Michael Winterbottom’s true-life drama A Mighty Heart, about the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was at the centre of a fresh controversy last night following a preview screening in Los Angeles.
At a post-film panel discussion featuring representatives from Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups, a Jewish activist denounced the event saying, “The only reason [Muslims] like this film is because it’s about a dead Jew.”
The activist said the participation of members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was like “David Duke co-sponsoring Schindler’s List”, referring to the former Klu Klux Klan Grand Master and Louisiana politician.
Other invited panelists included Progressive Christians Uniting, Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, and the film’s producer Dede Gardner.
A spokesperson from the film’s US distributor Paramount Vantage said the event was designed to promote harmony. “Vantage went into the screening tonight with the best intentions,” the spokesperson said. “Like the film, this was designed to celebrate dialogue of people of diverse backgrounds and faith.”
See also Variety, 21 June 2007
The Jewish activist was one Allyson Rowen Taylor. Last year when the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission voted to give an award to a local Muslim leader, Dr Maher Hathout, Taylor accused them of bowing to Muslim intimidation: “They’re afraid of the Muslim community burning cars, burning effigies and burning synagogues.”