Giant steps

A milestone has been reached:

“‘Paradise Now’ has been nominated ”˜best foreign language film’ for the 78th Annual Academy Awards – better known as the Oscars. The film was directed by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad from a screenplay he cowrote with Bero Beyer, the film’s Dutch producer. ‘Paradise Now’ chronicles the 48 hours before two best friends in Nablus are sent on a suicide mission to Israel.

“This is the first Academy Award nomination for Palestine. Three years ago, it was the first time a Palestinian film entered the Oscars race for best foreign film. Elia Suleiman’s ‘Divine Intervention’, acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the international critics’ prize, could have been a contender for the Oscars. At first Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Pictures refused to accept the film as a candidate for the best foreign-language film because the Academy believed that Palestine was not recognized as a nation.”

Such a nomination suggests that both the Palestinians are being recognised and their political struggle – painfully recreated in the film – will reach an even larger international audience.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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