Lion of the Desert (film)

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Date: 1981

Region: Europe, Africa

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Moustapha Akkad

Confronting Bodies: Italian undersecretary to the Foreign Affair Department; Italian Commission on film censorship

Dates of Action: 1981; 1982; in the 1987 a screening was stopped by Digos (a special investigating division of government police) in Trento (North of Italy); in 1988 the only official screening occurred at the Riminicinema festival

Location: Trento, Rimini, Italy

Description of Artwork: Between two worlds wars, a struggle for freedom took place in the African desert. This movie is the historically accurate story about the Libyan resistance leader, Omar Mukhtar, who led the Libyan resistance against the Italian oppressors from 1911-1931. The movie takes place during the fascist dictatorship of Mussolini.

The Incident: "The movie is unwelcome in Italy" said Raffaele Costa, Italian undersecretary to the Foreign Affair Department, in 1981; in 1982 Giulio Andreotti (Italian politician) banned the movie: the Italian government considering the movie insulting to the italian army's honor

Results of Incident: The movie was banned in Italy; no screenings allowed

Source: Release Info IMDB