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German Film About Syrian Refugees Nominated For Academy Award

posted on: Jan 24, 2017

 German Film About Syrian Refugees Nominated For Academy Award
Still Shot from the film Watani: My Homeland. Image credit: Oscars

BY: David DeMaria/Contributing Writer

Nominees for the 89th annual Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday. With the Oscars award ceremony only a month away, it’s never to early to start thinking about which film could win in each category.

Although films from the Arab world were not chosen in the Foreign Language category, there is one Arab film the community can cheer for on February 26. “Watani: My Homeland”, a short documentary about Syrian children was nominated for Best Documentary (Short Subject).

The film was released on October 28, 2016 and runs for only 40 minutes. Written and produced by German director Marcel Mettelsiefen, the film portrays the real lives of Hammoudi, Helen, Farah, and Sara, the children of Free Syrian Army Commander Abu Ali.

Living on the frontline of the civil war in Aleppo, the children, along with their mother, are forced to flee Syria for a small town in Germany after the Islamic State captures Abu Ali.

The film also chronicles the family’s journey from war-torn Aleppo to their new home in Germany, and the adaptations they make in order to adjust to a new environment. The family of displaced Syrians must learn to acknowledge their past, accept their future, and adopt a new homeland.