Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Oscar Nominees: Provocative Political Films

Forget the mainstream films always nominated for Oscars; this year's Oscar nominations includes some notable independent films addressing current political themes.

We're glad to report that Facing Fear, a documentary short on reconciliation between a former gay youth bashed by a neoNazi, directed by Jason Cohen, has been nominated for the 2014 Academy Awards.  Subversity interviewed director Cohen last July.

Another notable documentary short nomination:

Karama Has No Walls, by Sara Ishaq, on the protests in Yemen:

Feature documentary nominees include:

Dirty Wars, by Richard Rowley, co-founder of Big Noise Films, and investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill:

And The Square, on the Tahir Square uprising in Egypt that kicked off Arab Spring, by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer:

And for Best Foreign Film, from Cambodia, its first film nominated for the Oscars, a stark look at Cambodia's recent dark history, Rithy Panh's  The Missing Picture:

And from Palestine, a West Bank love story, Hany Abu-Assad's Omar:

This is Palestine's and the director's second nomination.  In 2005 Hany Abu-Assad's searing  Paradise Now, about two friends recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, was nominated for Best Foreign Film. 

Also of note is Denmark's portrayal of the devastating impact of false accusations made against a popular schoolteacher, in the Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg.

-- Daniel C. Tsang.