BEIRUT: Lebanon has officially banned The Post, the latest film by acclaimed Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, a Lebanon-based film industry source told Annahar Sunday.
Though The Post had initially passed the government's normal screening procedures, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon (CBSIL) put pressure on the government to block the film over its director's ties to Israel, the source told Annahar.
Steven Spielberg, who hails from a Jewish family, was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office after making a $1 million donation to Israel during the 2006 conflict with Lebanon.
The ban was enforced after a recommendation from a six-member committee from the Ministry of Economy was relayed to the General Security agency, an apparatus affiliated with the Interior Ministry, which has the final say.
Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and has a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling or having contacts with Israelis.
The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, is a thrilling drama about the Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee, as they expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades. It has already garnered critical acclaim, as well as some award nominations.
The film was scheduled to be released on January 18th in Lebanon. The ban marks the second time a movie by Spielberg sparks controversy in Lebanon. In 2011, AFP reported that an overzealous employee at a movie theatre in Lebanon has blackened out the name of Spielberg from posters featuring his movie Tintin.
The employee, acting on the fact that Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office in 2006, covered the movie maker's name at the weekend on posters advertising the film, a theatre official told AFP.
In May 2017, Lebanon officially banned the superhero movie Wonder Woman because of the lead actress, Gal Gadot, is Israeli.
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