After banning Spielberg, Lebanon pulls drama about Israeli

Lebanon bans Australian drama "Jungle", which deals with the story of Israeli adventurer who got lost in the Bolivian Amazon.

Ben Ariel ,

Flag of Lebanon
Flag of Lebanon

A day after banning Steven Spielberg's latest film "The Post" due to Spielberg’s connection to Israel, Lebanese authorities are at it again.

An official from Lebanon's General Security authority told the AFP news agency on Monday that the country had also banned Australian drama "Jungle".

"Jungle" is a survival drama about Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981.

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

"It received an authorization to be screened, and it was indeed screening, but several registered complaints prompted us to pull it from theatres to avoid any problems," the official said, without specifying the nature of the protests.

Several days ago, the Lebanese branch of the Campaign to Boycott the Supporters of Israel (CBSI) called on Lebanese nationals to boycott "Jungle," citing ties to Israel.

"It is about an Israeli backpacker and is based on the book by an Israeli author, Yossi Ghinsberg, who was born in the Zionist entity, grew up in Tel Aviv and served in the Israeli navy," the campaign said.

"One of its producers, Dana Lustig, is also Israeli," it added.

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

Spielberg "is blacklisted by the Arab League's boycott office, which Lebanon complies with", the official explained.

The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, is a drama about the Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee, as they expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades.

The film was scheduled to be released on January 18 in Lebanon, which is technically at war with Israel. Lebanese laws ban dealing with or recognizing Israel.

Last year, Lebanon banned the film Wonder Woman because its star, Gal Gadot, is an actress and model from Israel.

In 2013, the country banned a film by French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri because it was partly shot in Tel Aviv using Israeli actors. Late last year, Doueiri was detained upon arriving in Lebanon and appeared before a court due to the 2013 movie.

Last month, a private French school in Lebanon was made to apologize after a map in a geography class in the school showed Israel— and not “Palestine” — as the country's southern neighbor.