Democracy dies in darkness: Lebanon announced earlier this week that it will not permit public screenings of Steven Spielberg’s The Post, because the director had filmed scenes of Schindler’s List in Jerusalem, thereby violating The Censorship Committee of the General Security Directorate’s “boycott Israel” policy. The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and focusing on the publication of the Pentagon Papers, was scheduled to premiere in Beirut on January 18.
Last year, Lebanon banned both Wonder Woman and Justice League, both starring the Israeli Gal Gadot. Spielberg, however, is not an Israeli citizen, nor is he affiliated in any official way with the Jewish state. Furthermore, a number of his previous films have been successfully screened in Lebanon since Schindler’s List was released in 1993, although the director’s name was blacked out on posters advertising his 2011 The Adventures of Tintin.
A spokesperson for Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter that he “cannot comment because the company has not been told officially by the Lebanese distributor that the pic will not be released there because of censorship.”
Other films banned in recent years include Spotlight, for fear that its storyline, critical of the Catholic Church, will offend Lebanon’s Christians; True Lies, which was deemed to contain offensive representations of Arabs; and a number of film depicting homosexuality.