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Oscar-Nominated Best Foreign Film Directors Pen Statement Against 'Fanaticism'

By / Published on Saturday, 25 Feb 2017 01:20 AM / No Comments / 22 views

The filmmakers behind the five movies nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at Sunday’s Academy Awards banded together for a joint statement to “express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S.”

“The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better,” the filmmakers wrote.

“These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.”

The statement comes after Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of the Oscar-nominated The Salesman, said he would not attend this year’s ceremony due to Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting Muslim countries; in his place, Farhadi revealed Friday, he will send two prominent Iranian-Americans, engineer Anousheh Ansari and former NASA director Firouz Naderi, Variety reports.

Farhadi, Maren Ade (Germany’s Toni Erdmann), Martin Zandvliet (Denmark’s Land of Mine), Hannes Holm (Sweden’s A Man Called Ove) and Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia’s Tanna) each signed the statement.

“Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders,” they wrote. “We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts. Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody.”

Trump’s travel ban also nearly prevented two members of the Syrian rescue crew the White Helmets, the topic of a Best Documentary Short Subject-nominated film, from going to the Los Angeles ceremony. However, with the ban currently halted by a federal circuit court, two members of the White Helmets will attend the Oscars.

Read the Best Foreign Language Film-nominated directors’ statement below:

On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly “foreign” and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

So we’ve asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don’t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.

Martin Zandvliet – Land of mine ( Denmark )
Hannes Holm –
A Man called Ove ( Sweden )
Asghar Farhadi –
The Salesman ( Iran )
Maren Ade –
Toni Erdmann ( Germany )
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean –
Tanna ( Australia )

Thanks to: Rolling Stone Latest Movies News

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