Free Speech

Lebanon Bans "The Post"

The reason: Steven Spielberg shot some scenes for Schindler's List in Israel.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

So reports The Hollywood Reporter (Tatiana Siegel):

A source involved with The Post's international rollout says the movie, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, was presented to the Lebanese censorship board, which nixed it, citing a "boycott Israel" list that includes Spielberg due to his Oscar-winning Holocaust film Schindler's List (the 1993 film shot some scenes in Jerusalem).

The matter has been transferred to Lebanon's Minister of Interior and Municipalities, who could overturn the decision….

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.

Wonder Woman was also apparently banned in Lebanon, because Gal Godot is Israeli. Lebanon is still formally in a state of war with Israel.

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7 responses to “Lebanon Bans "The Post"

  1. From Arabnews.com the quote from an Syrian bds activist, speaking of another recently banned movie, was “We hope that the enemy’s soldiers do not enjoy freedom of speech in our country”. They also ban “Spotlight”, which I haven’t seen, but assume is about the virtue of free speech. Googling the Lebanese showtimes, it looks like they have most of the blockbusters playing, unlike Saudi Arabia, which just started this year allowing Theaters, and is “breaking them in” with the “Emojis” movie. Seems like the same line of reasoning as the US, “my free speech but not yours”

    1. Correction: Lebanese, not Syrian. Clearly not my area of expertise, but interesting though.

  2. “The reason: Jew hating”

    Nothing more to say.

  3. Don’t these guys think Zionists control everything? Then logically they should ban everything to avoid any Zionist contamination.

    And I bet they would go to a Jewish doctor if they needed to.

  4. It would seem to have little to do with “contamination”, as Lebanon looks like a pretty diverse place.

    It is heartening to see the ban has been overturned (WaPo: Lebanon’s Hariri overrules ban on ‘The Post’ after public uproar)

    The response from a leader of the ban campaign, Samah Idriss, is:
    “We think this is not the right decision,” he said. “We think that notwithstanding the fame and the importance of Steven Spielberg, for the sake of our martyrs and for the sake of Lebanon, our national dignity is more important than any creative elements connected to this film.”

    One’s dignity cannot be built on top of someone else’s dignity. It is sad such a intelligent person is so blinded by hate.

  5. It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect this has on Mr. Spielberg’s political leanings.

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