tv Charlie Rose PBS March 24, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. tonight, the foreign minister of morocco on the arab spring and the monarchy in his own country. >> i want to be clear here. the arab league-- 22 countries-- despite a resolution talking about the no-fly zone without hesitation and this position was kept by international community and then by the security council. and the security council, the resolution, the last one, 1993, is binding to all international communities. to all countries. >> rose: we continue with a conversation about the new movie
"miral" directed by julian schnabel based on a novel by rula jebreal. >> it's a palestinian story. it's a story about palestinians. it's a story about people that were on the other side, for me. i have never been on the side of the palestinian or the palestinian side. so i thought it was my job to know the other side and see what the problem is. if we're going to solve this we need to talk to the other side. >> this story is about how the society actually lives the daily life under conflict. it's about their dreams, their hopes, it's about the fact that still today waiting, like on standby, waiting for something to change. they've screamed it so loud and it never changed. >> rose: the arab spring and a new novel by julian schnabel when we continue. a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america.
every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we go back to the middle east this evening. unrest has been sweeping across north africa and the middle east since december. it has toppled regimes in
tunisia and egypt. in libya, allied forces are launching air strikes after the u.n. security council voted to impose a no-fly zone last week. and in places like syria, yemen, bahrain, and jordan, protests continue. joining me now is the foreign minister of morocco, taieb fassi-fihri, he was in washington on wednesday to meet with secretary of state hillary clinton. his government has weathered the current storm better than many of its neighbors and i'm sure there's a reason for that. i'm pleased to have the foreign minister at this table for the very first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: really a pleasure to have you here. >> i'm very pleased to be here. because it's an important moment it's important to share with many americans the real situation in our arab... what's called arab world. >> rose: tell me as much as you can about your conversations with secretary clinton. >> we have a long-standing relations with americans and
morocco was the first country which recognized the independence of u.s.a. and also in morocco you signed, america, the first treaty, trade, and also protection against piracy. and we've done a good job since the beginning. but now i think that u.s.a. tried to encourage the best evolution possible in the arab world because the arab world is not monolithic in terms of political regimes. and the monarchies like in morocco and monarchy in gulf countries, republics, military dictators and we cannot put all the country in the same baskets and morocco started at the beginning immediately after gaining independence. we fight against the party, we established the first constitution in 1962 and since this time, we've amended this
constitution four times. and i think that also in morocco thanks to the vigors of the society and the freedom of press and protests and manifestation we all the time work on our... walk on our two legs-- political leg and also social and economic leg. and maybe the error was made when during the last decade some countries want security through economy without trying to convince others that it's important also to open the society and to give to youth and to all people the possibility to express their opinion. the second lesson also is that each country when we look at what happened in tunisia or in egypt it is still today i can
say peaceful transition. even regret that happened. but we are to be vigilant because what happened in iran in 1979, for example, when the shah left the power, the emperor left the power, there was a transition to establish a democratic... but unfortunately you know what happened after and then we are not sure that after this arab spring will ultimately succeed an arab summer. >> rose: that's a very important question. what will determine whether the arab spring is successful or, b, whether it becomes chaotic, whether it is in some cases hijacked. whether forces that have no democratic impulses are able to
seize power. what will determine those results? >> it's sure that it's a good thing that people express the strong desire for change. now, like all change, there are other risks and between the revolution and evolution, it's a large possibility and this risk is there and then the international community has to help. d we want to accompany not only as other arabs but with the european union like you did with the central and eastern europe in 1989. >> rose: when the soviet union collapsed. >> when the soviet union collapsed. and european union, u.s.a., nato together we worked and helped these people for this transition. and the arab world can be the
