Art and Experience: Andrei Konchalovsky’s “Paradise” has been chosen as Russia’s submission for this year’s foreign-language Oscar.
Co-written with Elena Kiseleva and directed by Konchalovsky, “Paradise” is set during World War II. It follows the stories of a Russian aristocratic emigrant and member of the French Resistance; a French collaborator; and a high-ranking German SS officer whose paths are destined to cross.
The 79-year-old director recently won the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival for the film.
The submission follows on the heels of Estonia, Kosovo and Albania’s Oscar foreign-language film entries.
Estonia’s entry for consideration is Kadri Kousaar’s “Mother.” The darkly comic thriller tells the story of a woman who must face the locals of the small town she lives in after her adult son goes into a coma after a shooting and the townspeople try to solve the mystery of what happened. It is written by Leana Jalukse and Al Wallcat.
Faton Bajraktari’s debut feature “Home Sweet Home” will fly the flag for Kosovo. A co-production between Kosovo and Macedonia, the film tells the tale of a man, considered dead after going missing during the Kosovo war, whose return home is greeted with shock from his wife, children and friends who had already become accustomed to his death. Written by Zymber Kelmedi, “Home Sweet Home” marks only the third time Kosovo has submitted a film for the foreign-language Oscar.
Albania’s entry is Bujar Alimani’s “Chromium.” Written and directed by Alimani, it is his second film to be submitted for foreign-language Oscar consideration after 2011’s “Amnesty,” which did not make the Oscar short list. “Chromium” centers on a quiet, rebellious 15-year-old boy, living with his younger brother and deaf-mute mother, whose desire for independence sees him take a job working illegally in a chromium mine – a decision that has profound consequences for his family. It is a co-production between Albania, Kosovo, Germany and Greece.
Nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 24.