Lebanon censors French film depicting gay love story

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A French film featuring a gay love story has been blocked by Lebanese censors, the Beirut International Film Festival has said.

The festival said it had been informed by censors that the film L’inconnu du lac, or Stranger by the Lake, was not suitable for viewing, and did not meet the criteria needed to be shown.

The film features the story of two men who fall in love at a regular cruising spot by a lake.

A security official said the censorship board, which is attached to the interior ministry, had said the two films did “not meet its criteria”, and the minister would make a final decision.

A second film was also blocked; I Offered You Pleasure, by 26-year-old Lebanese director Farah Shaer, which deals with the controversial practice of temporary marriage, or “pleasure marriage”. The practice is tradition among some Shiites, but some opponents see it as an excuse to have sex outside of marriage, which is otherwise forbidden by Islam.