Stranger By The Lake won Alain Guiraudie a best director trophy in Cannes‘ Un Certain Regard section in May. In June, the French film met with controversy when its posters were pulled in two Paris suburbs after locals complained they were too shocking. Now, the movie has been banned in Lebanon. The gay-themed pic was to screen at the Beirut Film Festival this coming Saturday, but a security official said the Interior Ministry’s censorship board has deemed it does “not meet its criteria.” A final decision is pending from the minister, but I’m told by sales rep and French distributor, Les Films du Losange, that “A priori, there won’t be a screening. It changes every hour.” The lauded thriller is a sexually explicit tale of summer love and murder. Lebanon bans artistic works believed to incite sectarian strife or undermine morals or state authority; Lebanese law opposes homosexuality. Stranger just played the Toronto and New York festivals and Strand Releasing will put it out later this year in the U.S. Lebanon also bans anything which furthers “Israeli propaganda,” AFP notes. That was evidenced earlier this year when censors banned Lebanese-born director Ziad Doueiri’s acclaimed drama, The Attack, because it fell afoul of 1955 law which bans all contact with Israel and Israelis. The film was partly shot in Tel Aviv with Israeli actors.
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