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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two Oscar foreign language nominations have Jewish themes

Two of the Academy nominees for Best Foreign Language Film have Jewish themes.

One of them is "In Darkness," from Poland:

From acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland, In Darkness is based on a true story. Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha’s conscience. The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as these men, women and children all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger.



The other is Footnote, from Israel:

Footnote is the story of a great rivalry between a father and son. Both eccentric professors have dedicated their lives to their work [in the Talmud department at Hebrew University.] The father seems a stubborn purist who fears the establishment. His son, Uriel, appears to strive on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition.

But one day, the tables turn. The two men switch places when the father learns he is to be awarded the most valuable honour one can receive. His desperate need for recognition is betrayed, his vanity exposed. Uriel is torn between pride and envy. Will he sabotage his father’s glory?

Footnote is the story of insane competition, the admiration and envy for a role model, bringing father and son to a final, bitter confrontation.




It looks like the favorite to win though is the Iranian film "A Separation."