Persepolis banned in Lebanon!

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Lebanese authorities have banned “Persepolis” after fears it may exacerbate the fragile political situation there. Persepolis, an animated movie, was nominated for animated feature at last month’s Academy Awards. It is based on co-director Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical, bestselling graphic novel about growing up in Iran during the 1979 revolution.

Authorities likely want to avoid any potential fallout from offending pro-Iranian members of the Lebanese opposition, notably Hezbollah. “They want to stay on the safe side and not create any more friction,” said Gianluca Chacra, topper at United Arab Emirates-based distrib Front Row Entertainment, which is handling the pic’s Mideast release. “We’re still hoping for a DVD release in Lebanon.”

Author: Melissa

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2 Comments

  1. Well I guess this movie is merely another name to add on the list of censured movies in Lebanon (such Labyrinth, The DaVinci Code…) We are yet to understand the meaninglessness of such unnecessary boundaries and the fact that when you limit, you kill !!

    I understand a movie being caught in the political intrigue of the country it’s being released in, but I find it rather biased to ban any form of cultural activity while taking into account only one section of the public. I believe the movie should have been allowed in and those who disagree with the content or message can freely boycott it and not purchase the dvd, and those who are interested in it can watch it, that way both parties exercise their right freely.
    Also, keep in mind that internet access enables just about everyone to get hold of any kind of movie including “Persepolis”, and I must say the censorship will get even more people interested in the anime and will accomplish the exact opposite of what it intended to.
    Just goes to show you, you can never really shape human beings into receiving and believing what you want them to regardless of how tight the censorship can get.

  2. It’s true that censorship in the Internet era is quite meaningless. However, if we take into account the survey done by National Geographic a few years ago about Internet usage in the world, we discover that the Internet has not made it into the majority of Lebanese households. That means that a ban on the movie Persepolis might still be effective. What intrigues me though is that the book has been freely available in Lebanese bookshops and has caused no incidents. I wonder if the book will be withdrawn from bookshops the same way the Da Vinci Code was a few years ago. The fact that the book did not cause any disturbance on the Lebanese scene can mean one of two things: either that the content is not that incendiary and thus the move by Lebanese censors is to highlight how supposedly narrow-minded the ‘Hizbollah’ supporters are or it means that Arabs truly do not read. As David Ben Gurion said: ‘The probelm with Arabs is that they do not read, and if they read they do not understand, and if they understand, they do not act’.

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