Ban On Screening 'The Post' Overturned In Lebanon

Steven Spielberg at the American Film Institute’’s 44th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute show to John Williams at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood

Lebanon Backtracks, Will Allow Cinemas to Screen Spielberg's 'The Post'

Spielberg, a security official explained, "is blacklisted by the Arab League's boycott office, which Lebanon complies with".

Lebanon will let cinemas show Stephen Spielberg's latest film "The Post" after the interior minister ruled on Wednesday against a request to ban it over the director's links to Israel.

Lebanon's censorship board had made the decision to ban the movie based on a "boycott Israel" list, which Spielberg appears on since he shot some scenes from the 1993 film "Schindler's List" in Jerusalem, the Hollywood Reporter reported Sunday, citing a source involved with the newspaper drama's worldwide rollout. It is important to note that the decision has not yet been finalized, since the directive still needs to be signed by Lebanon's Interior Minister, Nohad Machnouk, after the General Security agency sends him the necessary documents. "The Post" is a newspaper drama about The Washington Post's publishing of the Pentagon's papers and which delves into US responsibility in Vietnam's war in 1971, and the government lies about it.

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.

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The reversal of the ban represented a rare contradiction by the government of a ruling by Lebanon's censorship board.

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. The film already had been playing in theaters for two weeks when it was censored and removed.

Lebanon is divided on the boycott-driven bans, with some welcoming them as a bulwark against the "cultural normalisation" of Israel's occupation. For years now, Lebanon has boycotted anything that is culturally related to Israel, along with some neighboring Arab nations. Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel or have contact with Israeli citizens.

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