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Lebanon is going to the Academy Awards.
The Insult, Ziad Doueiri’s tense Beirut-set courtroom thriller, has become the first Lebanese film to be nominated in the Oscars’ foreign-language category, being named to the final shortlist of five on Tuesday.
The film, which picked up the best actor award for Kamel El Basha in Venice, was the 14th film to be submitted by Lebanon since 1978 (and Doueiri’s second, after his 1998 debut West Beirut). Other notable titles include Nadine Labaki’s 2011 drama Where Do We Go Now?, which was widely expected to be nominated.
The nomination is all the more remarkable given the furor that erupted in Lebanon surrounding The Insult, with a boycott campaign launched against the pic due to Doueiri’s previous feature The Attack having partly been filmed in Israel. Doueiri told The Hollywood Reporter that he was convinced the film wouldn’t even get released in Lebanon.