same, but unfortunately we have not this collective umbrella and the arab league didn't play its job, that's why we need a new arab league with sharing other values, working other partners. >> rose: speaking of the arab league today, what is it they-- the arab league-- wants to happen in libya? >> i want to be clear here. the arab league-- 22 countries-- decide the resolution talking about the no-fly zone. without hesitation and this position was kept by international community and then by the security council. and the securi council, the resolution, the last one, 1973, is binding to all international community, to all countries. and in this context, some
countries that lack the choice in total sovereigy, how they can crypt for the implementation of this resolution. and the resolution talks about cease-fire, about protection of civilians. and talk about also humanitarian actions and political process. the country like morocco, because we are a member of the union, and as neighbor of libya we have a strong relation between people first. between people. and morocco decides to participate to the paris summit last week. probably we will join other meetings. >> rose: and you supported the u.n. resolution. >> we support, but we try to privilege the... what we can be... where we can be fruitful. humanitarian actions and there are important medical team in the borders between libya and
tunisia today. >> rose: one of the things that would help a lot, if there was more arab participation in the effort, would it not? what's the reluctance? because we thought qatar would come in and do things. >> rose: >> qatar decided to participate to one track, the military action. >> rose: have they don't that? >> i imagine that it's a question of hours. others, others... >> rose: morocco. >> morocco and i heard also jordan and emirates and others prefer to privilege the humanitarian track because it's important in the context of solidarity among arab people. >> rose: but having said that, is it important... the question: is it important for morocco and jordan and other arab countries
and the arab league itself to say not only did we ask nato and fransz and britain and the united states and the united nations to do this, we want them to do this, we support this and we want to make sure that it is not perceived as something other than what it is. >> it's a question of pedagogy, it's a question of how some parties will interpret these actions. that's why the role of a country like morocco is important. because we can play a key role as a bridge to facilitate what is the most important not only the ase-re but we have to think today on the political forces. african union progress, and i hope that they can encourage a domestic political process between parties in libya. because it's a question of the choice of people of libya. but it's also important to get the opportunity for dialogue.
we heard together that some people in libya want something, exess something. we want also to avoid a separation, a division of libya. it's libya, it's not only tripoli against benghazi, it's the same people, the same country. and this country plays also a key role because it's in the heart of the mediterranean and it's also in the connection with subsaharan country. >> rose: and they have oil resources. >> and they have oil resources and this pace of sahara is very important for our common and collective security because of al qaeda activities in some country like mauritania. >> rose: so what would you advise those people who are attacked... who are on the attack in libya today? >> each country has to contribute and to help, to help,
and to look forward. to look forward coming back to the arab spring we see that protests and the manifestations are different and the reactions of the government ar fferent and tt's why it's important now to have a good other arab league umbrella. >> rose: do you think the arab spring will become a dark winter or a brilliant summer? >> it depends on the country. it depends on the country. the tunisian case i am optimistic because they decide in tunisia to organize this election for a new assembly on the 24th of july and give time to some groups to organize themselves as political party
because moroccoffers this but in tunisia and egypt and in other arab countries there is no choice between programs... in egypt also we have to work together for the success because the military said today that they willfinalize the constitution and prepare elections and then give the power to the civilians which is a good thing. >> rose: morocco. you have a king who succeeded his father. many people believe that this young king has changed morocco and they believe that he has some popular support within the public and therefore morocco has a certain kind of immunity from the severity of protests that reesents the arab spring. do u disagree with a of that? >> no. i can confirm that the monarchy
played a key role in morocco and this monarchy is very dynamic is and when he starts, he starts saying... talking about poverty. let us work against corruption. let us work for transparency. let us have some agreement with european union on these two base democracy and development. morocco is the unique african country which signed a free trade agreement with u.s.a. and beyond the trade or investment, what is responsibility that morocco took the commit to fight against i.p.r. and corruption and to have the best rules of the game not only in economic field but also in political field. morocco also looked to its past
