Lebanon permits Spielberg movie "The Put up" after…

The Post starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep recounts how US newspapers exposed a Vietnam cover-up

The Post starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep recounts how US newspapers exposed a Vietnam cover-up20TH CENTURY FOX AP

"Screening of the film "The Post" has been banned", said the official from Lebanon's General Security authority, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The film was set to be released on January 18 across the world but will no longer be shown in Lebanon, unless the boycott is overturned by the Lebanese Interior Ministry.

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and has a boycott again Israel in place.

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 worldwide rollout.

The Lebanese government has blocked the film, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, because it failed to pass an Economy Ministry committee and a Lebanese censorship board. Spielberg violated the laws, which date to the 1950s, by making a contribution to relief efforts in Israel during its 2006 war with Lebanon.

Isaac Fahed, sales and distribution manager of the Grand Cinemas chain, one of Lebanon's largest, said the film will open in theaters on Thursday after "mediation" between the distributor and the Interior Ministry.

A leaked U.S. State Department memo from 2007 revealed that Spielberg was blacklisted by the League for donating $1 million to Israel for reconstruction during its 2006 war with Lebanon. Most of Spielberg's recent films have been shown in Lebanon, even if his name has been blacked-out on posters in the past.

Free speech advocates in Lebanon noted the irony of banning a movie whose plot promotes press freedoms.

"Why is The Post on the chopping block?" asked Gino Raidy of the March advocacy group, on his blog.

But the decision was made entirely on the basis of Spielberg's interactions with Israel, Hanoun said.

There are no direct flights between the two countries because of these tensions and Lebanese citizens are banned from contact with Israelis.

Lebanon also banned a movie by French-Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri in 2013, named The Attack, for using the shooting location of Tel Aviv and employing Israeli actors in the main roles.

"Jungle" is a survival drama about Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981. It was the latest high-profile picture to be banned in Lebanon after Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman was denied release based on star Gal Gadot being Israeli and having served in the army.

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