Coen Brothers Receive $1 Million Prize

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May 16, 2011 | 7:35am EST

Moviemaking duo Joel and Ethan Coen were awarded a $1 million prize on Sunday during their first visit to Israel.
Officials at Tel Aviv University handed the prestigious Dan David Prize to the Big Lebowski directors in praise of the brothers’ “original and creative partnership, unique in the history of filmmaking”.

Accepting the award, the Coens, who are of Jewish heritage, told reporters their mother Rena had long urged them to visit Israel.

Joel explains, “Our mother tried to get us to come here for many, many years. But you know, life intervenes. We’ve been very busy.”

He went on to rule out any plans to set the brothers’ next film in the Middle East, adding: “We’re real ignoramuses about Israel.”