Israelis Approve of Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino's Nazi-killing extravaganza finally hit Israeli theaters this week. Aside from Germany (where giddy critics went overboard with praise after the film's debut there), Israel was Tarantino's ultimate barometer to gauge whether he could get away with bringing spaghetti-Western justice to Nazis. When I interviewed Tarantino about the film over the summer, we discussed my ambivalence about how liberal Israelis, who deal with issues of power and aggression on a daily basis, would take to the film. Judging from the audience's reaction at the film's Israeli premiere, I was wrong. Tarantino, shouting the same pre-movie pep talk that he's used to introduce Inglourious Basterds at other theaters, earned wild applause and cheers from his first ever Israeli critics:

I've been looking forward for the past few movies to coming to Israel, and I figured this might be the movie to do it with. ... You guys just made me feel really welcome and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart [applause and whistling]. And I'm very looking forward to seeing the movie with an Israeli audience. ... Try not to throw tomatoes ... So are you guys ready to kill some Nazis? [loud cheers, 'yeahs!'] Are you ready to fuck up some Nazis? [louder applause] Let's get this motherfucker started! [audience goes wild]. 
Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

From This Author

Just In