Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 - 10 of Adar, 5778

Lebanon allows screening of Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’, initially banned because of the director’s ties with Israel

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BRUSSELS—Lebanon will finally allow Steven Spielberg’s film ‘’The Post’’ to be screened in the country after an initial ban related to the director’s ties with Israel.

All of Steven Spielberg’s prior films had been banned from Lebanese cinemas as the director was blacklisted by the Arab League in 2007.

“Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouk is going to allow the film to be shown,” a senior official told Agence France Presse. The Interior Ministry usually allows General Security Directorate’s ban suggestions and this is what happened after the ban was announced.

Local cinemas had even taken down the film posters already prior to the reversal. “The Post” is a newspaper drama about The Washington Post’s publishing of the Pentagon’s papers and which delves into U.S. responsibility in Vietnam’s war in 1971, and the government lies about it. It features Maryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The movie will start screening tomorrow in Lebanese movie theaters as initially planned.

Picture from Spielberg’s film ”The Post”.

Spielberg’s movie was initially banned along with a film called “Jungle”, starring Daniel Radcliffe and telling the story of Israeli Yossi Ghinsberg, who got lost in the Bolivian Amazon in 1981. “Jungle” was already being screened in Lebanese movie theaters but was removed after complaints were made and the ban was announced. Lebanon follows a ‘boycott Israel’ list.

Other films haven’t made it into Lebanese movie theaters for their alleged or real ties with Israel, regardless of the production’s place of origin. The commercially successful Wonderwoman was banned because it starred Gal Gadot, who served the Israeli military. Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri’s film “The Attack” was banned as well, which was partially shot in Israel with Israeli actors. Doueri was even arrested and questioned for his ties with Israel, but all charges were dropped after protests erupted in his favor.

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and bans Israeli products. Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel or have contact with Israeli citizens.

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