Jewish-themed films make Oscar cut


Two films with Jewish themes were nominated for Academy Awards.

Israel’s entry “Beaufort” and Austria’s “The Counterfeiters” were among five films to receive the nod Tuesday in the Foreign Language Film category from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscars will be handed out Feb. 24 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

“Beaufort,” directed by Joseph Cedar, is a wrenching war movie depicting the final action of the first Lebanon War, when a small Israeli unit evacuated the medieval Beaufort fortress. It  has stirred controversy in that several actors in the cast did not serve in the Israeli military. Cedar, an Israeli born in the United States, has defended his casting choices.

In “the Counterfeiters” by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the Nazis round up dozens of skilled Jewish craftsmen from concentration camps to create perfect counterfeits of British and U.S. currency in a last-ditch ploy to wreck the economies of the two allies.

Another Jewish-themed foreign film, Brazil’s “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” was among the nine semifinalists in the category but did not make the final cut.

The last Israeli film to be nominated for an Oscar was the jailhouse drama “Beyond the Walls” in 1984.

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