The directors of all five Oscar-nominated foreign-language films made a statement Friday to express their “emphatic disapproval” of nationalism in the United States and other countries.
“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 United States and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians,” said the statement, issued two days before the Academy Awards ceremony.
The statement, though not mentioning any politician by name, is widely viewed as targeting U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color,” the directors said.
They want the award to be “a symbol of unity between nations and the freedom of arts,” according to the statement, signed by Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi (“The Salesman”), Denmark’s Martin Zandvliet (“Land of Mine”), Sweden’s Hannes Holm (“A Man Called Ove”), Germany’s Maren Ade (“Toni Erdmann”), and Australia’s Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (“Tanna”).
Due to Trump’s decision to temporarily ban citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, Farhadi, who won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 with his film “A Separation,” will not be able to attend the Oscars. Nevertheless, he said earlier that he would not attend this year’s Oscar even if exceptions were made for him.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, also criticized Trump’s travel ban earlier, saying it has “made academy artists (into) activists.” Enditem