The national “Collège au Cinéma” system will be done without Wardi in Paris. The announcement was made in an email from the rectorate addressed to the association of independent Parisian cinemas (CIP) on October 12, reports Libération. This animated film, directed by Mats Grorud, tells the story of an eleven-year-old Palestinian girl, born in a refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. It notably evokes the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the relationship between Wardi and his grandfather, chased from his village at the time of the Nakba in 1948.
This one hour and twenty film was until now part of the “Collège au Cinéma” program organized by the Archipel des lucioles association and the CNC, with the support of the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture. It was removed from the Paris program due to the “context of extreme international tensions” explained the rector of the Paris academy. The latter explains that “several teachers raised questions with the rectorate about the advisability of broadcasting this film this year” and that it was preferable to withdraw it to avoid any “potential consequences on our territory”.
“At this stage only the Paris rectorate has decided to deprogram the film,” explains the CNC. Four other departmental coordinations of the Collège au cinéma system (Lot-et-Garonne, Lozère, Marne, Val-de-Marne) who wished to program Wardi during the 2023-2024 school year (among a national catalog of around a hundred of films) have decided to maintain the programming of Mats Grorud's film.
This new deprogramming is added to the list of Palestinian works (or linked to Palestine) excluded or postponed since the Hamas attack in Israel. A phenomenon that the Observatory of Creation had recently denounced in a press release called “the works are not guilty”: “The Observatory of Freedom of Creation, which firmly condemns these deprogrammings, asks the programmers to be elected local authorities or those responsible for private or public cultural places, to respect their commitments to distribute works, whatever the nationality of the authors and the subject of the works.