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Lebanon overturns ban on Steven Spielberg's 'The Post'

Lebanon overturns ban on Steven Spielberg's 'The Post'

Lebanese authorities have reversed a decision to ban Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama "The Post" ahead of its opening in theaters across the country, a local cinema manager said Wednesday.

A source from the Lebanese Security Ministry told the Daily Star that the movie will probably not be allowed to be shown because it falls within the guidelines of the Economy Ministry's blacklist. In addition to the main character in the film being Israeli, one of the film's producers also is Israeli.

The pan-Arab body maintains a regional boycott of Israel, and blacklisted Spielberg after he donated $1 million to Israel during its destructive 2006 war with Lebanon. The ban still needs to be signed by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, but that's just considered a formality. Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe, was also banned previous year, two weeks after its release, due to the social-media buzz surrounding the survival thriller, which features an Israeli protagonist. It seems that anything remotely connected to Israel can get banned in Lebanon.

Lebanon's censorship board had made the decision to ban the film 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 movie's global rollout. Most of Spielberg's subsequent films have, however, been shown in Lebanon without problems - except that his name was blacked out from the poster advertising The Adventures of Tintin. Spielberg, however, is not an Israeli citizen, nor is he affiliated in any official way with the Jewish state.

Parts of Lebanon were occupied by Israeli troops for 22 years, and thousands of Lebanese were killed in Israeli attacks on the country, explaining why ties to Israel are so sensitive. "The Insult" has was released in Lebanon by Italia Film.

The film has been refused a release because it breaches a boycott Israel directive maintained by the Lebanese government.

Unlike Gal Gadot, whose film Wonder Woman was banned in Lebanon in May, Spielberg is not an Israeli citizen, nor has he ever fought with the Israeli Army.

"The story told in The Post, the Pentagon Papers, regards lies about Vietnam and the government's attempt to cover everything up".

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