LEBANESE DIRECTOR DETAINED OVER FILMING IN ISRAEL

 

French-Lebanese film director Ziad Doueiri was reportedly detained by authorities when he returned to Beirut after appearing at the Venice Film Festival with his newest movie, The Insult.

According to the AFP news agency, Doueiri was interrogated over charges that part of his last film, The Attack, was filmed in Israel.

“They held me at the airport for two-and-a-half hours. They released me after confiscating my French and Lebanese passports,” Doueiri told AFP late Sunday. “I have to appear [Monday] at 9 a.m. before a military tribunal for an investigation into the charges,” he said.

According to Variety, Doueiri was cleared of the charges by the tribunal on Monday morning.

“Charges against Ziad have been dropped by the military court: he is free,” producer Jean Brehat, who works regularly with Doueiri, informed Variety in a text message on Monday.

Doueiri was much lauded for The Insult, which features a fight over renovation work between a Christian and a Palestinian living in Lebanon.

“I am profoundly hurt,” the director told AFP on Sunday. “I came back to Lebanon with a prize from Venice. The Lebanese police have authorized the broadcast of my film [The Insult]. I have no idea who is responsible for what has happened… We will find out at court who is behind this affair,” he added.

At the festival’s awards ceremony on Saturday, Palestinian actor Kamel El Basha won the Volpi Cup best actor award for his role in The Insult. After accepting the award, Basha joked that the trophy he was handed was bigger than he expected, saying, “I don’t know how I’m going to carry it to Palestine now.”

Doueiri’s 2012 film, The Attack, is a story of an Israeli-Arab doctor who discovers his wife may have been involved in a suicide bombing. Part of the movie was filmed in Israel, where Lebanese citizens are banned from entering. The film itself was banned in Lebanon in 2013. Lebanon notably banned screenings of Wonder Woman earlier this year since it featured Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

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