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May 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Exclusive: The Meeting That Led Harvey Weinstein to Purchase The Oath of Tobruk

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Ron Agam (center) with Harvey Weinstein (left) and Bernard Henri Levy (right). Photo: Nicolas Rachline.

French artist Ron Agam’s friendships with Bernard-Henri Levy and Harvey Weinstein led to one of the most high profile film deals heading into this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Weinstein, who has just purchased the rights to The Oath of Tobruk, Bernard-Henri Levy’s documentary that tells the tale of Muammar Gaddafi’s fall from power, and eventual death, in Libya, was told about the project when Agam set up a meeting between the two titans of their respective fields.

“Harvey Weinstein is the most serious movie distributor in the world and I felt that Levy, being one of the world’s most important philosophers and political activists, to bring the two of them together would be an incredible moment,” Agam told The Algemeiner.

Levy traveled to Libya after the civil unrest began there in early 2011 and met with Libyan rebels, before returning to meet with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy to brief him on what was happening on the ground.

“He made a documentary about it and when he told me about it, I immediately said ‘Harvey must see this,'” Agam said.  “I arranged for the two of them to meet and Harvey liked the documentary and he decided to purchase the distribution rights for the United States.”

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Weinstein, who is the chairman of the film distribution giant The Weinstein Company, released a statement, noting that the film “highlights the invaluable leadership from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. American audiences will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how our government and the French government worked together to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians and brilliantly handled the overthrow of a government.”

The U.S. and NATO’s roles in arming and protecting the Libyan opposition is largely credited with Levy’s ability to convince Sarkozy that if the international community did not intervene in the conflict, Gaddafi would massacre his own people.

Agam, who has seen the documentary, which will premiere at this year’s Cannes Film festival later in May, says “the historical documentary will leave people speechless.”

“I was very happy because these are two immense talents and two immense individuals.”

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  • Kay

    I am stunned by this……….”highlights the invaluable leadership from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. American audiences will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how our government and the French government worked together to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians and brilliantly handled the overthrow of a government.” in fact I am sitting here shaking my head as I read the above….. are people really this blind.. or so enthralled by the leadershp of US..which contines to push Israel under the bus!???

  • jj

    Will they also include Canada’s leading role? After all it was a Canadian General incharge of operations of airstrike with Canadaian and Nato planes not so much American. This smacks of propaganda.

  • Joy

    This smells of propaganda – pure & simple. The role of the US and NATO is not exactly exemplary. Gadaffi would probably NOT have “slaugtered his own people” if they hadn’t been armed by the USA & NATO against his regime. And what/who will take Gadaffi’s place? Right now it seems tenuous – but the killing of Christians (which Gadaffi protected to some extent) is beginning, and the spectre of the Muslim Brotherhood or another islamist element appears to be a very real possibility.

    Yes, I recall the “joyous words” of Hitlery when they overthrew the Regime, but there was still something very unsavory about the whole thing – to say nothing of the slaughter of Gadaffi’s African troups who were rounded up and summarily executed by the rebel/islamic forces.

    So, where’s the outrage – and the action! – in Syria against Assad? I guess his oil wells aren’t as vast and as rich as Libya’s. Of course, the French were in on it, too – they stand to gain the most from renewed flow of oil & money from Libya.

    And they were the same whores who decried Bush and his “war for oil” in Iraq!! That gushing fountain of black gold/$$ certainly never materialized for the USA. Bush was naive at best and ignorant/foolhearty at least in trying to bring Democracy to the Mid East! Ain’t gonna happen!

  • jj

    Will they include the leadership of the Canadian air force and the Canadian general in charge of the airstrikes or will this be an adulation of Obama.

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