In a surprise reversal, Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has overturned a move to ban Steven Spielberg’s awards-season contender, The Post, and will allow the release of the film beginning tomorrow. Despite the movie initially passing the country’s government-run screening process, the General Security Directorate had rejected it earlier this week over Spielberg’s ties to Israel.
The Washington Post, the paper at the heart of Spielberg’s movie, notes that the filmmaker was put on the Arab League blacklist of sanctioned individuals after his foundation donated $1M to relief efforts in Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah.
However, what passes the censor is ultimately up to the Interior Ministry, and in a rare move, the body did not approve the General Security committee’s decision. “Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouk is going to allow the film to be shown,” a senior official told AFP. Most of Spielberg’s recent films have been shown in Lebanon, even if his name has been blacked-out on posters in the past.
The DreamWorks/Participant freedom-of-the-press picture, which tells the story of the Pentagon Papers through the eyes of WaPo’s Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee, stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. 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.