The Israeli film, Foxtrot, Israel’s entry to the 2018 Oscars was not selected as a nominee this morning. A winner of a Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival and the recipient of multiple Israeli Ophir Awards in 2017, the film, directed by Shmulik Maoz, was passed over.
You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, perhaps.
The film tells the tale of a lone outpost of soldiers. Let’s say they are Israeli. A soldier is killed and the events are covered up since they involved the killing of and secret burials of civilians. The film follows the dead soldier’s family, their learning of his death, and the months of grief and mourning afterwards.
Had it received an Oscars’ nomination for Best Foreign Film, many would have lambasted the Academy for promoting a film that may be seen as critical of Israel and the IDF’s relationship with the country’s population.
Had it bypasssed the film, some will lambast the Academy for “snubbing” the Israeli entry.
The critically acclaimed film and its director came under heavy criticism in 2017 from Israel’s Minister of Culture Regev for what was deemed an insult to Israel and the IDF.
The Lebanese entry – THE INSULT – did receive an Oscar nomination today.
Ziad Doueri’s tense Beirut-set courtroom thriller tells the story of Lebanese Christian Tony and Palestinian Yasser. They exchange harsh words after Yasser tries to repair a drainpipe on Tony’s balcony. The fallout leads to violence, courtroom confrontations and national attention. In Lebanon, THE INSULT faced a boycott campaign due to Doueri’s previous feature – The Attack – having partly been filmed in Israel.
And in other Oscars news… Call Me By Your Name, the story by Andre Aciman of two Jewish youth in Italy received multiple nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, and Best Fruit in a Film.