When I spoke recently with Ziad Doueiri, writer and director of The Attack, I couldn’t help but ask him a bit about his biography, which is now inextricably tied with his film’s content. The Lebanese director’s latest film was just banned by the Arab League, prohibiting anyone in its 22 member nations from screening it without risking arrest. Doueiri, who cut his teeth as a regular of Quentin Tarantino’s camera crew, moved back to his native Lebanon after the events of 9/11. Now because of the ban, he can’t even hold a screening in his own home. Because his move away from the U.S. came right after the events of 9/11, it was easy to assume that it was based in part on politics: “9/11 had nothing to do with it,” he told me. “There was a girl there.” This exchange mirrors the experience of watching The Attack, which opens in New York and DC on Friday. All of the press surrounding the film, as well as the opening scenes, prepare you for a deeply political film, but in the end it has more in common with Before Midnight than any heavy-handed geopolitical drama. Yet despite his efforts to make a personal film, politics – in the form of the Arab League – found a way to intervene.