Censorship in Lebanon is a reinforcement of the lowest common denominator. Anything that offends a sectarian community, its religious clergy or its foreign patrons is deemed unsuitable for everyone. Last week it was Dinner for Schmucks, today it’s a documentary on the the Green Movement in Iran:
As the Middle East braces for the controversial visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon this week, censors in Beirut are trying to make sure his visit goes smoothly.
They have put a halt to screenings of a documentary film about opposition protests in Iran that were due to coincide with Ahmadinejad’s visit, according to a source, apparently in deference to Ahmadinejad and his entourage.
The movie, titled “Green Days” and directed by 22-year-old Iranian filmmaker Hana Makhmalbaf, was reportedly scheduled to be shown at the annual Beirut International Film Festival in the Lebanese capital on Wednesday, the first day of Ahmadinejad’s two-day visit to Lebanon.
Bassem Hajj, press spokesman for the film festival, told Babylon & Beyond that censors from Lebanon’s General Security contacted the festival over the weekend and requested that the movie be postponed.