Lebanon reverses ban on Steven Spielberg movie The Post

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in a screengrab from the trailer pf'The Post

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in a screengrab from the trailer pf'The Post

Despite a source from General Security previously saying that the movie was likely to be banned in Lebanon in accordance with the Economy Ministry's blacklist, the Interior Ministry is edging towards allowing the movie to be screened.

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

The Hollywood giant was blacklisted by the Cairo-based pan-Arab body after he donated $1 million to Israel during the 2006 war between the Jewish state and Lebanon.

In a statement, it said Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouk "sees no objection to the broadcast of the film", which "has no connection with Lebanon, or to the conflict with the Israeli enemy". But shortly afterwards, he was forced to remove the post after Lebanese Instagram users called him a "traitor".

The movie had been transferred to censorship commission who reportedly sent a recommendation to the minister of interior with the recommendation that the film be banned, citing a "boycott Israel" list that included Spielberg following his Oscar-winning Holocaust film Schindler's List (scenes of which were shot in Jerusalem).

The production, starring Daniel Radcliffe, had been screening for two weeks in Lebanon but is now being pulled, the official told AFP.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed to AFP on Monday that Spielberg's film had been banned.

Set in the early 1970s, The Post centers on the journalists of the Washington Post and the New York Times who uncovered the Pentagon Papers, secret documents that revealed information about the USA government's involvement in the Vietnam War. The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, tells the story of the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham's decision to defy attempts by the courts to suppress reporting of the Pentagon Papers.

In May 2017, Lebanon officially banned the superhero movie Wonder Woman because the lead actress, Gal Gadot, is Israeli.