Speilberg film unlikely to be banned

20 January, 2018, 03:58 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Flag of Lebanon

A ban in Lebanon on Steven Spielberg's "The Post" was overruled Wednesday by Prime Minister Saad Hariri in what appears to be the first time a film has surmounted a negative recommendation by Lebanese censors. The film has been refused a release because it breaches a boycott Israel directive maintained by the Lebanese government.

The country is officially at war with Israel and has a law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from travelling to Israel or having contact with Israeli citizens.

Lebanon has banned screenings of The Post, the latest movie to be directed by Steven Spielberg, because of his links to Israel, according to reports in the Middle Eastern country and Hollywood. Most Arab movie-goers seem more eager to enjoy Spielberg's world-class films than enforce a nebulous boycott.

Hariri, who recently returned to his role after a brief and weird resignation involving Saudi Arabia, asked the Interior Ministry not to implement the ban, said a government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Free speech advocates in Lebanon noted the irony of banning a movie whose plot promotes press freedoms.


But the decision was made entirely on the basis of Spielberg's interactions with Israel, Hanoun said.

"Why is The Post on the chopping block?" asked Gino Raidy of the March advocacy group, on his blog. Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri's film "The Attack" was banned as well, which was partially shot in Israel with Israeli actors.

Some months back, movie-goers in Beirut who thought they were going to see the premier of Wonder Woman were disappointed when all screenings were canceled only hours before showtime because the lead role was played by Gal Gadot - an Israeli actress.

Banned films can often be found in bootleg movie shops across the country for as little as one dollar, and even blacklisted books can sometimes be found in regular bookstores.

With less fanfare, the movie "Jungle", starring Daniel Radcliffe, was banned in December because the story of survival in the Bolivian jungle was based on the autobiography of an Israeli citizen, Yossi Ghinsberg. ". This is a great day for freedom of expression in Lebanon".

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