias in other moments. The weakest part of the argumentation is however the one that tries to argue that antisemitism does not exist, and the method used by the film is flawn, as the issue of antisemitism is not acute at all in the US where the director investigated most of the time, but has deep and specific aspects in many countries in Europe for example.

I did like more the approach being taken by the film relative to the education in Israel of the young generations about the Holocaust, about antisemitism and how to cope with these phenomena. Here the film does succeed to raise valid questions and the success of this part is due mainly to the fact that he lets the images and situations on screen speak more for themselves. The questions asked in the final sequence of the film - 'does this type of auto-victimization, of fear and lack of trust for anything that is foreign educate well the younger generations, or even give them the right approach to address real antisemitism and to cope with the horror of the Holocaust?' 'is this type of education better fit for the past or for the present and future?'- these are indeed valid questions which I would love to see being addressed in a public debate at prime time, not at late hours as the ones this documentary was broadcast by Israeli Channel 2 yesterday.

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