Oscars: Israel Selects 'Incitement' for International Feature Film Category

Incitement - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

Yaron Zilberman’s thriller traces the background of the young Orthodox student who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Israel has picked Yaron Zilberman’s Incitement, a drama focusing on the life of the man who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as its  official submission for the best international feature category at the 2020 Oscars.

Fresh off its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival just two weeks ago, the thriller is already making headlines for its politically charged premise. Incitement follows the life of religious law student Yigal Amir in the year leading up to his assassination of Prime Minister Rabin on Nov. 4 1995. The film has garnered acclaim for its far-too-relevant message on the dangers of hate speech as used by politicians to inflame extremists.

Incitement won Best Film at the Ophir Awards, the Israel Film & TV Academy’s annual ceremony held Sunday night, and won an additional award for Best Casting. A glaring absence from the Best Film category this year was Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms, which won the Best Film honor at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.

This is Israel’s 52nd Oscar submission. The nation holds the dubious record of the most nominations —10 overall throughout the years—without a single win. Israel's last nomination was in 2011 for Joseph Cedar’s Footnote.

The 92nd Academy Awards are due to take place Feb. 9, 2020.