and the... his majesty also organized this possibility to look what happened during some period in the '70s and '80s and then this... >> rose: and came to what conclusions? >> that something happened bad. we have to recognize what is more important. >> rose: while his father was king. >> yeah and what we did is maybe more important than what south africa did because it's in the context of the continuity. and ts political work now helps us for a new step with the new trugs, his majesty asks for a new and audacious constitution to don't progress and demonstrate that the good is
possible. >> rose: are you suggesting his majesty is prepared to give up some of the power of the narc? >> the constitution today expressed that the king has not all the powers. today we are... i am a member of an elected cabinet. i am member of a cabinet which has to present a program to the parliament. but what will we do is to consolidate that tomorrow and we will consolidate through inclusive process. no one will be excluesed from the contribution for a new constitution. you use political parties and youth, it's the fresh air. and we have to listen to all arab countries, you know, that are the average more than 50% of
the population are less than 25. how we can progress without listening to the youth? >> rose: there are a few times in history in which people have voluntarily given up power. very few instances they've voluntarily given up power. >> i'm not agreeing. >> rose: give me an example. >> there is a possible... between the power and the people looking for the best for the country. and there is some pressure first by the political party but also by the leadership. and that's why i said that the monarchy in morocco subpoena a dynamic one. because they open the door to everyone to contribute for the progss and the door is open also at the same time for a good working on human development. >> rose: do those people who want a change in morocco and
recognize that they had a more benevolent-- if that's the right word-- king than other people might have had, a dictatorial power, are they happy? are they satisfied today with the change that the king has promised rohr they saying in some instances it's not enough? >> there is the political part inside the parliament and outside of the parliament. and n.g.o.s in discussions with the government, but also with with this mechanism for the reform of constitution. and there is some people who decide to continue to express something in the street. and for us it's important to have this evolution. because the protest is not like in other countries. i am sure that this dialogue will be inclusive and that we will reach the best constition we can have for the benefit of our people first.
>> rose: what does your king think of constitutional monarchies like great britain? >> naturally it's totally different. the monarchy plays an important not only in terms of guarantee of the unity of the country, don't forget that we have a problem in the sahara and the king and the monarchy have this important role, unity, territorial integrity, but also at the religious level because the king, his majesty, is the commander of the faithful. faithful for muslims and also for jews. and there is a difference between the political field, track, and the religious track. the only... they only converge at the level of the monarchy. and we cannot compare. but in terms of democracy.
in terms of investing people. in tms ofiving people the capacity to decide, it's very progressive. >> rose: what's the status of the relationship with the pal sar front? >> we are in negotiations and we try to create a new, better environment with our neighbor, algeria. algeria continues and decides to close... to maintain the border closed between morocco and algeria. i think that it would be better if this border opened to create a better dynamic for the region and morocco presents an audacious, here, too, initiative. a compromise for this region. and putting on the table a large
autonomy, genuine autonomy and then for the reconciliation. because now people are divided. some populations are still today kept in camps and they cannot join their brothers, their sisters in morocco. then the negotiation is a n a good track but we need some better... good will and determination from algeria but also from morocco to create and to resolve this dispute because if we continue to not resolve this dispute don't forget that in this area we continue to be very active in the mag remember islamic... the main... established in the south of algeria and mauritania and also in mall i and niger and the
finance of their activities come from ransom on one hand and also but trafficking. and there is important traffic from south america with cocaine to west africa. and west africa can be destabilized and our neighborhood can be destabilized these activities. >> rose: by the money from the drug trade? >> yes. >> rose: the impact of the arab spring. it did not have an islamist, per se, edge to it? does this somehow emerge as an alternative? >> the islamists, for example, in tunis, or the muslim brotherhood in egypt said today that they are for the democracy. >> rose: right >> and they respect the rules of the game. and they change and they talk about the turk model or the
indonesian model and we have to listen to that. is it a real commitment that no one can be islamist, radical in the arab world today? is it only tactic or is it a real to participate a contribute to the spring in the context of democracy. then we have to follow that we have to open the door to others. the others political parties. now, if this islamist accepting the rules of the game win an election, you have to accept. we have to accept and not say, no, no, no, it's notthe results we want.
