best film in a foreign language

Donald Trump’s Muslim ban blocks Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from awards show

  • On Friday, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman started playing in theaters across the United States.
  • Friday is also when President Donald Trump’s executive order effectively banned the Oscar-nominated Iranian director from entering the United States. 
  • This will likely prevent Farhadi from attending the Oscars where his movie is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Read more.

Paltry noms for women directors at the 2017 Golden Globes

First the (slightly) good news. There were two films directed by women nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Golden Globes: Divines directed by Houda Benyamina for France and Toni Erdmann directed by Maren Ade for Germany. 

Another minuscule bright spot: Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role in Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen, one of the few wide releases directed by a woman of 2016. 

But that was essentially it for films directed by women. No women or films directed by women got nominations for directing, Best Picture, Song etc and there were no other performances nominated that were directed by women. 

In a sense this was somewhat predictable. Awards season is a business and as long as Hollywood keeps shutting out women they are going to continue to be ignored when it comes to awards. There were many women directing critical favourites this year (aside from Toni Erdmann, American Honey, Certain Women and The Love Witch have shown up on numerous critical Best Of lists) but these either came from tiny studios or had a box office so small it couldn’t justify the millions a distributor would need to spend campaigning for awards, or both.   

On the other hand Hollywood showed us just what sort of people they do nominate. Mel Gibson, who was turned into a social pariah a few years ago after tapes of him verbally abusing his girlfriend using racist language leaked and who physically assaulted her while she was holding their child scored multiple nominations for Hacksaw Ridge, including the prestigious Best Director and Best Picture. Casey Affleck, who settled a case where he was accused of sexually assaulting female employees of his on the set of his mockumentary I’m Still Here, continued to rack up awards with a Best Actor nom for Manchester By the Sea. Earlier this year we watched publication after publication go after Nate Parker and torpedo his Oscar chances and now we get to watch as two white men, accused of similar violent assaults against women go for Oscar glory. 

The lack of nominations for women directors would be appalling on its own, but paired with these nominations for two men who have documented cases of abuse it seems like a surreal slap in the face to anyone who cares about women, justice and equality.  

I’ve seen many people got angry that the Korean movie 아가씨 (The Handmaiden) was not on Oscars nominees list and I think I can give you more details about why. To get nominated for Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film, first you have to enter a movie but it doesn’t work out the way a director wants here. It’s The Korean Film Council that decides only one entry and this year it was 밀정 (The Age of Shadows), not The Handmaiden, and not even 곡성(The Wailing), which also was well received.

TAoS was a good movie too, but nothing could compare to favorable reviews and love The Handmaiden had earned. They don’t have clear criteria for choosing an entry. It caused a quite big controversy in Korea and people got furious.

It has been already widely rumored that the director Park Chan-Wook, who made The Handmaiden and saved cinema, is on the blacklist for raising voices against social issues. Also it is said that they didn’t want the movie where two women love each other to represent the country. Don’t expect Korea to be open to LGBT+ community because of this movie. The handmaiden could get much attention here only because it was directed by a very well-known director.

Thank you so much for love and support for The Handmaiden! This is the first time LGBT movie has made a huge success in my country like this!


The foreign-language films best must see :

1 . Life is Beautiful ( 1998 )
2 . The Lives Of The Others ( 2006 )
3 . The Intouchables (2011)
4 .  Amélie (2001)
5 .  (1963) 
6 .  The Sea Inside (2004)
7 .  Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
8 .  To Live (1994)
9 .  La Dolce Vita (1960)
10 . Good Bye Lenin ( 2003 )
11 .  Everything Is Illuminated (2005


Affected or possibly affected by Trump’s Muslim ban, which is resulting in people literally being detained in airport terminals.

Hameed Khalid Darweesh - who worked as a translator for the US military in Iraq for ten years - detained at JFK and then released.

Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi - husband of a woman who worked for the US as a military contractor and now lives in Texas - still in detention at JFK and being denied access to his lawyer.

The father of Mohammed Al Rawi, Chief Information Officer of Los Angeles County - removed from a flight in Qatar and sent back to Iraq.

Asgar Farhadi - director of The Salesman, nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film - denied a visa.

So, right.

