Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swedish Filmmaker: Aren’t We Immune to Backlash?

Naively, Mikael Svensson at the Öresund Film Commission was unpleasantly surprised to find out that the situation of Jews in southern Sweden, and the government’s failure to do anything about it would affect his industry. An American film company scrapped its movie project and notified the Film Commission via email regarding  its decision to find an alternative location.
According to the report, “A Hollywood film company was planning to set a movie with a Jewish theme in Skåne in southern Sweden but changed its mind due to concerns over anti-Semitism in Malmö.”
In 2010 a  travel warning advising “extreme caution” for Jews travelling to southern Sweden was issued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The warning was cited in the email as the basis for scrapping the project:

”Only problem I see with this project... is the huge problem that this being a Jewish story and that the Simon Wiesenthal center in the USA called the south of Sweden a VERY unsafe place for the Jewish community.”

Svensson at the Öresund Film Commission said, "I have followed the debate, but never thought that it could spread to the film industry and this type of decision.”

Hello! Svensson! The world is increasingly global, it was only a matter of time…
Sweden cannot expect Jews to happily accept for lackadaisical attitude towards real threats to the local Jewish community.  Svensson’s naiveté is not encouraging sign for those who are hoping for a change in policy.  
By Chanah Shapira

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