Renowned Lebanese director arrested in Beirut for filming in Israel

Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri was arrested in Beirut after returning from the Venice Film Festival for filming “The Attack” in Israel and incorporating Israeli actors in the movie. The arrest caused outrage within the cultural circles in Lebanon.

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Renowned Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri was arrested yesterday (Sunday) in Beirut after returning from the Venice Film Festival due to the fact that his film “The Attack” was shot in Israel and included Israeli actors. The movie caused backlash while it was still being filmed, and its screening was banned in Lebanon even though its subject matter is critical of Israel.

Doueiri’s arrest followed a complaint filed against him for “fraternizing with the enemy.” The Lebanese cultural scene expressed outrage over the arrest, which took place several days prior to the premiere of his latest film “The Insult.” “You can’t arrest an esteemed director and then use his works to cover up the republic’s failings,” said Lebanese sources.

During the Venice Film Festival, where “The Insult” was screened, the film’s star Kamel el Basha, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, won the Best Actor Award. Doueiri was born in Lebanon in 1963 and is mainly known for his movie “West Beirut.” During the civil war in the country, he left for the US to complete his studies and has been mostly based there since, working with known directors such as Quentin Tarantino. In the past, he has expressed disagreement with the boycott against Israel, a fact that provoked backlash and anger back in his home country.

Ziad Doueiri Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

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