Israel’s ambassador to France will not participate in the opening night of the Israeli film festival in Paris because of the controversial film Foxtrot, said Sunday the Foreign Ministry of Israel.

The embassy “has suggested to the festival management to choose a film that is not controversial for its opening night but following its refusal (…), the ministry decided that the ambassador will not not present at this evening, “he said in a statement.

Israeli director Samuel Maoz’s complex and surreal film Foxtrot won last year’s Jury Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival.

Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev then accused the film of lending a “ritual murder” charge against Israeli soldiers.

She had been delighted by Foxtrot’s non-Oscar selection in January, saying “this decision spared us a bitter disappointment and a false representation in the Israeli military world.”

 

“The Israeli Embassy in France is proud to have supported the Israeli film festival in Paris since its inception 18 years ago and is not used to meddling in the choice of films broadcast during the festival,” he said. however, the ministry’s communiqué said.

Director Samuel Maoz said in September 2017 that he criticized the place where he lived “because I worry because I want to protect him, I do it out of love”.

The 18th edition of the Israeli Film Festival will take place from March 13 to 20 in Paris.