BPFF Review: Boycott (2022)

Available online through the Boston Palestine Film Festival, Brazilian documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha’s newest educational piece Boycott probes and de-legitimizes the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the State of Israel) legal campaign at the state government level in the United States. Worried about the more than 30 states that have introduced anti-boycott legislation designed to penalize individuals who support boycotts against Israel, Boycott is concerned about first-amendment rights more than anything else.

While Bacha may have a bleeding heart for the Palestinian people, somewhat surprisingly (and just like the laws at the center of the film) the issues of Israel-Palestine can easily be substituted for any other oppositional boycott strategizing political movement—anti-fossil fuel, anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-NRA, etc. The documentary is presented almost entirely in English, with very few Palestinian or Israeli voices, and makes its argument through allusions to the Boston tea boycott and the NRA before finishing with postscripts about Texas’s use of these anti-BDS laws as a template for blocking fossil fuel boycotts. Boycott makes no honest pretenses about its true subject matter: the First Amendment. Or, it’s at least presented that way to earn good faith with a certain segment of voters—libertarians and big-government skeptics—who would never care about Palestine otherwise.

Continue reading at the Boston Hassle.

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