Published: Thu, January 18, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Lebanon orders ban on Spielberg's 'The Post'

Lebanon orders ban on Spielberg's 'The Post'

Lebanon's censorship authorities have recommended a ban on Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama The Post ahead of its planned opening this week in theatres in Beirut. Though the General Security directive needed to be signed by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to enter into effect, it was considered a formality that is unlikely to stop the ban.

"Why is The Post on the chopping block?" asked Gino Raidy of the March advocacy group, on his blog. It seems that anything remotely connected to Israel can get banned in Lebanon. The case in point: the movie called "The Post".

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 Post, which is tipped for Oscars, stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and is based on how The Washington Post and...

Last summer, Lebanese authorities officially banned the "Wonder Woman" movie, following the casting of Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress, in the movie's lead role. Lebanon still regards Israel as an enemy state.

Bassam Eid, product manager for Empire Cinemas in Lebanon and distributor of "The Post", said social media campaigns have started to put more pressure on Lebanon's government over films. In 2006, it waged a month-long war against Hezbollah after the movement's fighters abducted two Israeli soldiers.

Hariri, who recently returned to his role after a brief and freakish 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. Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri's film "The Attack" was banned as well, which was partially shot in Israel with Israeli actors. "Lebanon, or certain sectors in Lebanon, have recently realized the dangers of cultural and academic normalization with Israel. after this whole Arab overture to Israel". The 2015 movie "Spotlight", about the Boston Globe's investigation into the abuse of children by the Catholic clergy, was barred apparently because it cast the Catholic Church in a bad light (around half of Lebanon's population is Christian).

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