The Wellington screening of a controversial documentary about the founder of Israel was interrupted by protests last week accusing the film of being Israeli propaganda.
When Ben-Gurion, Epilogue screened at the Doc Edge Festival, anti-Israel protesters from the group Peace Action Wellington showed up.
Yariv Mozer, the director of the film, is in New Zealand touring with his film and was at the screening.
Some of the protesters purchased tickets to the film and reportedly brought fake bombs to try and scare the cinemagoers into evacuating.
Police were called to remove a beeping black box from the cinema but no arrests were made and the screening continued.
“I would imagine that in any other country, especially in my country, this would have been treated completely different.”
The documentary came about after Mr Mozer found a lost interview of David Ben-Gurion with 6 hours of footage from 1968.
He found a pile of 35mm reels at the Spielberg Archive in Jersulam, but discovered that the sound was missing.
Mr Mozer tracked down Malcolm Stewart, the original sound recorder, in London, who had the original sound reels until he placed them in the Ben-Gurion Archive in Israel.
They paired them together and got the full film.
The interview was recorded a year after the 6 day war, and showed a very clear view from Mr Ben-Gurion which was surprising if you consider his words in 2018.
“He says that we should have withdrawn from the territories in order to have peace.”
Mr Mozer said that he made this film for Modern day Israel to hear Ben-Gurion’s vision.
“His vision was that Israel could not be always under the pressure of war, it should always strive for peace. And this was one of the things he kept on preaching people.”
“Go after peace, do whatever you can for peace, and I’m not sure we’re doing our best for this.”
Further protests are planned for the Auckland screenings at Doc Edge but Mr Mozer hopes that the groups won’t come.
“If they will watch the film, and give it a chance, they will discover that is it a film which gives a bit of a critical view to the state of Israel nowadays.”
Watch the full interview with Yariv Mozer above.
See more about the Doc Edge International Film Festival - at Auckland’s Q Theatre from 23rd May– 4th June here.
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