Harvey Weinstein: 'Miral' Critics Are 'Crazy and Wrong'

8:49 PM PST 03/14/2011 by Kim Messina
Jose Haro/ The Weinstein Company
"Miral"

The distributor tells The Hollywood Reporter that the controversial movie is not anti-Israeli, but "a pathway to peace."

Harvey Weinstein has come out strongly against critics who claim the movie Miral is anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli.

"The people who don't want you to see the movie for political reasons are crazy or wrong," he tells The Hollywood Reporter at a disputed United Nations screening of the film. "I think the idea is, let there be peace."

Miral focuses on an orphaned Palestinian girl who grows up in the wake of the first Arab-Israeli war. Weinstein is the chairman of the Weinstein Co., which is distributing the film. Read THR's review here.

When asked if people were "over-reacting" to a perceived anti-Israeli bias in the movie, Weinstein responded, "Yes."

"If they see the movie," he added, "they'll see something that's a pathway to peace and a beautiful coming-of-age story."

Weinstein points out that both he and the film's director, Julian Schnabel, are Jewish-American.

He said the goal of the film is to get people to "make peace."

"The Middle East is a hot bed, (and) that doesn't have to be," he said. "It's (been) too long, and maybe when the public takes the issues, it becomes something."

The American Jewish Committee had called upon the president of the U.N. General Assembly to reconsider his decision to sponsor the screening of the film on Monday.

In a letter sent to General Assembly president Joseph Deiss on Friday, AJC executive director David Harris accused the movie of portraying Israel "in a highly negative light," calling it "blatantly one-sided."

The film will be released March 25.

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