JVL Introduction

Below is a media notice just issued by WITCHHUNTFILM.ORG about the cancellation of a screening of the film in parliament


 

MEDIA NOTICE FROM WITCHHUNTFILM.ORG

27 February, for immediate release


Intimidation forces cancellation of WitchHunt film in Parliament

A documentary film exploring the background to accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, due to be screened in the House of Commons on Monday March 4, has been cancelled after an outcry from people who have not seen it.

Within hours of an invitation being sent to Labour MPs and journalists, the Jewish News  reported calls for expulsion from the Labour Party of Chris Williamson MP whose office had booked the room to show the 62-minute documentary, titled WitchHunt. Williamson had no other role in organising the event.

Neve Gordon, Professor of international law at Queen Mary University of London, who was due to take part in a panel discussion after the screening next Monday, said: “This is outrageous. It certainly confirms the significance of the movie.”

The documentary has been acclaimed by leading filmmakers Mike Leigh and Peter Kosminsky, both of whom are Jewish, and by Israeli historian Professor Avi Shlaim (Oxford University). His statement, which topped the invitation, says: Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.

The film is due for release online on March 17th following a tour with director Jon Pullman to a number of cities including Nottingham, Brighton, Edinburgh and Derry.

Pullman said: “We hope that people concerned with the struggle against racism and antisemitism take the time to see the film, and then make their own mind up. To have it publicly denounced as ‘offensive’ by people who have not seen it raises question about what is happening to democracy in this country.”

For further information see the witchhuntfilm press kit.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

This is the text of the invitation sent earlier this week to members of the PLP and to journalists.


Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.
Prof. Avi Shlaim (historian)

6.30 – 8.30 pm Monday March 4
Committee Room 12

WitchHunt, a documentary film
Director Jon Pullman, 2019, 62 minutes, UK

You are invited to the screening of a timely and hard-hitting film that turns the current news agenda on its head.

WitchHunt goes behind the headlines to take a close look at the nature of the allegations of antisemitism levelled against the Labour Party and leading antiracist activists, in particular the high-profile case of Jackie Walker. The documentary combines extensive archive material with authoritative new interviews, featuring experts in media, Jewish, black and labour history, racism and the politics of the Middle East.  The film raises urgent questions about racism, democracy and the responsibilities of the media.

A trailer and more details are available on the website.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director of the film and other experts and  contributors.

Admission will be by invitation only.
RSVP to [email protected]

Testimonials about WitchHunt

 [WitchHunt] packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.
Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise)

This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.
Mike Leigh (Peterloo, Mr Turner)

The case of Jackie Walker is important. This film asks whether her lengthy suspension from the Labour Party and attempts to expel her are fair, or an injustice which should be challenged. She is not the only one in this position. See the film and make up your own mind.
Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)