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Emmy win for TAU graduate’s movie

Maya Zinstein’s documentary film “Forever Pure,” about an Israeli soccer team, won an Emmy Award

Director Maya Zinstein, a Tisch School of Film and Television graduate, just won her first Emmy. Her film, “Forever Pure”, documenting the reaction of fans of the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem when two Muslim players from Chechniya were added to the roster, was awarded an Emmy earlier this month in the Outstanding Politics & Government Documentary category. In the United States, the movie was broadcast on PBS.

Zinstein first began documenting the team and its fans with the her of her cinematographer Sergei (Israel) XXX in 2013, originally for an Israeli ivestigative journalism TV show. She later continued filming, hoping to turn the materials into a proper documentary. During this period she recieved threats against her life. 

Arkadi Gaidamak

Arcadi Gaydamak, then owner of Beitar Jerusalem, attending a game. (Photo: Reuven Schwartz)
 Making a difference

“Forever Pure” documents the racist backlash against the decision of then team owner Arkadi Gaidamak to add two Muslim players to Beitar Jerusalem, the only soccer team in Israel to have never had a Muslim or Arab player on its roster. 

According to Zinstein, one of the best things to happen as a result of the movie are the changes she’s seen to the soccer culture in Israel, especially in Beitar Jerusalem itself. The team changed owners since the movie was filmed, and has made efforts to curb the racist behavior of fans. 

Watch the trailer for “Forever Pure”:

 

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