if. >> rose: we don't want to be saying "we invite you to participate as long as you don't win." >> yes. and some people said one vote only one time. >> rose: exactly. >> and that's why the constitution is important. that's why the agreement between our countries and the european union or u.s.a.'s also important in terms of commitment and not coming back. it's impossible to come back but we're sure that in some ce it wi take a long time before the arab summer. >> rose: what's the biggest challenge for the state of morocco. are >> the biggest challenge is our territorial integrity because our neighborhood is the legitimacy of morocco. and this issue is created artificially in the cold war, the world changed and still
today we have this dispute between morocco and algeria. and we want to resolve it on the basis of a compromise because we want to cooperate and create a mag remember with fighting against it, together against al qaeda and be a partner of the region but also as model for other arabs or example for other arabs. and to resolve that issue... to create the... the monofar ski the best system we can have. once again as our identity and as guarantor of that morocco will all the time move and go forward. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: a pleasure to have you on this broadcast. >> thank you very much.
>> rose: julian schnabel is here he's an artist and filmmaker. his new film, "miral," tells the story of a palestinian girl growing up at the first int fad a. it has attracted controversy for its depiction of israeli/arab conflict. here is a look at the film. >> we are here for mihrab. miral. does she live here? >> she is my daughter >> call her, please. >> she's asleep. >> get down, get down. >> i don't understand! >> i'm miral shaheen. >> see, she's all ready. >> don't worry, baba, i'll be back. >> miral! this is some misunderstanding. please! do not take her. she is a school child. she is innocent! she knows nothing. i will answer your questions. she's not a criminal. help! help!
>> rose:. >> rose: also joining me, rula jebreal, she wrote the autobiographical novel that opens in theater. i'm pleased to have julian schnabel and rula jebreal back at this table. welcome. good to have you back. >> thank you. >> rose: it seems a matter of days when you were here and we saw that interview last night. so here you are. this is a movie that first began in your head how many years ago? >> well, we met in 2007. we met in 2007, did some scouting for in the 2008, started shooting, did preproduction from january 12 to the... and then finished shooting june 22 and then that was 2009 and then edited the
movie and finished it just before the venice film festival last... 2010 now it's come out, it's march, 2011, and it's coming out tomorrow. >> rose: i saw it about a year ago, first time. you showed me an early, early look. >> that's true. one of the first people to see in the this country. >> rose: and we're friends. >> that's true. >> rose: has it changed since the first time iaw it? and if so, why? >> yes, it has. why? well, what did i say? "... what did thoreau say? "if i had more time walden pond would be shoter"? >> rose: (laughs) yes. >> i think sometimes i'll make a painting and i'll just leave the painting in the studio for six months and it will change. i don't do anything to it but it's different. and you have to be responsible for that thing. and somehow you look at it and
look at it and it's about paying attention to detail and then at one moment i thought, okay, maybe i'm asking too much of my audience. and i'll... one thing that i took out, if you're curious, a scene that i loved, they wrap the body of of hind and put her in a yellow station wagon. and i loved the flowers, i loved that it was yellow, it wasn't black. and the point of view of god pushes through the window d it becomes blurry and then you hear miral say "my name is miral that mean, i was born in 1973 but my story begins in 1947 with hind husseini." now, you don't know what you're seeing at first, who hind is or whatever. if it starts just at the beginning with the blur and then you hear miral's voice and you see hind right away, you get on with the story. what you also do is at the end when hind is standing even in the courtyard saying good-bye to
miral, next shot she's in a station wagon dead in the back of the station wagon. so what happens is if you saw it and you go "that's what i was looking at when i first saw the movie" now what happens is you had no idea she was going to be dead the next shot so it's more disturbing and somehow you're with the characters more and there was another thing when i had palestinian flags and israeli flags and yitzhak rabin and actually rula at the end and there was a lot of stuff going on in the credits and i think now it just pans up from the funeral, you see the hills of jerusalem, cuts to black, and it's much more powerful. >> rose: as we established in a conversation with you, this is based on a book, a novel that you wrote which is reflective of your life. >> yes. >> rose: what did you want this story-- now in this film-- to show, to say, to mean? >> first to show that we are
