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January 23, 2018 1:27 pm

Israel’s Culture Minister Hails Her Country’s Oscar Failure

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

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Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev. Photo: Facebook.

Israel’s culture minister breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday that her country’s contender had failed to land an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film — despite not having watched the movie.

“Foxtrot” tells the fictional story of an army checkpoint where bored Israeli troops shoot Arab passers-by after mistaking a soda can for a weapon, and then cover up the incident.

It became Israel’s Oscar submission after sweeping its national cinema awards, but the right-wing minister, Miri Regev, had called it anti-Israel.

On Tuesday, after the nominations were announced, she told Army Radio that they had “saved us from bitter disappointment and a false presentation of the Israel Defense Forces internationally,” while adding that she had not seen the movie.

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Her previous criticism had prompted Israel’s Film and Television Academy to disinvite her from its annual prize ceremony in September, to which she responded with a threat to cut the academy’s government funding.

“Foxtrot” also won the Silver Lion grand jury prize at the Venice Film Festival in September. After accepting the award, writer-director Samuel Maoz said: “If I criticize the place I live, I do it because I worry. I do it because I want to protect it. I do it from love.”

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