Lebanese film The Insult scores historic Oscar nomination

Lebanese film The Insult scores historic Oscar nomination
The winner of The Best Foreign Language Film will be announced during the 90th Academy Awards on 4 March.
2 min read
23 January, 2018
Ziad Douieri (2nd left) poses with cast of The Insult [AFP/Getty]

Ziad Doueiri's The Insult on Tuesday became the first Lebanese film to be nominated for an Oscar - it will be one of five contenders in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category for the 2018 awards ceremony.

The Insult follows a Lebanese Christian named Tony and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, who exchange harsh words following a dispute over a drainpipe. The fallout leads to a courtroom confrontation and draws national attention about the state of Lebanese-Palestinian relations.

The film topped Lebanon's box office, taking in 44 percent of all movie ticket sales in the country during its opening week, according to the website UniFrance.

The film has generated considerable controversy.

Interview: The New Arab meets award-winning director Ziad Doueiri

Upon Doueiri's return to Beirut for its Lebanon premiere, the director was detained at the airport and summoned to court the following day - his previous 2012 film The Attack was shot in Israel, and Lebanon bars its citizens from visiting the country.

Although Doueiri was released after a few hours of questioning, a campaign boycotting his film was subsequently launched.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Doueiri said he was unsure whether The Insult would even get released in Lebanon in the first place.

Doueiri's film was the 14th picture submitted to the Oscars by Lebanon since 1978 - and the director's second, following his 1998 debut, West Beirut.

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