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Activists urge boycott of ‘Wonder Woman’ screenings

By Suzanna Goussous - Jun 16,2017 - Last updated at Jun 16,2017

AMMAN — Activists in Jordan on Thursday urged local cinemas not to screen the newly released “Wonder Woman” film, after the Jordan Media Commission said there are no legal issues in its screening. 

University student Ahmad Shabsough said screening the film “will give way to more acts of normalisation with Zionists”.

“At a time when many countries are boycotting Israel, we are screening a film with an Israeli lead actor who supported terrorist attacks on Palestinians," he said, adding that "many people were outraged by the decision to screen the film in the Kingdom”.

Tala Wakileh, a 25-year-old Amman resident, said showing the film in Jordanian cinemas is “shameful”, as Gal Gadot, who plays the lead role, served in the Israeli army for two years.

Norma Khader, a mother of two, encouraged parents to always read about the films shown in cinemas, and to especially research the actors involved.

“Sometimes, there are indirect messages conveyed in films, including the backgrounds and beliefs of the actors in real life,” she told The Jordan Times.

Cinema City in Mecca Mall announced on their Facebook page that the cinema would not be screening the film, despite the media commission allowing it in Jordan. 

“After allowing the screening of the ‘Wonder Woman’ film in Jordan, Cinema City apologises for not screening the film,” the post said.

TAJ cinemas in Abdoun also said they would not screen the film in their cinemas, due to objections raised by the public. 

Mohammad Absi of the anti-normalisation campaign, said activists from several campaigns have been contacting cinemas and calling on people to boycott the cinemas that plan to screen the film. 

The “Itharrak” anti-normalisation campaign issued a statement urging cinemas to boycott the film and for the public “not to fall for acts of normalisation”.

“As a campaign working towards boycotting the Zionist entity at all levels, the cultural level is a priority…we draw your attention to the fact that the character playing the leading role in the film is an Israeli militant, who served for the Israeli army in the war against Lebanon in 2006,” the statement added.

For his part, an official source at the Jordan Media Commission, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times that the film was reviewed last week by a committee of legal and cinematic experts, who based their decision on the 2004 licensing system of audiovisual works, code 63,
Article 4.

The system allows or bans films according to criteria based on legal and film-related issues, the source said.

The source added that cinemas have the right to either ban or allow the film's screening, but that the committee did not see any legal grounds for banning.  

Gadot’s family moved to Palestine as Jewish immigrants from Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany. Gadot’s husband is an Israeli businessperson of Turkish Jewish ancestry, according to online sources.

The actress won the Miss Israel title in 2004 and has acted in several international films, such as the Fast and the Furious franchise.

The actor said in a previous interview that her military background had helped her to land  roles. 

In the past, she has expressed her support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine several times, both in interviews and on social media

During Israel’s 2014 aggression on Gaza, she wrote a message of support aimed specifically at members of the Israeli military, saying: “I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens.”

“Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children,” she wrote.

 

The film has been banned from cinemas in Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as in a prominent cinema in Palestine’s Ramallah.

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