Lebanese Movie Banned for Explicit Sexual Content

-The instigator- I haven’t seen Danielle Arbid’s “Beirut Hotel” , but from watching the trailer, it seems to me that the film was banned from Lebanese movie theaters not for “endangering national security”, as was claimed by our ever intelligence-insulting censors, but because it features a double-whammy of a taboo: Explicit sex between a Lebanese woman […]

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Does your Work Matter if the Politics are Bad?

Nadine Chahine is one of the world’s foremost Arabic type designers: I could design all the typefaces that I could imagine, but as long as women are mistreated, rights are abused, and books remain unread, then what is the point? I am finding it harder and harder to dissociate typography from its context I am […]

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Steven Spielberg's Name Blacked Out in Lebanese Movie Theaters

This is insane. But thankfully, the Sureté Generale is open to talk about it: First, you have to visit their directorate, fill an application form and if it got approved, they’ll be able to talk about the matter. Update: L’Orient Le Jour spoke to an SG official who said that they did not ask Cinema City […]

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First They Came for the Iranian Movie Makers…

Hanin Ghaddar on the worrying Lebanese indifference to censorship: the real danger Beirut is facing now is that the majority of its citizens do not seem to care anymore [about censorship]. When authorities curtail freedom and violate human dignity, it calls for resistance. But a heavy air of desperation mixed with fear hangs over Beirut […]

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A Nuanced Take on Nadine Labaki's Latest Movie

There have been a wave of cheerleading for Nadine Labaki’s whalla2 la Wein movie in the Lebanese blogosphere, so I was longing for an intelligent but critical take on it. I finally found it in Lama’s excellent post: Is Nadine Labaki trying to fool us with form without content? An abstraction without depth? Maybe. But then again so […]

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Mecca Turning Into Vegas?

Jerome Taylor for The Independent: A growing numbers of [Saudis] have looked on aghast as the nation’s archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage. Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has become a […]

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The "Fresh New Face of Lebanon"

…is filmmaker Nadine Labaki according to the Washington Post‘s entertainment section. Read the interview for insights about how and why she makes her movies.. To understand why Labaki’s triumph in Toronto is a big deal, read this passage: Festival director Piers Handling noted it was a surprise triumph for a film that was overshadowed by […]

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