Best Foreign Language Film

For the films of 2011
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:20 am

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Iranian government was condemning the Oscar nominations of A Separation,

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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:31 am

This is from The Daily Star in Lebanon February 28, 2012

Iran calls Oscar win victory over Zionist entity
By Nasser Kariml


TEHRAN: Iran’s state television described the country’s first foreign film Oscar win as a victory over archfoe Israel Monday, a rare nod of approval toward a movie industry often criticized by Iranian hard-liners.

The official reaction to the victory of “A Separation” in Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was cast mostly in nationalist terms amid a mounting showdown between Israel and its Western allies over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Footnote,” by Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar, was in the competition against writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s movie, which explores troubles in Iranian society through the story of a marriage breaking apart.

In his acceptance speech in Los Angeles, Farhadi, said he hoped the Oscar would raise awareness of Iran’s artistic achievements and rich culture that has been “hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”

Iranian cinema has reaped praise and prizes at international festivals such as Venice and Cannes for decades – as part of an artistic tradition among Iranians that includes poetry, music and artwork that now command some of the highest prices in galleries in Dubai and elsewhere.

While it highlights sporting achievements and technological leaps as a source of national pride, the Iranian state has often been dismissive of international cultural and entertainment awards.

Clampdowns by hard-liners in recent years – particularly since the unrest after the disputed 2009 presidential elections – have included artists and others, forcing some to flee the country or work underground. In January, a well-known independent film group in Tehran was ordered closed.

Many Iranian conservatives were upset with the themes of “A Separation” – domestic turmoil, gender inequality and the desire by many Iranians to leave the country. But Iranian state media used the Oscar-winning film to trumpet a success over Israel.

State television said the award succeeded in “leaving behind” a film from the “Zionist regime.” Israel has not ruled out military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Javad Shamaghdari, head of Iran’s Cinema Agency, portrayed the Oscar decision as the “beginning of the collapse” of Israeli influence that “beats the drum of war” in the U.S.

Farhadi said he thought the success of “A Separation” pleased some in the Iranian government and not others. “The Iranian government,” he observed, “is not unanimous at all.”

Farhadi’s was the first Iranian film to win the award. The only other Iranian movie nominated was 1997’s “Children of Heaven,” which was defeated by the Italian movie “Life Is Beautiful.”

“A Separation” tells the story of a couple heading for divorce and dealing with domestic troubles, including a young child and an ageing parent. It portrays a husband who is protective of his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father and in conflict with his wife, who wishes to emigrate. Their daughter is torn between them.

Iranian television did not broadcast the Academy Awards live, but many Iranians watched via satellite television, which are illegal but widely used. State television later aired clips of Farhadi’s acceptance speech.

Iranian artists and the public were delighted by the win.

Tahmineh Milani, director of the acclaimed 2005 film “Unwanted Woman,” said the Oscar was a source of “national pride.” She said the award “revived hope in the hearts of all Iranians” regardless of their professions.

Nima Behdadi Mehr, a cinema columnist in pro-reform Mardomsalari daily, believed the award “would help Iranian cinema to come out of its isolation.” He hoped President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would grant Farhadi a “special prize” to draw further attention to Iran’s film industry.

“I feel fresh air in my lungs. I watched the ceremony through satellite television channels with four of my friends,” said Erfan Khazaei, an art student in Azad University, as he watched the ceremonies that finished well after midnight in Iran. “Now we are more hopeful about the future.”

Ultra-conservatives denigrated the film as a slap at the country.

Ebrahim Fayyaz, a prominent hard-line sociologist, told the Nasim news website that “A Separation” is one of the worst Iranian films.

He said it was a “black realistic film” that portrays the country as an old man, as a symbol of tradition and the past, afflicted with Alzheimer’s. He said the movie suggests emigrating to the West as a solution.

“The West,” Fayyaz said, “awards movies that are in the direction of their policies.”

Last month, Farhadi proposed that Iranian authorities allow a vote among artists about the fate of the House of Cinema, an independent film group that operated for 20 years before it was ordered closed by authorities in January.

Officials said it lacked the proper permits. Artists and others claimed it was a political decision because the group often took liberal stands contrary to government’s cultural policies.

Iranian cinema has for years been one of the nation’s main cultural exports, notably films of Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi and Jafar Panahi. Panahi in 2011 was sentenced to a six-year house arrest and a 20-year ban on filmmaking after being convicted of “making propaganda” against Iran’s ruling system.

Kiarostami’s “Taste of Cherry,” a story about a suicidal man seeking someone willing to bury him, won the 1997 Palme d’Or at Cannes. In 2007, the Cannes jury prize went to the animated film “Persepolis,” an adaptation of Iranian director Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novels about growing up during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.



Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Fil ... z1nfun9Ko0
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:14 am

I did the same thing, Sabin.
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:24 am

I predicted In Darkness and I'm quite pleased to be wrong. This is the best winner in this category that I can remember. Great film, great speech, the best win of the night by a mile.
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:00 am

Easily the best win of the night, great acceptance speech as well. So happy the Holocaust card wasn't played here.

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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:18 am

I *love* the fact that A Separation won. I loved it but I was doubting its chances of winning since it's not really a typical Academy Award movie and there's a Holocaust drama lingering in the category tempting elderly voters who automatically namecheck anything World War II-y.

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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:58 am

As the show is over, I would rate this win (and Octavia Spencer's win) as the highlights for me.
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Okri » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:18 pm

I was so paranoid they'd go for Holocaust or teacher-and-kids. Glad to be proven wrong (though the teacher-and-kids film is actually quite good. Just not a flat out jaw dropping all time list masterpiece that A Separation is)

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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:17 pm

I predicated the Canadian drama. I didn't think that the Academy would vote for this and I'm so glad I was wrong.

Best choice in this category in years.
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:09 pm

Thank goodness, if only for Italiano's sake. Congratulations!

Now I really must see it.
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Re: Best Foreign Language Film

Postby ksrymy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:09 pm

So glad they went with this over the typical Holocaust drama.
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Best Foreign Language Film

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:07 pm

A Separation - Iran
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