However, a possible ban on the movie in Lebanon will prevent Lebanese movie enthusiasts from watching this new movie. The Minister of Economy and Trade in Lebanon said that it has asked the country’s security agency to ban the screening of
since the lead actress, Gal Gadot, is of Israeli heritage. Until then, the movie is scheduled for screening with an advanced screening already taking place today. The Ministry of Economy and Trade in Lebanon tried to ban many of Gal Gadot’s movies. On the 13th of May in 2016, the ministry requested the movie Batman V Superman to be banned. Also, on the 8th of April in 2016, it requested from the مكتب مقاطعة اسرائيل (The Office of the Boycott of Israel) to add Gal Gadot’s name as well as all her movies on the black list. Nevertheless, movie theaters in Lebanon screened
Batman V Superman
. Also, none of the
Fast & Furious
movies were banned, even though Gal Gadot has acted in them. She played the role of Gisele Yashar in
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious 6
(2013). However, a security official said that no request has been received. The process of banning has not yet begun: it requires from a six-ministry-member committee to make a decision. Then the ultimate decision is made by the Interior Minister. The movie was shown today in at least one cinema in Beirut for an advance premiere screening. Attendees of the early show were given free popcorn. Ironically, if the ban doesn’t go through, it would result in more people wanting to watch the movie to see what the “fuss is all about” – just like what happened with The Interview all over the world.
Israeli or Jewish Ban?
As this story is gaining international attention, many are criticising this ban as an anti-Jewish one. This is not case. The country recently supported an initiative to restore a synagogue in the heart of Beirut. Lebanon does still have a Jewish population – albeit a small one. So why a ban? Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and has a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling or having contacts with Israelis. A boycott group, called
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon
, campaigned against showing the movie in Lebanon. The campaign claims to be advocating a ban because Gadot was a soldier in the Israeli army, and has expressed support for Israel’s military policies against the Gaza Strip, a coastal Palestinian territory run by the militant Hamas group. The film is currently scheduled to play in 15 theaters across Lebanon.