“Natalie Portman, the Queen Esther of our times”

I found this phrase in Tablet Magazine, in a very readable article about how jews cope with public polemic talk about Israel. I’m pretty sure Rachel Shukert has that phrase from me, I used it in a comment under an article in Tablet once to describe this actress who I obviously is very fond of, except maybe from her character in Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, there she seems cold, and denies the existence of hell in any other understanding of the word than the one Sartre came up with. However, if one can understand the cold mood of the film as a depicting of «a social relation between people that is mediated by images» (Debord) you can learn a lot from it. And what else: she now lives in Paris, everything I am drawn into now a’days which is intellectual, poetic and beautiful seems to have links to Paris (the situationists, Portman, Susan Sontag, Simone de Beauvior, Patrick Modiano’s novels)


Back to the topic: Nathalie Portman has recently talked about Israel in an interview in the Hollywood Reporter. Here’s some quotes from Tablet/The Hollywood Reporter:

Beginning with Netanyahu—who scrambled yesterday to form a governing coalition—Portman’s take is unequivocal and flawless:

“I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific,” she said. But she refused, as she put it, to “shit on Israel.”

“Portman, then, is that rarest of birds (A BLACK SWAN!) who has formed her public persona by leaning into her background rather than away from it. Portman, the most visibly Jewish actress of her generation, and certainly the most actively engaged with her Jewishness, has come away firmly imbued with all the most positive virtues one could associate it with: intelligence, ambition, bravery, strength. Natalie Portman makes you ashamed that you might ever be ashamed. And in this age of Twitter mobs, insta-commentary, and constant surveillance, that’s a radical act.”

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