THE LENI RIEFENSTAHL OF THE OPRESSED

17 jun

The most celebrated contemporary filmmaker, the Korean American Brazilian Iara Lee, author of two independent documentaries: Synthetic Pleasures (1995) and Modulations (1998), and half a dozen of more obscure short movies, went to UN headquarters in New York to show images of the video that she edited of the Israeli attack on the pirate ship Mavi Marmara legitimately intercepted while trying to break through the Israeli blockade that prevents the transport of weapons into Gaza.

This is not an useful innocent used by terrorists, but as Leni Riefenstahl, a free artist engaged in a cause: in 2003, Iara Lee was deported from the border with Jordan, where she was agitating. In 2004 she was arrested in Tel Aviv, where she was still agitating, and deported. In 2006, living and stirring in Lebanon, she was again arrested and deported from Israel. Now stirring in the Mavi Marmara, Iara was deported from Israel for the fourth time… “I work with the Palestinians in na incipient way”, she told to Terra: imagine if she worked in a non-incipient way (whatever she means with it).

The activist Audrey Bromso also told the Turk CNN that the boats carried more than humanitarian aid – permitted by Israel. The “Freedom Flotilla”, according to her testimony, would take prefabricated houses and cement, which she called reconstruction aid. It is widely known that Israel denies the entry of cement in Gaza to prevent the construction of tunnels for smuggling weapons. With this ban they managed so far to prevent attacks on Israeli population, on a truce with the Palestinians, who the pacifists want to break by ending the blockade.

Engaged in this pacifist cause, impatient for a new outbreak of war between Israelis and Palestinians, Iara Lee showed the UN her edition of 60 minutes of 90 minutes of the footage recorded inside the boat by a Serbian filmmaker, who, despite of having done all the work, remains without credit – but Leni Riefenstahl did the same, taking as his the work of dozens of cameramen hired by his production company.

The scenes show activists with vests and gas masks praying to Allah and preparing for a confrontation with Jewish soldiers. A squad of fanatics communicators, equipped with computers and last generation cameras (remember that Iara Lee evaluated her equipment lost in 150 thousand dollars) broadcast worldwide the most hellish Palestinian propaganda. When the Israeli ships arrive, they hear gunshots.

Traces of blood seep through the wall from upstairs to the bottom where the cameraman does, securilly, his daring records. A helicopter flies over the boat. The brave crew, in the most pathetic picture of the history of cultures of resistance, launch against the Israeli helicopter some boulders with their slingshots.The helicopter departs from this Intifada. Victory? No, the wounded are brought down. Soldiers run and scream while the boat’s alarm honks. The activists were arrested, but that the video can no longer register.

For some reason, Iara Lee editing suppresses from the called crude material (but well selected) the lynchings of the early Jewish soldiers who came down to the boat. The events recorded in her trick editing took place after those attacks. The video shows only the arrival of reinforcement to those first Jewish soldiers. Neither shows the confrontation between armed pacifists and the soldiers, which resulted in nine deaths and dozens injured. She admitted: “I just have a general, I have no close-ups of the guys killing us.”. That statement she made, of course, shortly after she was murdered.

Impossible to know whether the material removed from the editing of Iara Lee had records of the actions of a lynch mob who beat and stabbed those first soldiers. In this case, she did not have to do as Reuters, which suppressed from the Turkish photos, with a Photoshop program, the bloodstains of the Jewish soldier stabbed and the hunting knife handled by a humanitarian pacifist from Mavi Marmara: it was sufficed erase half hour of recorded images from her footage.

As Israeli troops were greeted by gunfire (the stolen guns from the first soldiers that they succeeded in toppling with punches, kicks, beatings and blows from iron bars), hovers the question of the origin of the shots. The images neither clarify who owns the blood that drips from the wall: if from the activists who fired the soldiers or the Israeli wounded soldiers – one with six bullets in the chest.

Thus, the votes of Iara Lee that her material can be useful to UN conduct an international investigation and to her lawyers from the NGO Cultures of Resistance prosecute those responsible for the attack seems futile. She will have more success with her new pacifist project: to organize from Brazil a new boat, only with Brazilians, to integrate international humanitarian new fleet, with 50 ships now heading for Gaza suicide. One Mavi Marmara wasn’t enough: now 50 boats from hell!

In Lesson, Roland Barthes wrote: “The modern ‘innocence’ speaks about power as if it were one: on one hand, those who have, on the other, those who do not have. We believed that power was an exemplary political object, now we believe it is also an object of ideology, it is insinuated at places where not listened at first, in institutions, in teaching, but in short it is always one. And yet, if the power is plural, as the demons? ‘My name is Legion’, he would say: everywhere, on all sides, heads, devices, massive or tiny, groups of oppression or pressure: everywhere, “authorized” voices which allowed itself to make hear the speech of all power: the speech of arrogance.”

Always stirring in sake of peace and justice, always using a different country as a base, always floating on the surface, Iara Lee is really cunning and nimble: “I was born in Brazil, lived in the United States, Tunisia, Lebanon, Korea, Paris. Every year I try to use a different country as a base in order to understand a little the world in a more direct way. Through the Foundation “Caipirinha” [her production in the U.S.], I use creativity to promote peace and justice.”

Enchanted with the Hamas leadership, Iara Lee assumed, in the struggle of the oppressed people of Gaza, her fate as an official Nazi Left filmmaker: from Now, Voyager* she was promoted to the organizer of the Brazilian boat for the Legion. After the war that the pacifists prepared with their activism, Iara Lee will say, in the manner of Leni Riefenstahl, to those who accuse her of compromising herself with terrorists, that she has always been apolitical, that she didn’t know anything, that she never understood a word of Arabic, that she was only an innocent artist.

* Now, Voyager (EUA, 1942), by Irving Rapper, with Bette Davis. A woman leaves the Hospice to remake herself embarking on a journey by ship. Romantic, she falls in love with another passenger – a married man. During the trip she – seen as ugly – become beautiful and desirable, living the adventure of her life.

by LUIZ NAZARIO. Translation: FERNANDA DA ROZ *

* FERNANDA DA ROZ é uma artista da fotografia, que  busca pontos de vista inesperados do cotidiano e de seu próprio corpo: seus retratos e auto-retratos são de uma beleza intensa e delicada. Vale a pena passear por sua rica galeria no Flickr – com mais de mil uploads! Em defesa instintiva e visceral de Israel, Fernanda Da Roz acabou descobrindo este blog, divulgando-o em seus espaços virtuais – onde agora nos resta combater na solidão contra os moinhos de vento da propaganda…

Uma resposta to “THE LENI RIEFENSTAHL OF THE OPRESSED”

  1. Fernanda 18/06/2010 às 00:29 #

    Obrigada!! Lisonjeadíssima!!! 🙂

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