M/sunny
34°
M/sunny
Hi 36° | Lo 23°

Czech Jewish community protests award being given to Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson arrives for the screening of The Homesman at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

Mel Gibson arrives for the screening of The Homesman at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

The Czech Jewish community protested against a decision by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to give Mel Gibson its top award for lifetime achievement, saying his work includes anti-Semitic views.

The 58-year-old actor and director will receive a Crystal Globe during the state-sponsored festival’s opening today, according to organizers. The Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic objected to the award, saying Gibson’s 2004 movie the Passion of the Christ portrays Jews as “evil and blood-thirsty,” it said in a letter to the festival.

“By granting this award, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival becomes another of the very arguable platforms that are gradually changing the atmosphere of our country from a traditional, relatively tolerant society” into one “where space is given to hostility, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic ideas,” the Federation said in the letter on its website.

The Karlovy Vary Festival acknowledged receiving the letter and it respected its opinions.

“The award is to recognize Gibson’s filmaking skills and his career,” festival spokeswoman Uljana Donatova said by phone. “We don’t feel that we’re entitled to comment on the rest. The Passion of the Christ won’t be screened at the festival.”

Gibson rose to international fame with the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon films and won Oscars in 1995 for best picture and best director for Braveheart. A devout Catholic, he sparked a controversy in 2006 when he was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu, Calif., and made anti-Semitic remarks to a Jewish police officer.

He apologized after the arrest for what he said were “vitriolic and harmful words.”

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.