Lebanon bans The Post, Spielberg's new film, over Israel links


The development was reported first by the Hollywood Reporter, which cited a source working on the film, and Lebanese news site Annahar, which cited a Lebanese film industry source. Lebanon's Intelligence Agency also banned the new Australian drama Jungle. It seems that anything remotely connected to Israel can get banned in Lebanon.

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.

It's unclear why The Post was banned.

The source says the move came as a shock, given that over the past three years, at least five films either directed or produced by Spielberg were accepted and approved by the censorship board and it is only now that it is invoking Spielberg's inclusion on the "boycott Israel" list.

The acclaimed production tells the behind-the-scenes story of the 1971 publication by The Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the lies behind United States involvement in the Vietnam War. There's nary an Israeli - real or imagined - in sight. But he has faced few repercussions until now.

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And last September, French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri was detained at Beirut airport and subsequently questioned by a military tribunal in an apparent attempt to suppress his film "The Insult", which is on this year's foreign-language Oscar shortlist.

Lebanon's authorities have ordered a ban on the movie The Post because of director Steven Spielberg's associations with Israel, amid an intensifying climate of censorship in what has historically been one of the Arab world's freest countries.

The spokesman noted that, following "Schindler's List", other Spielberg movies have been regularly released in Lebanon. Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel or have contact with Israeli citizens. In 2015, Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, posed for a photo with Miss Israel, Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia, causing a huge outcry. Both The BFG and Bridge of Spies - which mark Spielberg's two most recent helming efforts before The Post - were released in Lebanon. ". This is a great day for freedom of expression in Lebanon".

The movie recounts the story of the release of the "Pentagon Papers", a series of documents showing how a number of American administrations lied to the American public about the Vietnam war.