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Lebanon: Director detained for shooting film in Israel

27 September 2017
Film director Ziad Doueiri was held and questioned by security officers at the Beirut airport, then appeared in court for filming a 2013 film in Israel.
Photo: Ziad Doueiri/Facebook

 

On 10 September 2017, upon his arrival at Beirut airport from the Venice Film Festival, Lebanese-French film director Ziad Doueiri was held and questioned by security officers for two and a half hours. After the detention the officers allowed him to leave, but without his French and Lebanese passports, and with an order to appear the next day in front of the military court, according to Le Monde.

The next day, he appeared in front of the military tribunal who accused him of having shot the film “The Attack” in Israel. After the three-hour hearing, the military court in Beirut dismissed him without any charge and his passports were returned to him, according to Variety.

The film, released in 2013, tells the story of an Israeli surgeon of Arab origin whose wife carried out a suicide attack. The film was banned in Lebanon upon release because the filmmaker had shot the movie partly in Israel with some Israeli actors. Lebanon, which is officially still at war with Israel, forbids its citizens to visit this neighboring country.

The director told Variety that he believes the incident was perpetrated as an attempt to disrupt the release of his latest film “The Insult”, which has been selected as Lebanon’s candidate for the 2018 Oscars. The film is about an insult that is blown out of proportion, which finds a Lebanese Christian man and a Palestinian Muslim in conflict, leading them to court in a case that divides the Lebanese public.

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