Oscar contender on Palestinians angers many

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Israel’s Defense Ministry says Bilin residents are still able to access their farmlands through a gate manned by soldiers 24 hours a day.

Activist Kefar Mansour said it was hard to get excited about a documentary that showed their day-to-day life, even if the scenes are shocking to outside viewers. In one scene, for instance, Gibreel asks his father why he can’t slay Israeli soldiers with knives after a family friend is killed.

“People outside clap when they see powerful images in the film, but for us that’s like normal, day-to-day life,” Mansour said.

The 31-year-old Mansour is one of the few people in town who seem excited about the Oscar nomination. “It shows nothing is impossible,” he said.

Since the movie was made, Gibreel, now 8, has become a mini-celebrity, said his mother Suraia, 42, who logs into his Facebook account to keep track of her son’s fans.

Suraia, a devout Muslim Palestinian born in Brazil who speaks Arabic with a heavy accent, will join her husband at the Oscar ceremony along with Gibreel _ an event few Palestinians from the West Bank ever attend.

“I love watching the Oscars. I never imagined I’d be with those people,” she laughed.

“When this movie is shown (after) the Oscars, millions of people will know the story,” she added. “They will know about the Palestinian cause. Many people abroad don’t even know what Palestine is.”

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