Oscar-nominated “5 Broken Cameras” director Emad Burnat, who along with his wife and son was detained as he arrived at the airport in Los Angeles for this weekend’s ceremony, has issued a statement depicting his account of the event and extrapolating it to what Israeli-Palestinian relations.
“Last night, on my way from Turkey to Los Angeles, my family and I were held at U.S. immigration for about an hour and questioned about the purpose of my visit to the United States. Immigration officials asked for proof that I was nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary “5 Broken Cameras,” and they told me that if I couldn’t prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel and I would be sent back to Turkey on the same day.
“After 40 minutes of questions and answers, Gibreel asked me why we were still waiting in that small room. I simply told him the truth: ‘Maybe we’ll have to go back.’ I could see his heart sink.
“Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout the West Bank. There are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other barriers to movement across our land, and not a single one of us has been spared the experience that my family and I experienced yesterday. Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day.”
According to Michael Moore, whose aid Burnat sought during the detention, Burnat’s possession of the official Oscar invitation was accepted as proof by immigration officials, and Academy officials were then asked to bring lawyers into solving the crisis.
Update: Moore added more today in a blog post …