equal. that i lived for a long time in a war zone. it's actually destructive for the psychology of both sides and it created a dysfunctional dynamic that is built only on violence. and the communication becomes only about this. so when we hear about that are children from the israeli side, palestinian side, this is all the news that you hear about. but this story is about how the civil society actually lived the daily life under a conflict. it's about their dreams, their hopes. it's about the fact that still today they're waiting like they're on standby, waiting for something to change. they screamed it so loud and it never changed. it's a story of this young girl, she's a teenager, she also has a moment of sexual awareness, political awareness and a moment where she wants really to be loved because, of course, she loses her mother when she's very
yuck. her mother commits suicide. she lives in an orphanage. so the kind of love is a desperate love, it's not normal. she wants attention of a man that is involved politically but she wants the love of the others, the love of a friend, an israeli. that's a love she's looking for. she wants to build a bridge where she can tell her friend that she wants the same thing that she... that she has. her civil rights or even freedom of movement for one place to another. >> rose: do you believe... do you see this as a political story or do you see this as some other kind of story? >> a human story. but every human story has a political aspect. so if you talk about miral in the first intifada, of course she's engaged in the first intifada. >> rose: that's a political act. >> that's a political act. every child that was brought up in that period decided one moment that they were so dissatisfied with what's going on they wanted to go to the streets and scream it so loud. but the conflict that she has
with her father because he told her, you know, please no violence, stay home, study, go to school, that conflict, you see, i have it with my own daughter today. she wants to go partying, maybe. so the generational conflict that you have is something that you have everywhere. but what you don't have in this country you have in my country that is persistent is the instability. >> there's one thing that i'd like to say about the intifada is that it started off as a non-violent manifestation and it started off very much the same way that the revolution in tunisia started out and the revolution in egypt. and we've encouraged freedom and democracy for those young people in those places. i think palestinians were asking for the same thing at the time of the intifada. this is not something that was designed by the p.l.o. but we couldn't see that.
it wasn't as if there was a foreign government attacking israelis, we're talking about people that live in israel that wanted the democratic situation, they wanted the same rights as the jewish people. and i think we kind of forget that in a way because it looks like yes, we won the war of the intifada. but we didn't win anything. we just kept those people down and i think the thing that all israelis want and all palestinians want is for their children to come home at the end of the day for them not to be terrified their kids kid is going to get blown up or a stray bullet from a soldier killed a kid in the occupied territorys somewhere. i think that's the biggest fear of all families that lived in that region. so a wall is not going to solve that. you have to open the hearts of people. it's a humanistic film and it's about caring about people and somehow people have to stand up, be non-cooperative and
non-violent and... >> it's a cry for peace. this movie is a cry for peace. >> rose: let's go back to the story and what this story is. it was her funeral you were showing in the beginning. i wasn't asking, i was just making note. and there was she was central to you? >> she was my mentor. she was my hero. >> rose: a generation of children she brought together in '48. >> absolutely. >> more than one, many generations. >> many generations, thousands and thousands of girls. hind was a mentor, she was a peacemaker. she was an educator. she was somebody that believed in civil society. she didn't treat it like very much politician, she never believed in them. >> but there's one thing that's really interesting or the most compelling something what do you do in the middle of a war if you're a woman? what can you do? in this particular situation she found these children and instead
of just leaving them somewhere or walking by somewhere, she took them, started this school and drew a line around them, created this oasis for these kids and i think that that model of building a school is something that is progressive and it's modern and she also interfaced with a lot of the mores and problems young girls as muslims faced with their families and having to get married to somebody. >> yes, she always proposed these kinds of manly or behaviors. she really protected us and she would send us to men that wanted to take their caught thers to marry and she would say no, you are not allowed to do this. she has to choose and there's a beautiful scene in the movie somewhere she asks him what do you think? and the guy says she's shy, she can't answer, she says no, she has a voice. she can answer. i remember one day i came back from the refugee camps and i was very excited for w what's going on and she said rula, your future is not there.
