Portman Faces Protests Over Filming In Israel
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman is facing protests from ultra-Orthodox residents of a Jerusalem neighbourhood where she is planning to shoot her new film.
The Black Swan star is filming her directorial debut A Tale Of Love And Darkness in Israel.
The Times Of Israel reports the Jewish protesters are angry that they have not been informed about the filming and have written to the authorities.
"The film shooting is set to take place on several sensitive streets close to synagogues and yeshivas, and the scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don't offend anybody's sensitivities," their letter said.
While the residents have been reassured that the cast of the film will be modestly dressed, there have been reports of graffiti saying "foreign invasion" being written on nearby buildings.
"There is a constant tension between the desire to celebrate diverse and interesting Jerusalem and the attempts by extremist groups to prevent this," deputy mayor Rachel Azaria said.
"The attraction of the city, its unique architecture and the efforts of the film and television industry will triumph and the cinematic growth we've seen in Jerusalem in recent years will continue to flourish also tomorrow with Natalie Portman in Nahlaot."
Portman was born in Israel but moved to the US when she was a young child. She will also star in the film and will speak Hebrew.
She is said to have received thousands of dollars from the Jerusalem Development Authority to make the film, based on the autobiographical book by Israeli author Amos Oz, in the city.
The protest comes just weeks after Scarlett Johansson faced criticism for her links with Israeli company SodaStream which has a factory in the occupied West Bank.
The Her star stepped down as an ambassador for Oxfam after the charity disagreed with her relationship with the company.
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