Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri on Oscar-shortlisted 'The Insult'
In 2012, director Ziad Doueiri broke Lebanese law by shooting a movie in Israel. His latest film,‘The Insult,’ has nothing to do with Israel, but Doueiri still has enemies in the Middle East who tried to stop the release of this movie. They failed, and now 'The Insult' is shortlisted for Oscar in the foreign language category and a box-office hit in Lebanon.
Six years ago, Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri broke the law and offended many in his country by shooting a movie in Israel. That film was banned in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. Doueiri’s latest film, ‘The Insult,’ has nothing to do with Israel, but he still has enemies who don’t want his work to be seen. Doueiri tells us about his drive to continue to make movies in the Middle East and admits that the horrible insult that sets off the drama in his new film was based on words he had said in real life. And on the Banter, turns out Michelle Williams didn’t get all the money in the world for doing reshoots on Ridley Scott’s latest film. Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand...
Photo: Director Ziad Doueiri on the set of 'The Insult.' Courtesy of Cohen Media Group.
James Franco showed up at the Golden Globes wearing a Times Up pin, but once he won an award, women started calling him out on Twitter for questionable past behavior. Franco’s gone on late night shows like Colbert and Seth Meyers in an attempt to deny the accusations, but that has only made more women speak up against him. Later in the week, he won a Critics Choice award, but was not there to receive it.
Update: After an outcry surrounding the wage disparity between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams for the reshoots of 'All the Money in the World,' Wahlberg is donating the $1.5 million he was paid for reshoots to the Time's Up initiative. The talent agency WME, which represents both Wahlberg and Williams, will donate an additional $500K.
The new film ‘The Insult’ begins with a testy exchange in a Beirut neighborhood. Toni is a Lebanese Christian who runs an auto repair shop and resents the presence of Palestinian refugees in his country. Yasser is one of those refugees who happens to have a job as a construction foreman in Toni’s neighborhood.
The trouble starts when Yasser gets splashed with water because of an illegal jury-rigged drainpipe on Toni’s balcony. When he decides to fix the pipe without asking permission, Toni smashes the repair job. Thus begins an argument that spirals into a national cause in a country that is deeply divided along religious lines.
Despite controversy surrounding the director of ‘The Insult,’ Lebanon submitted the film to compete for an Academy Award this year. It’s shortlisted for best foreign language film--a first for a Lebanese movie.
Joining us on the show this week is ‘The Insult’ director, Ziad Doueiri, a secular Muslim who grew up in Beirut. He became a U.S. Citizen after moving to San Diego to go to film school. He’s since gone back to the Middle East, where he made the 2012 film ‘The Attack.’ Doueiri shot in Israel and included Israeli cast and crew members in that film.
Simply by going to Israel, Doueiri broke Lebanese law and ‘The Attack’ was banned in Lebanon. Since then, he’s been in the cross hairs of the BDS movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel and seeks to blacklist anyone who does business there, including artists and filmmakers.
Though ‘The Insult’ was filmed in Lebanon, and has nothing to do with Israel, Doueiri is still a target of the boycott movement.
He tells us about the troubles he’s faced as a filmmaker in the Middle East, and why he’s determined to continue to make political movies in and about the Arab world.