If the movie had been banned from being shown in theaters here, the discussion would be different entirely. But is the movie really representative enough of Lebanon to be our submission for the Oscars? And is this refusal enough for us to call the committee responsible for such dealings ignorant and with a backward mentality?
I think not.
The movie features the following:
- A story by an Algerian author.
- No Lebanese crew.
- Israeli and Palestinian actors.
- Location of shooting is Israel.
- Lebanese director with an American passport.
Would I want to see the movie? Definitely. Do I want it to represent Lebanon at the Academy Awards? Let’s just say I’m on the fence regarding this.
This isn’t exactly West Beirut for us to cry wolf for it not being submitted. If Ziad Doueiri truly wanted his movie to be Lebanon’s official submission to the 85th Academy Awards (my predictions – to lighten the mood), he could have at least made an effort to make the movie more Lebanese by maybe shooting it over here and not in Israel and having a Lebanese actor or actress play a role in it, despite both elements not being a criteria required for Academy Award approval.
As it stands, the only thing Lebanese about The Attack is the director who wouldn’t have been able to make this movie if he had actually employed his Lebanese aspect from a bureaucratic point of view. The director says his choices regarding the movie’s components are logical.
Well, I say the committee’s decision is entirely logical as well. Not everything is supposed to be turned into a national matter of censorship.