Wednesday, February 22, 2006

French Documentary (Yet Another One) to be Shown by Al-Jazeera

That stunningly objective documentary on the Saddam Hussein trial that Arte broadcast last Fall has caught the attention of that stunningly objective network called Al-Jazeera. Back in September, No Pasarán brought you the full details on the film that poured scorn on the "American occupiers" while turning Saddam Hussein into a stoic character of resistance.

As it happens, French TV fare seems to be of great interest to Arab television stations, notably cartoons and… documentaries. Emmanuelle Erbsman, head of Arte's rights department, confirms that her clients

appreciate the distinct tone in French programming.
(You can almost see her raise her nose and sniff in self-contentment.) Al Jazeera and MBC's 03 company were so intent on snatching up the Jean-Pierre Krief documentary that the rivals drove up the prices, with the $10,000 that eventually settled the deal being double the usual price.

With anti-American fare like that we are used to seeing on French TV, no wonder that Al Jazeera has bought over 20 French documentaries since 1999.

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