Lebanon has reversed its decision to ban Steven Spielberg’s new film “The Post” after initially citing the director’s ties to Israel.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Lebanese cinema manager Isaac Fahed said the film will open in the country on Thursday, the ban having been rescinded.
“It is not a commercial film and not an action film,” Fahed said. “It is (good) for freedom of cinema and culture and for being fair and just in our defence against Israel and Zionism. There is an efficient way, not a stone age way.”
“We are at war with the Israeli government, not with Jewish people or their ideology,” Fahed added.
According to The Washington Post, Lebanon’s General Security Directorate’s censorship committee had banned the film, which had been scheduled to open in the country this week.
The ban was due to Lebanese laws regarding enforcement of the Arab League boycott of Israel.
Last year, the country banned “Wonder Woman” because star Gal Gadot is an Israeli citizen and served in the Israeli military.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Spielberg was placed on the “boycott Israel” list due to scenes shot in Jerusalem for his 1993 film “Schindler’s List”. The Washington Post also cited the director’s donation of $1 million to relief efforts in Israel during its war with Lebanon in 2006.
Despite the original decision to ban “The Post”, over the last three years at least five films directed or produced by Spielberg have been screened in Lebanon, including “Bridge of Spies” and “The BFG”.
In 2015, the Oscar-winning “Spotlight”, like “The Post”, was also about the press and freedom of speech, was banned in Lebanon apparently due to its negative portrayal of the Catholic Church.