Monday, April 29, 2013

Lebanon Caves To Boycott Pressure- Bans Lebanese Film Partly Shot In Israel

Censorship is alive and well in Lebanon.  Apparently, an award-winning film by a Lebanese director has been banned because some scenes were filmed in Tel Aviv with Israeli actors.  On his Facebook page, Ziad Doueiri said of the decision to ban his movie "The Attack":

“I regret to inform you that the Interior Minister of Lebanon, Minister (Marwan) Charbel, has decided to punish us and the film by banning it... claiming that the reason for the rejection is that I, Ziad Doueiri, had spent time in Israel filming. To set things straight, I did shoot part of the film in Tel Aviv because this is where part of the story takes place. I used Israeli actors because also these were the artistic choices that I have made. And I have no regret and no apologies whatsoever.”
Apparently, Lebanese officials caved under pressure from the Israel Boycott Office of the Arab League.

According to Charbel:

“We had no problem with the movie but when we received the protest letter... we could not oppose” the request."

Based on a novel by Algerian Yasmina Khadra, the film- which garnered multiple awards at the COLCOA French Film Festival- is about an Israeli doctor who finds out his wife was the suicide bomber in an attack in Tel Aviv.

Doueiri is not happy with the decision:

Doueiri dismissed the ban as “foolish and unfair,” and noted that several Palestinian films shot in Israel with Israeli actors “and even with Israeli financing…were allowed to screen in Lebanon.”

“Why them and not this film? Are the Lebanese supposed to carry the Palestinian flag higher than the Palestinians themselves?” Doueiri asked.
 The rest here.

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