your future is here in the books. and she told me the difference between you and the kids in the refugee camp is this school. she believed in one victor used to say, you open the school, you close the jail. that was her mind-set. >> rose: is this pro-palestinian, in your judgment? >> i think it's a palestinian story. i don't think all palestinians are the same. like, i don't think all americans are the same. and i don't think all israelis are the same. >> rose: and all the palestinians in this film are not the same. >> exactly. it is a palestinian story. it's a story about palestinians. it's a story about people that were on the other side for me. i've never been on the side of the palestinian or the palestinian side. sosy thought it was my job to come out to know the other side and see what the problem if we're ever going to solve this, i think we nd to talk to the other side. >> rose: that's what i want to get at. did you make this part because you met her and fell in love with the story or did you make
this film because you understood at some point even though you did not have a political background that someone needed to make a film that got at some of the issues about... that had been a part of the conflict between israelis and palestinians since 1948? >> absolutely had nothing to do with me falling in love with her. that being said, in the course of doing this and the... i guess the proximity of just getting into her life, i mean, i felt like i could have been hind. i could have been nadia. i could have been fatima. i could have been her father. i could have been any of those characters. we, you, charlie, we could have been in that situation. we probably would have done the same thing that miral did. and what i tried to do is in showing these different characters before miral shows up it shows the psychogenetic makeup of this kid so when she
goes to the refugee camp, you know she's going go "what's wrong with this? why can't we do something? we should be able to do something about this?" and then hind and her father have to say "listen, this is this has been going on a long time, no violence." and they try to save her life. i think there's a lot of love in her story, a lot of love that she had for her father and also a lot of love she had for these other girls that grew up in that environment with her. and so... but my responsibility, i think, came from something that my mother implanted in me, that my father... i mean, i've had the privilege to make art, say what i want, do what i want, believe that this was a free country and my father said to me once when he was looking out at the beach in montauk and he was 92, he said these kids wouldn't blow themselves up if they could come to montauk for one day, just go swimming for one day out here.
and when she came to montauk, e said the same thing my father sai whi i thought was a little spooky. he was dead already and the thing is it's true. if life is just brutization, disrespect, pain and one horror after the next, it's not so hard to give it up. if there's joy in it, if there's respect if there's the possibility of having a dream, maybe you don't want to give it up so easily. >> i think we felt that when we were at the same side because before we were talking about sides, this side and the other side and we start making the movie we felt that we were at the same side. and this side is one. it's not two in minute palestine and israel. and until we understand this, there will be no solution. >> there's another thing. it's not just the two of us. everybody that worked on this movie-- and there were palestinians and muslims and christians and jewish people, israelis, french people-- a lot of people worked on this movie
all together. it looks like daniel birnbaum's orchestra. what are they all doing there? people don't just work for the money. they work because they believe that peace is possible. and even though as sad as it seems is how impossible it seems right now i can't help but believe that at some moment all these people are going to live together. >> rose: and do you think this film contributes to that idea? >> i do. i do. >> rose: why? because it shows palestinian people not as one block called palestinians. it shows a father trying to protect his daughter. it shows a teacher trying to protect her student. it shows a child. and there's one thing that we all have in common. we've all been a child once where we weren't in charge of
what was happening. where we weren't in charge of our destiny. so we could either nurture or we could discourage a child. that's a promissory note. and i thought that's what the movie would be about. when i read her book i thought that's what it was about because these people didn't divine or design their...this rlity >> it's also about forgiveness, really. we were talking about nelson mandela and he came out of jail and he said "forgiveness." he didn't say forget but he said forgive and move forward. that's what we see together for our country. i mean, when i had my children... when he was talking to me about israel from his point of view, i thought he's talking about my own country. about the same place. and i wanted them to go back. >> rose: more that binds us than divides us. >> absolutely. >> rose: roll tape. >> sit.
