This spring, Syracuse University will host an international conference with a theme, “The Place of Religion in Film,” that made one of its organizers think of Shimon Dotan.
The award-winning filmmaker, who sits on the faculty of New York University’s graduate school of journalism, recently finished a feature length documentary,The Settlers, that chronicles the history and present state of the religious settler movement in the West Bank, where more than 400,000 Israeli Jews live on occupied land.
The film is “one of the first close-up views of the motives and personalities in a group that rarely opens up to outsiders,” The New York Times noted. Variety ravedthat its festival presence is assured, and said that it is gripping enough to break out to wider audiences.
But despite an invitation to show The Settlers at “The Place of Religion in Film” conference, and interest on the part of the filmmaker, the screening will not take place. As happens so often in academia these days, campus politics got in the way.