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August 07, 2007

"Hot House": Cinematic Soapbox for Murderers

hot house.jpe
Ahlam Tamimi, responsible for the murder of Malki Roth, ascends a cinematic soapbox in "Hot House"

In an Op-Ed in Ha'aretz today, Frimet Roth, the mother of 15-year-old Malki who was murdered in the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing, recounts the trauma she suffers due to the documentary "Hot House," which has garnered glamorous photographs of Malki's killer in places like the New York Times.

Roth warns viewers:

[Y]ou may emerge convinced that this film conveys a balanced picture of the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A film without a single appearance by a victim of the terrorists. Not one photograph. Not even one name.

Instead, the film's goal, in the words of producer Shimon Dotan, is to

"make Israelis understand the issue of Palestinian prisoners [and] think we are doing exactly the same thing [to the Palestinians] in their civilian life. We owe them empathy."

Empathy for people like Ahlam Tamimi, the young woman who helped plan the murder of Malki Roth. Tamimi sat two hours with Dotan for a "gripping" conversation. Roth reports:

He asked whether she knew how many children had perished in the bombing of Sbarro. Smiling, as she generally does, she guessed "three." "It was eight," Dotan corrected her. She seemed delighted and smiled again, asking, "really?"

Roth is outraged that "Hot House":

was primarily underwitten by Israeli government sources -- not Dotan's funds. . . The New Foundation for Film and Television was established in 1993 to essentially support the production of documentary films. With 60 percent of its budget, millions of shekels annually, coming from the Education, Culture and Sports Ministry, this foundation was a primary source of the film's budget.

Posted by TS at August 7, 2007 03:48 AM

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