Natalie Portman - Natalie Portman Faces Protests Over Israel Movie Shoot

Hollywood actress Natalie Portman is facing protests from disgruntled residents in Israel who are unhappy over her plans to shoot a movie there.

The Black Swan star is working on her directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness, based on the book by Israeli author Amos Oz, and she has chosen to film much of the movie in Jerusalem.

However, ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents of the city's Nahlaot neighborhood claim they were not given enough warning about the shoot and they are unhappy that the filming is taking place close to a local synagogue.

They have written a letter to local officials, obtained by The Times of Israel, which reads, "The film shooting is set to take place on several sensitive streets close to synagogues and yeshivas (educational institutions), and the scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don't offend anybody's sensitivities."

Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor Rachel Azaria says of the protest, "There is a constant tension between the desire to celebrate diverse and interesting Jerusalem and the attempts by extremist groups to prevent this. 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, who was born in Jerusalem before moving to the U.S. aged three, directs and stars in the film, in which she speaks Hebrew.


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