Showing posts with label Outside the Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outside the Law. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Controversial African film nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscar

Outside the Law

The controversial African film Outside the Law made it to the final five nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film. A record third time for the director, but I doubt if Rachid Bouchareb’s film can beat the Mexican film Biutiful by Alejandro González Iñárritu. "Biutiful" also got the lead actor Javier Bardem a nomination for Best Actor and tipped by top Hollywood stars to win the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. Julia Roberts is in love with the movie.


"Biutiful" which is the humourous Spanish spelling of beautiful was in competition for the Palme d'Or at the last Cannes Film Festival where Bardem shared the Best Actor award with Elio Germano for Daniele Luchetti's "La Nostra Vita". It was the Best Foreign Language Film of 2010 at the 17th Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards and also nominated for the 64th British Academy Film Awards for Best Film not in the English Language and Javier Bardem getting another nomination for Best Actor.

The shortlisted films competing for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar are "Dogtooth," by Greece's Yorgos Lanthimos; "Algeria's "Outside the Law," directed by Rachid Bouchareb; "Incendies," from Canada's Denis Villeneuve; "In a Better World," by Denmark's Susanne Bier; and "Biutiful," by Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

Click here to see all Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards.

Many foreign films had theatrical releases in North America in 2010. The notables included the French production “Babies”, “I am Love” from Italy and “The Secret in Their Eyes” from Argentina that won an Oscar last year. Sandy Mandelberger, a New York film Editor has a detailed report posted on Fest 21.

While some African countries have made it to the Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars, Nigeria has not even made it to the competition at the Cannes Film Festival, except in some minor international film festivals in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Nigeria boasts of Nollywood, the so called second largest movie industry in the world, but with nothing much to show for it, except the proliferation of substandard home videos circulated by pirates with impunity.

Jeta Amata’s "Amazing Grace", Stephanie Okereke’s "Through the Glass", Kunle Afolayan’s "The figurine (Araromire)" and Chineze Anyaene’s "IJÉ: The Journey" made so much buzz in the local media with claims of breaking box office records in Nigeria, but they have not even found major distributors in the US and Europe. Now Jeta Amata’s new film "Black Gold" and Mahmood Ali-Balogun’s "Tango with Me" are being hyped with great expectations and the only way to prove their worth is not pulling crowds at the few cinemas in Nigeria, but competing with the best at the Cannes and making the nominations for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. Until then, the best is yet to come in Nollywood.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two African films compete for Foreign Language Oscar

Two African films, Outside the Law from Algeria and Life Above All from South Africa are among the 9 films that will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 83rd Academy Awards. They were selected from 66 films that qualified in the category.

Notably is Rachid Bouchareb’s "Outside the Law," the French-Algerian film that annoyed French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's political party, who wanted the film banned at the last Cannes Film Festival, because “it denigrates France and the French military."

"Outside the Law", tells the story of three brothers who fought for Algeria's independence from France after World War II. After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers were scattered across the globe. Messaoud joined the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader became a leader of the Algerian independence movement; whilst Said moved to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunited them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.

"Life, Above All" an emotional and universal drama about a young girl who fought the fear and shame that have poisoned her community. It was directed by South African filmmaker Oliver Schmitz who adapted the international award winning novel "Chanda's Secrets" by Allan Stratton.

Chanda, 16, is a smart and determined South African girl on track to win a scholarship – but she’s suddenly thrust into an impossible situation, forcing her to adopt maturity beyond her years. When we first meet her, she’s making funeral arrangements for her year-old sister, Sara. If people begin to suspect Sara’s death was due to more than a passing flu, Chanda will be faced with shame and stigma, not only for the victim, but also for their entire family.

When Lilian’s (Chanda’s mother) illness becomes impossible to hide, their nosy, eccentric next-door neighbor, Mrs. Tafa, engages a spirit doctor to perform a startling ritual. The spirit doctor determines that a curse is hanging over her and her children. In order to lift it, Lilian must return to the village from where she was banished decades before, leaving Chanda alone to care for her siblings.

Meanwhile, Chanda’s best friend, Esther, has turned to prostitution in a desperate attempt to survive and reunite her own family. Though the community shuns Esther, Chanda refuses to reject her friend. To the horror of those around her, Chanda opens her house to Esther at her friend’s moment of greatest need. That’s just the beginning of Chanda’s fight against convention.

When Chanda discovers that her mother may have gone away to die in order to spare her children shame, she ignores the cautions of the meddling Mrs. Tafa, and embarks on a fateful journey to bring her mother home. And in doing so, challenges the people around her to reject their prejudices and embrace the truth.

The 9 films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Algeria, “Outside the Law”), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve, director;
Denmark, “In a Better World,” Susanne Bier, director;
Greece, “Dogtooth,” Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
Japan, “Confessions,” Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
Mexico, “Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
South Africa, “Life, above All,” Oliver Schmitz, director;
Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”), Iciar Bollain, director;
Sweden, “Simple Simon,” Andreas Ohman, director.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima