Will the film screen in Syria?
No, I doubt it. The fact that I'm Israeli always prevents the film from being shown in Arab countries.
The film was nominated for many Israeli Academy Awards. Do you think it was too politically volatile to actually win?
Yes. The Academy, being a slightly conservative body, found it difficult to give an award to a film that is mainly in Arabic and, politically speaking, too touchy. Which I have to say, now that I'm not angry at the Academy anymore, is a pity.
Why did you make the film in Cinemascope?
One, I wanted to give it a Western feel. I felt these people are in a landscape - physical, emotional and personal. It was just a feeling, basically. Two, the film being a democratic film, I think Cinemascope gives you that.
What obstacles did you encounter shooting in the village?
The village is mainly split between the pro-Syrians and the pro-Israelis. The problem was to balance that correctly in terms of getting the cooperation of the village and we managed to do it. The key word was honesty. From day one, I asserted that I'm not serving anyone. I'm telling a story and I want to do it as honestly as I can. I think people respected that.
What do you think about these interviews? Do you think they serve the film or do you think the film should just speak for itself?
Once people see the film, they can understand it emotionally even if they don't quite know where Syria is. An American might see the title and read the synopsis and say, "This about local politics in the Middle East; I'm not sure I want to go and see that." But I think once you read about it and hear what I have to say and what the film critic has to say, I think you get a different picture. I think it's important to give foreign language films exposure. Otherwise, they're always categorized as foreign although they can certainly be accessible to any kind of audience in the United States. With The Syrian Bride, I feel strongly about that.
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