4 the first thing that i want to say is that i love you. but i also love teddy. i don't blame you for what happened but i don't want to lose you, too. how do you think i keep place open? i'm not going to be here forever all of you will replace me. any political involvement is not dangerous only for you but for all of us. stop this immediately or i will not be able to keep you here. i'll have to deal with the israelis everyday. you have to think prudence is the most precious virtue. >> you don't understand anything! if you were me, you would be out there, too. this is our struggle! listen, girl! this school is the difference between you and the children in
the refugee camp. >> rose: you don't know the critical reaction to this. are you worried about it? are you worried the film will be judged by not the quality of this story, the quality of the film, but because of the political overtones? >> truthfully, i'm not worried. truthfully i've seen bad reviews of the movie. >> rose: because it's been seen in london. >> i've seen insulting reviews of the movie. i've had extraordinary comments from people that i really respect. that would tell me truth. they wouldn't say that they liked it just because they were friends of mine. and i saw the movie at the united nations for 1,600 people in general assembly. i've seen the... i think there's a real chance now.
i think people are scared of this material. i think's a real chance for people to see this film finally. i think harvey weinstein has really gotten behind this film now that the whole oscar thing is over and there's a clear moon coming. i think he's poured his weight and enthusiasm. >> rose: and this is a man who's been dedicated to israeli causes. >> exactly, and i'm happy to have him on this. and i think that... so my... i think we're going to get some good reviews. >> rose: okay. suppose yoget bad reviews because they simply don't think that this is as good a movie as they expected because... >> because "the diving bell and the butterfly was so great"? >> damn right. suppose you say "they're wrong. this is a better movie and they're doing that for political reasons." >> i think one thing i learned
being a painter, i've been a painter for 30 years. i've had terrible reviews. art and life are not always con grew white house. >> rose: right. >> i believe that if you look at "raging bull" i think it got the worst reviews when it came out... >> rose: it didn't win the oscar. >> "ordinary people" won t oscar that year. a good movie but not "raging bull." so yes it's always hard... every time somebody looks at a painting. you make a group of painting and they don't like it when you show them a group of paintings that look radically different. >> rose: it's the same way with singers. innocent you sing the old song and not the new songs. >> exactly. captain beefheart, god bless him he never wanted to repeat himself. i like to do something that i haven't done before. i'm not on automatic pilot. >> rose: so you think you're out there on this one? this is a big risk for julian? >> but am i scared? no.
was i disappointed when the a.j.c. wanted to... >> rose: american jewish congress. >> committee >> committee. wanted to stop the screening at the united nationss? i am not living in a bubble. i live... so i knew these things could happen and i wanted these things to happen because i want people to go out and see the movie. >> rose: here's what it says in the a.m. the movie they didn't want you to see. is that the idea here? the movie they didn't want you to see? what does that say? >> the movie they didn't... >> rose: who doesn't want people to see this movie? >> well anybody... >> rose: is that the right question? >> that's a good question. >> that's a great question. because me personally, the word "they," i have a problem with the word "they." >> rose: what do you say in the ad? tell me what you said in the ad. >> i didn't say that. the company says the movie they didn't want you to see. i would stay movie we've been waiting to see. >> rose: fair enough.
