Art and Experience: Estonia, Greece, Serbia, and Iraq have chosen their candidates for the 90th foreign-language Oscar race.
Rainer Sarnet’s “November,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the best cinematography award, was chosen to represent Estonia. Based on Andrus Kivirahk’s bestselling novel “Rehepapp,” the adult fairy tale is set in an Estonian pagan village where greedy and callous residents are taking on the plague, the devil and various demonic entities. Oscilloscope will release the film in North America.
Yannis Sakardis’s second feature, “Amerika Square,” which premiered at Busan, is the foreign-language Oscar candidate from Greece. The film is based on a novel by Yannis Tsirba and centers on a bitter Greek nationalist in Athens whose apartment building and local park become resting venues for refugees.
Hussein Hassan’s “The Dark Wind,” the Iraqi film candidate, is a daring drama following the journey of a woman from the Yazidi minority in Kurdistan who struggles to re-enter her community after being raped by ISIS fighters. “The Dark Wind” sparked a controversy when it premiered at the Duhok Film Festival. The movie went on to play at Dubai and Busan.
Serbia picked Bojan Vuletić’s “Requiem for Mrs. J.,” a black comedy about a suicidal widow. The film opened at Berlin’s Panorama sidebar and is being by sold by Soul Food Films.
Italy and France will soon be unveiling their foreign-language Oscar submissions.