Oscars: Best Foreign-Language Film Interviews

Screen International, November 21, 2014 | Go to article overview

Oscars: Best Foreign-Language Film Interviews


Directors of foreign language Oscar submissions talk to Screen about the thinking behind their films. Interviews by Laurence Boyce, Sarah Cooper, Melanie Goodfellow, Wendy Mitchell and Juan SardaRonit & Shlomi ElkabetzGett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem (Israel)

Israeli brother and sister film-making duo Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz have written, directed and produced Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem -- the third film in their trilogy following To Take A Wife (2004) and Seven Days (2008). It is the story about an Israeli woman's legal struggle to get a divorce because of antiquated laws.

'This law has been around for 4,000 years and it has not changed an inch. But I hope it will evoke a serious conversation'Shlomi Elkabetz

'Every day I was in shock working on this. It's difficult to understand, in the democratic way we live in Israel, that this is still the law'Ronit ElkabetzPirjo HonkasaloConcrete Night (Finland)

The Finnish veteran's black-and-white film is about two teenage brothers in Helsinki on a pivotal night of their lives before the older brother has to go to prison. Concrete Night is adapted from Pirkko Saisio's 1981 novel of the same name.

'It was almost like watching a film when you read the book... When I read the story, I didn't see any colours. I decided not to make any more docs. It's not such a big difference. The actors have to be just as true as in a doc'Pirjo HonkasaloNajwa NajjarEyes Of A Thief (Palestine)

Palestinian film-maker Najwa Najjar's timely drama, Eyes Of A Thief, explores the impact of Israeli occu-pation on Palestinian life as seen through the tale of a man who searches for his lost daughter following his release from an Israeli jail.

'I'm not sure this is a narrative the West wants to see but I hope I'm wrong. The discourse in the West on the Palestinian resistance and survival has been misrepresented and oversimplified.

'The film questions what happens when reason and hope diminish, apathy increases and consciousness is rendered almost extinct'Najwa NajjarSigne BaumaneRocks In My Pockets (Latvia)

Rocks In My Pockets, the debut feature from respected Latvia-born, New York-based animator Signe Baumane, is a witty and moving examination of the director's battle with depression, narrated by Baumane herself. The film is also a history of her family and how their lives have been touched by the sting of depression.

'People assume one makes a personal film to get rid of one's own demons... as some kind of psychotherapy. …

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