Lebanon bans new Spielberg film ‘The Post’

The boycott is due to ‘Schindler’s List’ being partially filmed in Israel

January 15, 2018 15:35
2 minute read.
Director Steven Spielberg poses at the premiere of the HBO documentary film 'Spielberg' in Los Angel

Director Steven Spielberg poses at the premiere of the HBO documentary film 'Spielberg' in Los Angeles, California, US.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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First Gal Gadot. Now Steven Spielberg. And even Daniel Radcliffe.

The Lebanese government is missing out on some quality cinema because of its efforts to boycott the State of Israel.
According to reports on Sunday and Monday, famed director Spielberg’s latest film, The Post, is expected to be banned from screening in Lebanon.

Lebanon’s The Daily Star said on Monday that the economy minister recommended the film for blacklist because of Spielberg. The newspaper said the director has been blacklisted since his 1993 film Schindler’s List, which was partially filmed in Israel.

Lebanon bans its citizens from visiting the Jewish state, as well as the entry of any Israeli products into the country. Last year, Wonder Woman was banned since its star, Gadot, is an Israeli who served in the army. Nevertheless, in the more than two decades since Schindler’s List premiered, dozens of Spielberg films have been allowed to screen in Lebanon.

A government source told The Daily Star that the censorship committee recommended banning the film, but is waiting for the approval of the Interior Ministry. But later on Monday, AFP reported that a government official confirmed the film would be banned from Lebanon – and it wasn’t the only one. According to AFP, the adventure biopic The Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe will be yanked from theaters that were already screening it.

The Australian film is based on a book by an Israeli, Yossi Ghinsberg, detailing his travels and travails in the jungles of Bolivia. Radcliffe told Channel 2 News last year he spent a long time perfecting his Israeli-accented English to play Ghinsberg.

The Post is a critically acclaimed movie starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks that focuses on the decision of The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source involved in that film’s international rollout confirmed that Spielberg’s blacklisting is due to Schindler’s List.

A spokesperson for Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter earlier Monday that the Lebanese distributor has not told the company officially that the film would be censored there. Amblin Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Spielberg’s sister, Nancy, also a filmmaker, posted The Hollywood Reporter’s story on her Facebook page, with the comment: “Say it ain’t so... WTF.”

In an HBO documentary about Spielberg’s life and career that aired in October, the director said Schindler’s List “was, emotionally, the hardest movie I’ve ever made. Nothing could prepare me for my first visit to Auschwitz. I knew this couldn’t be just another movie, and it couldn’t be like anything I’d ever directed before.”

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