'Death on the Nile' banned in Lebanon and Kuwait because of Israeli star Gal Gadot

The 'Wonder Woman' star served two years of mandatory service in the Israeli army

Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer in 'Death on the Nile'. Photo: 20th Century Studios
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New film Death on the Nile has been banned from cinemas in Lebanon and Kuwait because it stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

On Tuesday, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas reported that the GCC state would not show a film starring “a former soldier in the Zionist occupying army”.

Gadot served her mandatory time in the Israel army for two years from the age of 20. US film publication Deadline has since reported that Lebanon will follow suit and has banned the film's cinematic release.

Lebanon also banned Gadot's film Wonder Woman from release in May 2017 and Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020.

Speaking of her time in the Israeli army, Gadot told Glamour magazine in 2016: "Let me start by saying, I wish no country had the need for an army. But in Israel serving is part of being an Israeli. You've got to give back to the state.

"You give two or three years, and it's not about you. You give your freedom away. You learn discipline and respect."

Death on the Nile is a Kenneth Branagh-directed adaptation of the 1937 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. A classic whodunnit, the murder-mystery stars Gadot and Branagh with a roster of famous names, including Tom Bateman, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Bollywood actor Ali Fazal. Controversial actor Armie Hammer is also in the film.

Kenneth Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot in 'Death on the Nile'. Photo: 20th Century Studios

Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot, the renowned private detective, who is on holiday on a luxury cruise on Egypt's River Nile when he is pulled in to investigate the murder of a young heiress.

Speaking of the film, which had its release delayed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Branagh told the The Fourth Wall podcast in 2020: "It’s a very dark, very sexy, unsettling kind of film. It certainly delivers on the travel log as it takes you to big and exciting different places, but it’s very uncomfortable in ways people will really understand because it has to do with love, possession, lust, jealousy, big primal emotions that really get in people’s way."

The film was shot in studios in London and on location in Morocco in 2019.

Branagh also directed and starred in the 2017 adaptation of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

Updated: February 11, 2022, 8:35 AM
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