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Lebanese Prime Minister Steps In to Overrule Ban on 'The Post'

Lebanese Prime Minister Steps In to Overrule Ban on 'The Post'”

"Screening of the film "The Post" has been banned", said the official from Lebanon's General Security authority, speaking on condition of anonymity.

They chose to ban the film in accordance with laws obliging Lebanon to enforce the Arab League's boycott of Israel.

"The Post" is an acclaimed production starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks on the behind-the-scenes story of the 1971 publication by The Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the lies behind US involvement in the Vietnam War. Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe, was also banned past year, two weeks after its release, due to the social-media buzz surrounding the survival thriller, which features an Israeli protagonist.

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. In these cases, Spielberg's credit as the director has been censored on promotional posters.

This latest prohibition illustrates what appears to be a growing appetite on the part of the Lebanese authorities for implementing the country's often arbitrary censorship laws, and especially those pertaining to Israel. Most Arab movie-goers seem more eager to enjoy Spielberg's world-class films than enforce a nebulous boycott.

Spielberg has reportedly been included on the list for donating $1 million to Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and for shooting some of the scenes of Academy Award-winning Schindler's List in Jerusalem, the contested city coveted by both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

There are no direct flights between the two countries because of these tensions and Lebanese citizens are banned from contact with Israelis. After all, Steven Spielberg is American, not Israeli.

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.

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



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