but that being said, who is it? >> the people who have not opened their hearts or minds to empathy. the people that don't want to know. the people have just... well, obviously in this particular case the people at the a.j.c. they didn't... they didn't see it and they didn't want anybody else to see it. >> they were calling the general assembly, they were calling the president saying "you can't show in this movie" the israeli ambassador. and we know harvey weinstein got so many calls of friends, jewish people, even his old mother told him "are you out of your mind?" and he's "g.q."ing about it. but it's true there was a lot of pressure for not... for this movie not to be shown. >> but on the other side most of the people that have worked on this plu vie are jewish. so is about somebody's heart
and temperament. what does the movie do? it makes you care about these characters, the problem is we're not supposed to care about these characters. they're palestinians. we're not supposed to care about them. well, unfortunately, you do care about them when you watch it and you go, oh, maybe these people aren't all so bad. maybe they're human beings, too. is that a problem for anybody that's trying not to consider them as human beings? it might be. but i think it was the correct thing to do and i'm extremely proud of the movie. the way it's made, what it says and what it's doing. >> you know, there are concerns about... >> are you proud of the movie? it tells a story you wanted to tell and hope that it would become when you wrote the book and then saw it evolved into a screenplay? >> i'm proud of julian for his integrity and dignity and the fact that he really fought.
everything seems simple now but this movie to be made in israel, in palestine, with a mixed crew where everybody was not sure they wanted to work with each other, brought it everywhere, talked about it and for the first time i saw something in arab's eyes when we went to tunisia, to qatar, to abu dhabi, dubai, and showed the movie. and they've never seen an israeli or a jewish person so when they saw julian, they was best ambassador for israel because we never thought that somebody can tell our story this way with a lot of empathy and dignity and respect. >> rose: why are you saying you'll take some time off before you make another movie? sglel >> well, first thing i'd like that do is usher this thing into the world and i need a coalition of people to do that i never wanted anybody to see a movie that i made as much that has one. >> rose: you think it's misunderstood? >> i don't care about the movie. i care about what's going on in the middle east. >> you think this adds to the dialogue in a positive way by
showing that people who you see are real people with real families and real stories and histories and they're not the same? >> yes. and to show some of the situations that they're living through that we as american people would not tolerate in this country. it happens in this country but we fought the civil rights movement in this country so i find it very, very difficult. i mean, on one hand obama went to cairo, gave this great speech encouraged the egyptian people to... he treated them with dignity and respect, encouraged democracy in their hearts, they went out to the streets and they had a peaceful revolution. and he's the same guy that's vetoing the illegality of the settlements at the united nations. so what's... it seems to me the conflict here because these settlements that keep getting
built are the root of the impocket of making peace in israel. i mean, that is a central issue. >> rose: will the film be seen in israel? >> well, i showed the movie to the mayor. >> rose: i know that. will the film be seen in israel? >> my answer is this: the mayor said he was going to make a screeningover it. so if he does... >> i'm still waiting. it will be. i have to tell you... >> i can't imagine that it won't b. whether it's black market or white market... >> my book was translated in many languages except two-- hero and arabic. the movie has been seen in the arab world, not in israel yet. and you know we are finding this difficult here, this controversy but it will be the same in israel. it's very hard to hold up when you're under... hold up a mirror and say this is the picture of your country, of your place. this is what's going on here.
this is what you don't want to see. it's a mistake that you are doing that actually is building more hate not more communication building hate. it's very difficult and what we have in the way is a personal agenda stopping everything. i kneel if israeli people or jewish people will see this story they will connect with the humanity of the story because they will lose the standard issues. why this little girl has to go through all of these things? why a woman has to be raped. why another woman has to have difficulty on building schools or getting orphans? they will start questioning and by questioning maybe they will push their government to do something. >> rose: what are you going to do now that you are a journalist you are an author. >> i am a journalist and author. >> rose: what next >> i'm ready to go back to work. >> rose: she needs an office where she can interview people. >> you can join me on certain nights and we'll do something together. great to see you my friend. >> i don't get offered a job.
i'm unemployable. >> rose: you're going to go back and do what you say is your thing, which is paint. >> well, it is... not what i say it's what i do. >> rose: all right, the movie is called "miral." it opens friday, march 25. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org