Cannes Film Festival makes exception to show Libya propaganda documentary

Bernard-Henri Lévy

Bernard-Henri Lévy

by Linda Housman

June 1, 2012 – This year’s Cannes Film Festival, held between May 16 and May 27, has added a documentary essay on last year’s U.S.-European war against Libya to its official selection. The selection for the 65th film marathon on Cote d’Azur was already made in April, but the organizers decided last minute that the documentary “The Oath of Tobruk” (“Le Serment de Tobrouk”) by French reporter and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy should be added and receive a special screening.

The French-languaged documentary which is co-produced by the French-German culture channel Arte, has been filmed during the entire eight months of the criminal NATO attack on the soevereign country and focusses on the support the Libyan Al Qaeda-rebels (called “revolutionaries” in the documentary) received from France, the U.S. and the U.K. Lévy also shot parts of the film in Paris, New York and London to show “how the determination of the rebels altered the course of history in their country”.

“The selection of The Oath of Tobruk reminds us that a film can represent a passing of the torch between people inspired by a shared love of freedom,” says the festival’s statement.

Four key characters dominate the film: Suleiman Fortia, symbol of the Libyan rebels, Mansour Sayf Al-Nasr who lived in Paris and became the first French ambassador to what the documentary calls “free Libya”, Ali Zeydan, Levy’s special contact in the rebels’ National Transitional Council, and the secret negotiator Mustafa El-Sagizly, who trained the Libyan youth in armed revolt.

About his propaganda documentary which portrays the rebels as pro-democracy and pro-freedom fighters and Muammar Qaddafi as a bloodthirsty dictator, Lévy stated: “I try to report very faithfully and modestly about the war of Liberation in my movie.”

Some critics have considered the documentary as being too egotistical, as it shows Lévy constantly cheered and greeted at rallies and by politicians on camera. However, not a single movie analyst has critized the blatant propaganda exhibited in “The Oath of Tobruk”.

During the Film Festival Levy also pleaded for foreign intervention in Syria, “Homs is the new Benghazi”, he said, posing with some Syrian rebel supporters.


Lévy, who attended the Festival de Cannes’ red carpet on May 25, has played an important role in the Western war on Libya which lead to the killing of tens of thousands of civilians and the destruction of the free Jamahiriya.

On March 4, 2011, less than three weeks after armed gangs started to revolt against Libya’s symbolic leader Muammar Qaddafi, he held a private meeting with Mustafa Jalil, the leader of the rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC). The same evening Lévy called former French president Sarkozy to ask to receive several rebel leaders. This meeting took place in Paris on March 10, 2011. Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met another rebel leader, Mahmoud Jibril.

As a result of this meeting, president Sarkozy announced the plan he and Lévy had concocted: the recognition of the rebels’ NTC as sole legitimate representative of Libya as well as the naming of a French ambassador to rebel stronghold Benghazi, and after approval by the Arab League, airstrikes on so-called military targets in Libya, which strikes however have resulted in numerous casualties and deaths among the Libyan population.


While actively participating in the slaughter of innocent civilians and the destruction of Africa’s wealthiest country by providing weapons to the rebels and bombing coordinates to NATO, no legal action has been taken against Lévy so far. Instead he has been much lauded for his promotion of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) for over 30 years. Launching his career in the 1970s with the book La Barbarie à visage humain (Barbarism with a Human Face) which contains an attack on Communism, Lévy can be seen as the godfather of the “humanitarian war”.

Lévy again used his R2P and so-called militarized humanitarianism to promote and condone a Western war on Libya. Ten countries on the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on March 17, 2011 and “humanitarian” bombs started to end the lives of at least 100,000 Libyans during an almost eight months lasting attack of the greatest military alliance in history which over one million armed Libyan people bravely resisted alone without any outside assistance and no air cover.

“The Oath of Tobruk” mentions no word about the current environment of armed gangs, fear and atrocities under Al Qaeda ruled Libya, but instead seems to consider the Libyan genocide and other numerous war crimes committed against the Libyans as necessary and inevitable in order to achieve “freedom” and “democracy” in the country, and only praises one of the main orchestrators of the illegal war as its superhero: Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Categories: Libya, Media, Propaganda

Tags: , , ,

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