US customs blocks Palestinian Oscar nominee

21 February 2013

In a sign of the times even Oscar-nominees find it difficult to make it through US customs these days.

Documentary filmmaker Emad Burnat and his eight-year-old son were stopped at Los Angeles International Airport.

“They want to send me back home,” said the filmmaker. “So it’s very important for me to be here to attend the Oscar because it’s a historic day for Palestine to be here and to talk about the film.”

The agents told him he didn’t have the proper proof that he was nominated, so he had to call on a showbiz friend to help out, in the form of “Fahrenheit 9/11 director, Michael Moore.

“So I think the homeland security person was trying to process that. ‘Okay you’re a farmer, you’re Palestinian, and you are an Oscar nominee. Right, and I’m nominated for the Nobel Prize,’ you know.”

“5 Broken Cameras,” is the first Palestinian documentary ever nominated for an Oscar, and has already won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Cinema Eye Honors.

The film takes place in the occupied West Bank, where his cameras keep getting destroyed by violence.

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