Israeli filmmakers walked away from this past Sunday’s Oscars empty handed. Many people expected one of the two Israeli long form documentaries, The Gatekeepers and Five Broken Cameras, to secure the best doc award. An Israeli film has yet to receive an Oscar despite Israel’s robust film culture.
Some Israelis are happy with the poor showing of the documentaries. Both films have been highly controversial. Five Broken Cameras, by an Arab filmmaker, portrays the IDF in the West Bank negatively and is generally critical of Israel’s presence in the West Bank. The Gatekeepers features several former Israeli intelligence operatives criticizing the current government. Others believe the fact these movies were even made in Israel is indicative that democracy thrives in the country.
Fans of Israeli film will not stay disappointed for long because the Israeli film festival is less than two months away. The festival will features not only documentaries but Jewish comedy, drama, and more. If the 2014 Oscars have any Israeli film nominations, there is a good chance they will come out of the festival. Although the films are limited to just the festival viewings, the most popular festival entries usually receive a wider release. An Oscar-winning film from Israel could be closer than you think!