Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
While almost every other person in America talks about WikiLeaks on a daily basis, /Film has mostly remained out of the conversation. However, it seems even the film industry isn’t immune from Julian Assange’s controversial website. David pointed out one such article about how American TV and movies shown in Saudi Arabia are apparently helping to prevent jihad and we saw that Batman isn’t a fan.
A few new pieces of film related news have now been revealed too. First is a document that makes it seem like Cuba banned Michael Moore‘s film Sicko and another reveals that Steven Spielberg and all of his films were the target of an Arab boycott. Hit the jump to read about each WikiLeak.
According to The Guardian, a confidential January 31, 2008 United States Embassy cable stated that the Cuban government banned Michael Moore’s film Sicko, which portrays the Cuban health care system in a very positive light. The document stated the film was banned because “it painted such a ‘mythically’ favorable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a ‘popular backlash.’” That was the original story based on the leaked document alone.
However, Moore himself came out after that and said that the cable in question was actually just “an attempt to discredit the film which painted an unflattering picture of the U.S. healthcare system.”
It is a stunning look at the Orwellian nature of how bureaucrats for the State spin their lies and try to recreate reality.
According to Moore, Sicko was actually embraced in Cuba and shown on their national television station. So, of course, it wasn’t banned, someone just wanted us to think it was. Moore’s in depth blog post in addition to The Guardian piece both have more details.
The Guardian also reports that, after Steven Spielberg made a $1 million donation to Israel during the 2006 conflict in Lebanon, he was blacklisted by the Arab League’s Central Boycott Office.
A U.S. embassy memo revealed that “diplomats or representatives from 14 Arab states voted to ban all films and other products related to Spielberg or his Righteous Persons Foundation.” The nations in questions were Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
A spokesman for Spielberg told The Guardian, “While we can’t comment on a leaked cable, we know that the films and DVDs have been sold globally in the normal distribution through all this time.”
What’s more surprising? That the U.S. government allegedly lied about Moore’s film being banned or that these Arab nations would attempt to boycott Spielberg because he tried to help Israel?