One of our own military translators is a threat.

The husband of somebody who has worked for the government is a threat.

The 71-year-old father of a local government official just trying to visit his son.

An Oscar-nominated director.

And they represent the people who’s names we don’t know who are being forcibly removed from planes, detained in airports without legal counsel, sent back to war zones.

I don’t know how many children are involved. I do know that none of these people are a threat to us.


And Donald signed the executive order causing this on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

We all know where this could go.

Make it public. Make it clear. Tell the stories of those who are affected.

Last time, the Reich pushed the camps into the back of everyone’s awareness, put them outside German borders (Donald is trying to reopen Guantanamo), and many German citizens did not know what was going on.

This time? This time they can’t hide it. They can’t push it under the rug.

Donald has specifically stated that when they start letting in refugees again, “religious minorities” will be prioritized.

He means Christians.

(Note, I’m not in favor of denying an escape to persecuted religious minorities, but you see where this is going).

Meanwhile, don’t let anyone ignore this.

The National Board of Review 2016 - Winners
  • Best Film:  Manchester by the Sea
  • Best Director:  Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Best Actor:  Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence
  • Best Animated Feature:  Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits
  • Best Directorial Debut:  Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
  • Best Foreign Language Film:  The Salesman
  • Best Documentary:  O.J.: Made in America
  • Best Ensemble:  Hidden Figures
  • Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Cameraperson

Top Films

  1. Arrival
  2. Hacksaw Ridge
  3. Hail, Caesar!
  4. Hell or High Water
  5. Hidden Figures
  6. La La Land
  7. Moonlight
  8. Patriot’s Day
  9. Silence
  10. Sully

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

  1. Elle
  2. The Handmaiden
  3. Julieta
  4. Land of Mine
  5. Neruda

Top 5 Documentaries

  1. De Palma
  2. The Eagle Huntress
  3. Gleason
  4. Life, Animated
  5. Miss Sharon Jones!

Top 10 Independent Films

  1. 20th Century Women
  2. Captain Fantastic
  3. Creative Control
  4. Eye in the Sky
  5. The Fits
  6. Green Room
  7. Hello, My Name is Doris
  8. Krisha
  9. Morris from America
  10. Sing Street

“The country my mother left behind was a country she believed in; a country we kept alive till her last breath; a country that never existed in that form; a country that, in my memory, I will always associate with my mother.”

Goodbye Lenin ( 2003 ) 

New York Film Critics Circle 2016 - Winners
  • BEST FILM: La La Land
  • BEST DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight”
  • BEST ACTRESS: Isabelle Huppert for both “Elle” and “The Things to Come”
  • BEST ACTOR – Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea”
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Michelle Williams for both “Manchester by the Sea” and “Certain Women”
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
  • BEST FIRST FILM: (TIE) “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Krisha”
  • BEST SCREENPLAY: Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea”
  • SPECIAL AWARDS: One for editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the other for Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” 25th Anniversary Restoration

When the U.S. government decided to abruptly impose a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen) last week it caused pandemonium in international airports across the country. Travelers were removed from planes and denied passage while others were handcuffed, interrogated without legal representation and isolated from family and friends. Massive protests erupted and flights faced delays as the public tried to make sense of the situation.

Amid the chaos, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi expressed concern that he would not be allowed to enter the country to attend the upcoming Academy Awards in Los Angeles where his latest film, THE SALESMAN (’16), is an Oscar contender for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film. When it became clear that his safe passage could not be guaranteed, Farhadi announced he wouldn’t be attending the award’s ceremony citing that officials were responding to his questions with “ifs and buts, which are in no way acceptable to me, even if exceptions were to be made for my trip.”

Read More on StreamLine: The Search for Common Ground: A SEPARATION (‘11)

Muslim Ban

Okay, here’s what I’ve read just this morning:

About 500K people from the countries that DT has outlined might not be allowed back into the U.S. for 90 days, even if they have green cards and they happen to be away.

This include about 200 Google employees.

Also included, Iranian actor Asghar Farhadi, who was supposed to go to the Oscars. He’s nominated for best foreign language film.

If there are any others, please let me know. I’d like to keep a list going, but not the kind that Donny wants.