BEIRUT: Ziad Doueiri’s film, The Insult, received Tuesday the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film 2018, making it Lebanon’s first ever entry into the Oscar race.
The film, which underwent a myriad of political controversy in Lebanon, is a slow-burn-narrative set in modern-day Beirut, tackling a Lebanese-Palestinian conflict that continues to haunt the nation. The Insult crescendos towards a climax as lives are changed, political views collide, and families are pitted against each other, while the country’s stability hangs in the balance.
Doueiri had spent the last twenty years away from Lebanon, and upon his return to the country for the film’s premiere, last year was stopped at the airport for filming one of his previous movies, The Attack, in Israel.
“For me, I’m still among those who believe that the objective of any film is to convey a story, and not only to express a position or a political stance. It is the story of the characters within the film,” Doueiri stated when discussing his process as a director and storyteller.
The Insult received high praises from its festival run which included the Venice Film Festival, where actor Kamel al-Basha won an award for his performance as Yasser, the Palestinian lead in the film.
It was later picked up for US distribution by Cohen Media Group, known for their aggressive Oscar race campaigns.
Many industry officials including critics of The Hollywood Reporter predicted that the film would garner a nomination and some even claimed that it could likely take home the award.
The 90th Academy Award ceremony will air live on Sunday, March 4th, 2018.
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