LAX Didn't Believe Foreigner Was Oscar Nominee
Michael Moore says he intervened to help Emad Burnat clear customs
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2013 3:55 PM CST
Documentary film director Palestinian Emad Burnat poses for a photo after an interview in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Emad Burnat is nominated for Best Documentary for his film about the Palestinian protest of an Israeli security fence in the West Bank, 5 Broken Cameras—but he didn't have an easy time of it yesterday when he entered the US to attend Sunday's award ceremony. According to Michael Moore's Twitter account and a statement from Burnat picked up by the Hollywood Reporter, Burnat and his family were held up for more than an hour by immigration officials at LAX who threatened to send the family home because authorities were skeptical of his claim to be an Oscar nominee. The family was eventually released after Moore contacted the Academy, whose lawyers contacted immigration.

"Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout he West Bank," says the filmmaker's statement. "There are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers to movement across our land, and not a single one of us has been spared the experience that my family and I experienced yesterday. Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day." Click for a Burnat interview about the incident via the Huffington Post.

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Showing 3 of 93 comments
right2dave
Mar 13, 2013 6:18 AM CDT
Newser- Time to kill this story. If he wasn't from the invented race of Palestinian no one would care.
right2dave
Feb 24, 2013 2:01 PM CST
Who let Michael Moore into this country?
bubbahotep
Feb 21, 2013 12:04 AM CST
JuliaHowe -- thank you for the entertainment this evening! I've been sitting here with my neighbor and her 5 year old. They're up late tonight because the fire alarms went off and they couldn't sleep. I started reading your responses to them because you sounded particularly deranged so we went down the list while I read your comments to the kid in a cartoon voice. She was laughing so hard that, after my second comment, we asked her to give the responses to the rest of your comments while I typed them in. Congrats on matching wits all night with a 5 year old. Well done!