Spring Breakers Won’t Be Released in Lebanon

It may have been received with mixed reviews but we won’t get the chance to judge Spring Breakers ourselves, as per a Grand Cinemas tweet – one of Lebanon’s main cinema chains.

Spring Breakers Lebanon

 

Empire isn’t showing the movie as well in its list of upcoming releases.

 

The movie is known to have nudity, drug use and heavy language. It is rated R in the United States. The official synopsis is the following:

Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Faith (Selena Gomez) have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper “Alien” (James Franco) promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.

But are those criteria enough to qualify as the “circumstances” that are not allowing Spring Breakers from having a Lebanese release? I hardly think so. After all, many R-rated movies end up being released here and some Lebanese productions such as Ossit Sawani feature sex scenes as well as drug use – by underage people no less.

Grand Cinemas didn’t reply to tweets asking what those “circumstances” are. It is known, though, that circumstances leading to movies not released here are either political or religious. I doubt though that Spring Breakers violates any of Lebanon’s many sanctities in those two domains.

I guess we’ll never know why Lebanon’s censorship bureau decided this movie shouldn’t be screened here. But when will they know that there’s no such thing as a “ban” in the time and age of digital media? And when will they know that people are aware enough to judge anything’s merit away from their chopping paws?

Spring Breakers will be soon available for download everywhere. Good luck censoring that.

Update:

The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom followed up on this issue with both the Censorship Bureau and Grand Cinemas.
There has not been yet any official request by the Cinema circuit submitted to the General Security’s bureau to receive an approval for screening the movie. Hence, there was no decision whatsoever, neither positive nor negative, regarding Spring Breakers.
As for Grand Cinemas, they said they still do not know when or if they will want to screen that movie.
So there is no case of censorship for this movie.

No idea why Grand Cinema was referring to “circumstances” in their reply if they haven’t even looked at the movie yet.

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9 thoughts on “Spring Breakers Won’t Be Released in Lebanon

  1. I hadn’t heard of the movie before but now I actually want to download it just to see what the fuss is about

    Reply
    • According to a later reply, the movie might end up being released here. Either way, it doesn’t seem to be anything I’d want to watch at the movies šŸ˜›

      Reply
  2. if only the head of that fossilized bureau can be reached for commenting. The problem doesn’t lie with the movies being banned, but the public’s lack of knowledge on who runs the bureau and the policies it implements. Time to chase the source!

    Reply
  3. Hello. The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom followed up on this issue with both the Censorship Bureau and Grand Cinemas.
    There has not been yet any official request by the Cinema circuit submitted to the General Security’s bureau to receive an approval for screening the movie. Hence, there was no decision whatsoever, neither positive nor negative, regarding Spring Breakers.
    As for Grand Cinemas, they said they still do not know when or if they will want to screen that movie.
    So there is no case of censorship for this movie.

    Reply
  4. Springbreakers is an independent movie with limited commercial potential. From a business perspective, the only country in the region it might get released in would be Lebanon. Movie rights are usually bought for the region (including Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, UAE…) if I’m not mistaken. So from a commercial perspective it doesn’t seem that appealing to buy the rights for a movie that would only show in Lebanon (both Sex and the City movies were only released in Lebanon I think, but that was a big franchise with a built-in audience, so financially, it was worth it). If Springbreakers was indeed banned, movie exhibitors (Empire, Grand…) would have been more clear about it in replying to their customers on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be surprised if it gets a theatrical release some time in the near future though. (Big Studio movies release dates are planned ahead, but independent movies are often added at the last minute).

    Reply

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