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

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.


First Art Biennale to be hosted by Saudi Arabia

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Updated 37 min 29 sec ago

First Art Biennale to be hosted by Saudi Arabia

  • The biennale is a creative platform that allows international audiences to access Saudi art and cultural performances with depth and diversity

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, has announced the establishment of Al-Diriyah Biennale Foundation for Contemporary Art.

The biennale will alternate in terms of theme, with an exhibition of contemporary art for the first edition set for 2021, and an Islamic art exhibition in 2022.

The minister was appointed as head of the board of directors of Al-Diriyah Biennale Foundation, while Aya Habib Al-Bakri has been appointed CEO.

Through organizing the biennale, the foundation will work to achieve the objectives set in the Ministry of Culture’s vision, which aims at developing contemporary arts platforms in the Kingdom, making it a regional and international hub for arts and culture.

The foundation will conduct the biennale’s rotation of contemporary and Islamic arts exhibitions to diversify it, and create more space for Saudi artists from different creative directions, allowing them to showcase their work and interact with fellow international artists.

The biennale is a creative platform that allows international audiences to access Saudi art and cultural performances with depth and diversity, part of the goals of the ministry in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program.