"You're racist, revisionist, anti-semite !…" and that was just the opener.
"The man's a terrorist, a murderer, a liar, corrupt.He never wanted peace!!…"
Nothing quite like facing an audience Q&A when the first person to put their hand up unloads a stream of invective. You never know if the guy firing that opening salvo is going to rant and lose the crowd or is about to come up with a devastating point which brings the crowd with him. Thank God for Ron Pundak.
If memory serves, we were on a lightning tour of Jenin, Ramallah, Jordan and Jerusalem for five consecutive days of screening films we'd made on Arafat and Peres. To say they polarised audiences would be an understatement. Critiques (good and bad) were always impassioned and depending on the first audience question/speech, the Q&A session after the film could go either way. That night didn't bode well. At all.
Staring down the barrel of an hour with a passionately hostile crowd I began to zone out and review the options for the world of pain that would surely follow. My co-producer had yet to take the fall whilst crossing the Allenby Bridge into Jordan which would put her in a cast and wheelchair - so a worst-case shameful hustle from the theatre was still a possibility.
The enraged man thundered on, "EVERYBODY KNOWS ARAFAT NEVER WANTED PEACE!!".
And then came that Annie Hall moment...
Syria, Adam Curtis stylee
You may well have noticed/read our recent interest/immersion in Syria. What you may not know is how the current mess became front page news (outside of Gene Sharp/revolution et al).
As per usual, it's the extra-ordinary eye, research and mind of Adam Curtis who joined the dots on seemingly disparate pieces of information in his invariably brilliant blog and certainly inimitable style.
For those of you who want to really understand and see behind today's headlines this is concise, clear and essential reading...