Oscars: Lebanon Selects '1982' for International Feature Film Category

1982 - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

Oualid Mouaness' film is set against the beginning of the 1982 Lebanon war.

Lebanon has selected Oualid Mouaness's 1982 as its submission for consideration in the best international feature film Oscar category.

Set against the beginning of the 1982 war between Lebanon and Israel, the pic stars Nadine Labaki, director of the Oscar-nominated drama Capernaum, as Yasmine, a schoolteacher in Beirut. Wissam (Mohammad Dali), an 11-year old boy in her class, is preoccupied with finding the courage to tell his more mature classmate Joana (Gia Madi) that he has a crush on her.

"1982 does not set out to be nostalgic for this particular lifestyle or class of people at a certain historical moment," The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy wrote in his review. "But nor does it establish any other framework through which one might care to examine and consider the distinctly Europeanized Middle Eastern experience on display. Perhaps if it had assumed the point of view of one character, such as a longtime teacher at the school, the film might have been invested with some weight and insight. Instead, it just sort of sits there onscreen, provoking no special reaction one way or the other."

The drama premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere.

1982 is Lebanon's 16th entry in the best international feature Oscar race. In addition to Capernaum, nominated this year, Ziad Doueiri's The Insult earned a nomination last year.

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