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Lebanon: Lebanese Bloggers React to Israeli film “Lebanon”

Lebanese bloggers have offered a mixed reception to another Israeli film about the Jewish state's 1982 invasion of its northern neighbour.

Conspicuously titled “Lebanon“, the autobiographical film is set entirely in a tank as it recounts the Israeli military's involvement in the conflict.

Lebanon” is the second Israeli autobiographical film depicting Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers in action in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), only a year after the Israeli animation Waltz with Bashir was released.

Both films have attempted to highlight – in the most gory and confronting fashion – the brutality and devastation of modern war.

Due to the political sensitivity in Lebanon surrounding events of the civil war, the latest film was always going to arouse controversy and interest among the Lebanese.

The film has received international acclaim after winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, but what do Lebanese think about it and its world fame?

Asad Abu Khalil of the Angry Arab News Service, who has yet to see the film, poured cold water on the film's success in Venice with the following comment on his blog:

“”I dedicate this work to people all over the world that come back from the war safe and sound,” the director told the audience at the award ceremony. “They work, get married, have children, but the memories get stuck in their souls.””

So this Zionist clown dedicates this movie to the warriors (I will review it once I get my unpurchased copy) and not to the victims of the terrorist Israeli warriors.

Some Lebanese on Twitter also criticised the film for attempting to humanise Israeli soldiers and refusing to incorporate the stories of those who suffered under Israel's invasion of Lebanon … the Lebanese people.

Some of the critical tweets from Lebanon are as follows:

justimage Another killer makes film to alleviate his guilt. Tell stories of those you terrorized, then I'll watch.

MXML Great, yet another Israeli film about #Lebanon that only humanizes Israeli soldiers and not Lebanese/Palestinian victims.

abdallahdeeb and the “#Lebanonmovie is made in #Israel. How weird is that?

RamsayShort oh my god the gall of this new Israel film Lebanon‘ – if it was Hizbullah with guns defending against the Israelis would it be so acclaimed?

Interesting how the Israelis appropriate even ‘Lebanon’ the name in the new Venice film. Sad too how awards are given for films about the poor

Israeli soldiers who did so much damage in '82. Let's care about what they did in South Lebanon & Beirut when they came..

The Lebanese won't forget the Israeli soldiers

A Lebanese Facebook group on the film has, however, offered a contrasting view.

Supporters of Israel's former allies in the Lebanese Civil War, the far-right Phalangists, have launched a Facebook group in reaction to the film, calling on a film to be made about Syria's involvement in the war as well.

Comments on the group's page – “We Want a Movie about Syria's WAR on Lebanon” – also criticise Israeli filmmakers for portraying the Phalangist militia as the villains while sanitising the IDF's actions and ignoring the atrocities committed against their own communities:

Jeff Merheb (Lebanon) wrote

Israelis have done a movie about the Sabra and Chatila massacre accusing the Lebanese (Phalangists),we need a movie on DAMOUR massacre too to show the world that WE were the victims too

Jeff Merheb (Lebanon) wrote

They (Syria) burned and destroyed Lebanon during the 1975-1990 war, they killed thousands of innocent and civil children with their bombed cars, they killed hundred of thousands of Lebanese with their bombs, they divided Lebanese even inside the same community to better rule them, they kidnapped thousands of Lebanese during war and during their occupation, they stole billions of $$ from Lebanese state for 15 years, they brought thousands of terrorists in Lebanon in case they want to blow up the country, they gave full credits and unlimited weapons to Hezbollah, they killed with cold blood every politician that could resist them from Kamal Joumblatt and Bachir Gemayel till Rafik Hariri and 14 March politicians passing by Dany Chamoun, they are using a group of destroyers (Opposition politicians) who have as only target the destruction of the Lebanese state and the return of the moukhabarat (Syrian intelligence) rules…
And there are still Lebanese people who support them ”mikeye” on other Lebanese…this is very sad

Any film on the Lebanese Civil War was always going to elicit such diverse opinions from a highly polarised Lebanese society.

Lebanon” has not only rekindled painful memories of the war, but forced many Lebanese to relive the horror and emotions they previously experienced.

While many may disagree on the motives, intentions and focus of the Israeli-made film, it certainly has people talking.

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