Has Lebanon banned ‘Wonder Woman’ over its Israeli lead actress?

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman."
Updated 30 May 2017
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Has Lebanon banned ‘Wonder Woman’ over its Israeli lead actress?

DUBAI: The latest DC Comics superhero film “Wonder Woman” is set to be banned in Lebanon over its Israeli lead actress Gal Gadot, the state-run National News Agency reported Monday.
The Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade has been prompted to “take the necessary measures” to prevent the film being screened in the country, according to local newspaper The Daily Star.
According to a circulated information poster released by the ministry, on Monday it “prepared a directive for the General Directorate of Public Security to take the necessary measures to prevent the screening of this film.”
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However, despite stirring up a social media frenzy, the reported ban has yet to be enforced and when contacted by Arab News, a representative of one cinema chain in Lebanon — who spoke on condition of anonymity — said that a premiere screening has been planned, pending an official announcement.
The news follows calls from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Lebanon to ban the screening of the film due to its Israeli lead. The BDS works to end international support for Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
BDS Lebanon also took action in April 2016, when the actress played the role in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
At the time, BDS representative Dr. Abdel Malik Sukria sent a letter to Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy and Trade, highlighting Gadot’s service in the Israeli military.
“This actress served in the (Israel Defense Forces) and was crowned the beauty queen of Israel. She also revealed her support for the IDF during the last war in Gaza,” he wrote.
Despite the controversy, the film has received positive reviews in the US, with the Associated Press writing “it’s not perfect, but it’s often good, sometimes great and exceptionally re-watchable.
“Director Patty Jenkins’ film is so threaded with sincerity and goodness it’s a wonder how it got past the pugnacious minds responsible for what’s come before… Just look to the image of Gal Gadot confidently striding out alone onto an unwinnable battlefield with only a shield, a sword and a mission — and prevailing. It’s enough to give you goosebumps,” the AP’s film critic wrote.


Martin Scorsese wins Spain's top arts prize

Updated 25 April 2018
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Martin Scorsese wins Spain's top arts prize

MADRID: Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese on Wednesday won Spain's top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award, for a long and varied career that makes him "an indisputable figure in contemporary filmmaking".
The 75-year-old "has directed more than 20 films that now form part of the history of cinema and continues to work unceasingly, masterfully combining innovation and classicism in his films," the prize jury said in a statement.
With an Oscar for best director for "The Departed" and many other prizes, Scorsese had also "undertaken intense and wide-ranging work in recovering, restoring and disseminating historical film heritage throughout the world", it said.
The acclaimed director of "Taxi Driver," "Goodfellas" and "Casino" is co-founder of The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organisation which has helped restore over 800 films, including neglected movies from countries as varied as Indonesia and Senegal.
The Princess of Asturias Foundation hands its arts prize each year for a "contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind", along with awards in seven other categories.
Other recent winners of the prize include US filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, US architect Frank Gehry and Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony hosted by Spain's King Felipe VI and broadcast live on Spanish television in October.