Oscars: India Selects 'Interrogation' for Foreign-Language Category

INTERROGATION (Visvaarani) Still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

The South Indian-language title won an award at Venice and is critically acclaimed for its take on police brutality.

India has selected Visaranai (Interrogation) as its entry for the 89th Academy Awards' foreign-language film category. Directed by Vetrimaran, the South Indian Tamil language title has drawn critical acclaim for its take on police brutality.

Visaranai, a tense, often violent socio-political thriller, is based on a true story and follows four innocent young men who find themselves caught up in police corruption. The film stars Dinesh Ravi, Samuthira Kani, Murugadas Periyasamy and Raj Pradeesh.

As part of its festival run, Visaranai screened at the Venice International Film Festival last year, where it won the Amnesty International Italia Award. The film also bagged three National Film Awards at home.

In its review at last year's Mumbai Film Festival, The Hollywood Reporter said Visaranai “lands a well-aimed punch at rampant police brutality and corruption, to which the only response from the viewer is towering indignation. It may not break new ground in its subject or style of narration, but it covers the old ground extremely well, and its premise is so convincing and realistic that it seems like nonfiction.”

While India has bagged three Academy Award nominations over the years — starting with 1957's Mother India, followed by 1989's Salaam Bombay and 2002's Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India — the country has yet to win an Oscar in the foreign-language category.

Last year, India submitted another critically acclaimed film, Marathi-language title Court, in the foreign-language Oscar race.