(JTA) — Director and activist Michael Moore intervened to help Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat enter the United States to attend the Academy Awards ceremony.
Burnat, co-director of the film "5 Broken Cameras," which is nominated for best documentary, was detained early Wednesday morning by U.S. immigration officials at Los Angeles International Airport along with his wife and 8-year-old son. The Oscars will be handed out Sunday in Los Angeles.
According to Moore’s Twitter feed, Burnat texted Moore for assistance in entering the country and showed immigration officers his official Academy Awards invitation. Still, they were not convinced Burnat was an Oscar nominee.
Moore said he called Academy Awards officials, the officials called lawyers and the lawyers contacted immigration officials to confirm Emad’s invitation to the Oscars. Moore also tweeted that he told Burnat to "give the officers my phone # and to say my name a couple of times."
"After 1.5 hrs, they decided to release him & his family & told him he could stay in LA for the week & go to the Oscars. Welcome to America," Moore tweeted.
In “5 Broken Cameras,” Burnat chronicles his village’s resistance to the construction of an Israeli settlement and to the soldiers who try to squelch their protests. Five of his cameras were smashed by the Israeli army as he documented friends and family members being shot and injured by Israeli troops. The documentary is officially labeled as a Palestinian-Israeli-French co-production.