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An Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker has spoken out one day after being detained and questioned at Los Angeles International Airport along with his family. Emad Burnat arrived in Los Angeles to attend this Sunday’s Academy Awards, where he is nominated in the Best Documentary category for “5 Broken Cameras.” The film documents the growth of a Palestinian resistance movement to the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in. Burnat and his family were freed after the filmmaker Michael Moore sent out Twitter messages and called lawyers to intervene. Burnat and Moore discussed the incident at an event Wednesday night.
Emad Burnat: “When I got here yesterday, it was different treatment and different — you know, they were questioning me, and they were asking for more documents and more papers. I had the visa, I had the documents, and I had the invitation. I had everything. But they were asking for me to give them more documents.”
Michael Moore: “So then I called the head of the Academy, who then called the Academy’s lawyer, who then got an immigration lawyer, all within five minutes. And then I called a friend that works in the State Department, and I’d say probably a half-hour or so later they released him.”