Boycott the Beirut movie

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While I highly value creative freedom, I believe it should not come at the expense of inaccuracy of facts and malicious misrepresentation of culture & history.

I'm boycotting the movie. I will not give it my dollar. I refuse to contribute to its success at the Box Office.

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Hollywood’s Upcoming Movie “Beirut” Checks Off Every American Stereotype About Lebanon.

An ambiguous middle eastern city ravaged by war: check.

Oriental music with no clarity of origin: check.

English spoken like only Americans think terrorists speak English: check.

A terrorist Islamic organization that doesn’t actually exist: check.

Those Arabs in the movie? Barbaric savages. Their cities and where they live? Hellholes. Their entire lives? Reduced to kids running around cars with plastic guns.

A movie filmed in Morocco, with no Lebanese cast, with no Lebanese input, with no Lebanese insight – and named after the capital city of a country, while it makes sure to perpetuate the exact notion believed by the people in the country where this movie will most advertise itself.

In the movie, Beirut, the notion that Arabs are people that exist in an endless circle of violence is perpetuated once more, whilst ticking off every white American’s notion of orientalist Middle Eastern realities. Even the tagline of the movie is “2000 years of revenge, vendetta, murder. Welcome to Beirut.”

Did anyone tell these people that revenge and vendetta are the same things? Or that the 2000+ year history of Beirut is not about revenge, vendetta, and murder, but that a city older than the oldest entity in their country is not summarized by what they think is true of it.

What’s worse is that you’d never find a Hollywood movie, say, that is set in New York portray nothing relevant to the city and be named after it. You’d never find a movie set in any “white” European city negatively portray that city as a terrorist infected haven. Instead, all portrayal tries to stay as respectful as possible to the history of the place they’re showing on screen.

The worst part about the movie is that this is an American take on the Lebanese Civil War – to a certain extent at least – while the war itself had nothing to do with them. And then the release date of the movie is set to coincide with the 43rd anniversary of the Lebanese Civil War, on April 13th.

Dear Hollywood, I understand you have a growing need to be “woke” these days, but being “woke” also involves being aware that other people’s countries and cities are not free reigns for you to appropriate into movies whose only purpose is to further perpetuate what you believe is true about those places and those people, as well as fill your pockets with money at their expense.

I, for one, will be boycotting this movie when it’s released, and I invite every Lebanese to do the same. Using our capital but filming somewhere else, using our people but using other nationalities, using our heritage but using other languages, accents and music, and white-washing our entire struggles to fit into the cute boxes that would never oppose the notions of the typical American moviegoer, while reinforcing what they think of us, is not okay.

_ reblogged from A Separate State of Mind.



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