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Defamation Details

  • Release Date: Nov 20, 2009
  • Rated:
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 31 min.
  • Genres: Art House/Foreign, Documentary
  • Director:Yoav Shamir


Israeli documentarian [[Performer~P386045~Yoav Shamir~yoavshamir]]'s [[Feature~V301391~Checkpoint~checkpoint]] was a cinéma vérité-style exploration of the daily intractable confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian citizens at several border checkpoints. For Defamation, [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] adopts a completely different filmmaking style. Defamation, which explores anti-Semitism, is a more personal "essay film," in the style of [[Performer~P103383~Michael Moore~michaelmoore]] or [[Performer~P83168~Nick Broomfield~nickbroomfield]]. (The filmmaker has described it as "a personal journey.") [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] dispenses with subjectivity, appearing on camera to ask pointed questions, and explaining his point-of-view in a wry voice-over. Claiming that, having lived in Israel all his life, he's never experienced anti-Semitism (though he points out he's read a lot about it in Israeli newspapers), [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] travels to America to discover what the phenomenon is all about. He goes to New York, where he looks into alleged incidents of anti-Semitism that turn out to be relatively minor. He also meets [[Performer~P429200~Abe Foxman~abrahamfoxman]], who heads up the Anti-Defamation League.After spending some time traveling the world with [[Performer~P429200~Foxman~abrahamfoxman]], the filmmaker worries that while the ADL's purported purpose is to fight discrimination and bigotry, in practice, the group appears to be using the fear of anti-Semitism to bolster uncritical support for the state of Israel. [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] contrasts [[Performer~P429200~Foxman~abrahamfoxman]]'s access to power with the struggles of embattled, controversial academic [[Performer~P643126~Norman Finkelstein~normanfinkelstein]], author of The Holocaust Industry, and, like [[Performer~P429200~Foxman~abrahamfoxman]], the son of Holocaust victims. The filmmaker also travels with a group of Israeli high school students on their traditional class trip to Auschwitz. [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] suggests that there's a danger in exposing the youngsters to this traumatic experience of the most hateful anti-Semitism just before they enter their mandatory military service. [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] was granted unfettered access to [[Performer~P429200~Foxman~abrahamfoxman]] and the ADL, and the organization later issued a statement criticizing [[Performer~P386045~Shamir~yoavshamir]] and the film. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

  • Release date:November 20, 2009



Yoav Shamir
Sandra Itkoff
Karoline Leth
Knut Ogris
Philippa Kowarsky
Yoav Shamir
Mischa Krausz
Composer (Music Score)
Morten Hojbjerg
Elin Projts
Alfred Tesler
Sound/Sound Designer
Rami Yatzkan
Sound/Sound Designer