The heavy political overtones accompanying this year’s Academy Awards became evident in advance of Sunday’s ceremony, as directors of the five foreign-language film nominees Friday issued an unprecedented advance statement condemning “the climate of fanaticism and nationalism” in the U.S. and other countries reports USA Today.
They directors symbolically rejected the borders that define their category’s nominees, saying, “We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.”
The statement opens with a condemnation of the political mood: “On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.”
The directors then spoke against division by gender, race, religion and other categories.
“The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on — not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different,” they write.