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The nomination of Nadine Labaki’s gut-wrenching drama Capernaum in the foreign-language Oscars category has lifted Lebanon into the league of countries to have made the final shortlist twice (alongside Chile, China, South Africa, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom).
However, the film – set in the world of Beirut’s growing refugee crisis, which has forced many children onto the streets – has also given Lebanon the rare accolade of earning back-to-back nominations in the category, with Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult having made the grade in 2018.
As such, Lebanon becomes the first Arab-speaking country to achieve this feat, which was previously reached by Denmark with Land of Mine in 2016 and A War in 2015.
However, it’ll take Lebanon some time to break any records. Several countries, including Canada, Israel and Germany, have been nominated three times in a row, while France and Italy (who both boast the highest number of wins and nominations) have managed to make the Oscars five times in successive years.
THR in its review said about Labaki’s movie: “She’s made up a grab bag of ideas and plot elements that work surprisingly effectively as a melodrama with a message.”
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