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“Somebody will say or ask me, ‘Well, she didn’t really blow them up, so you didn’t show how bad she really was,’” he says. “Well, the truth is that the cinema did not blow up, ‘kay? … Am I supposed to blow it up to satisfy people that will say, ‘Oh, it showed that the Palestinians are really bad too, so now we feel more comfortable?’”

Those who accuse the film of lacking balance, he says, are missing the point.

“It’s her diary,” he says, looking at Ms. Jebreal. “I paint portraits in real life also. Is she entitled to have a portrait painted? That seems to be the issue. Can a Jewish man paint a portrait of a Palestinian girl? Or is it bad for Jewish people — is it bad for Israel? is it anti-Israeli? — to paint a portrait and show it in a wide audience, a portrait of a Palestinian girl and her perspective on reality?”