Friday, February 03, 2012

Joseph Cedar Returns to the Acaedemy Awards

I'm a bit late with this news, but it's worth noting on my blog anyway: "Footnote", an Israeli film directed by Joseph Cedar, is nominated for a Best Foreign Film Award at the upcoming Oscar ceremony. This is an excellent film, which tells a universal tale of father-son rivalry and workplace politics. It's nice to have an Israeli film about something other than the conflict get recognized for its excellence.

The press tended to focus on the fact that one of the other four films in this category is an Iranian film, "A Separation". They call it the Israeli-Iranian war by proxy, or a cultural battle. Bullshit. Israelis know to separate between politics and culture, between leaders and artists. In fact, "A Separation" is being shown in theaters in Israel. Israeli authorities have no problem with that. Iranian authorities, however, allowed the film to be distributed in Israel only after European countries pressured them into it. You'd never see "Footnote" in an Iranian theater.

I'm rooting for "Footnote", because it is an excellent Israeli film (and the only one in the category that I've seen), not because of some hatred for Iran or any other country in the running. I also hope that the second time's a charm for Cedar, who was nominated in 2008 with "Beaufort".

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