Best Foreign Language Movie Nominees for Academy Awards 2007

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“Water”
Deepa Mehta’s film is set in 1938 Colonial India during Mahatma Gandhi’s rise to power and tells the and tells of the struggles of Indian widows in the 1930’s. In the past and present, many women whose husbands have died are forced to enter “widow houses.” These women are labeled as worthless without a husband to measure themselves by and they struggle to survive by begging and often turn to prostitution. The film focuses on the story of one widow —who is forced into poverty and wants to escape the social restrictions imposed on widows— and a man who is from a lower caste and is a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Days of Glory”
Winner of the Best Actor award at Cannes for its entire male ensemble, “Days of Glory” is a rousing World War II drama from French director Rachid Bouchareb. The film follows a small group of infantrymen from North African colonies as they cross Europe fighting for the Free French against the Axis powers. Many of these men made great sacrifices even as they were labeled second-class citizens. “Days of Glory” has garnered praise for its masterful exhibition of the emotion, conflict, and injustice facing the men.

“After The Wedding”
“After the Wedding” is brilliantly brought to life by Denmark’s Susanne Bier (Director) and Anders Thomas Jensen (writer). The film magnifies one of the biggest problems facing our world today: the growing gap between the rich and the poor. “After The Wedding” focuses on the stories Dane Jacob Peterson (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jørgen (Rolf Lassgård). Jacob runs a struggling orphanage in one of India’s poorest regions and, at the request of his boss, agrees to meet with a wealthy entrepreneur —Jørgen— in Denmark who may be willing to help save their orphanage. The film chronicles a number of conflicts and events and highlights problems in society. Jacob must overcome a number of obstacles to help save his orphanage. The film is driven by outstanding performances and magnificent directing. “After The Wedding” is one of the most emotionally overwhelming and impactfull films of this year.

“Pan’s Labyrinth”
“Pan’s Labyrinth” has received numerous accolades including, most recently, the FIBRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, has been hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year. Pan’s Labyrinth combines fantasy and reality in a film that has pleased audiences worldwide.
”El Labirinto Del Fauno”, as the film is known outside the U.S., has been subject to endless praise. The fantasy film masterfully tells the story of a girl obsesses with fantasy stories that one day becomes trapped in her own world.

“The Lives of Others”
This is the first feature from writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. “The Lives of Others” illustrates a dark picture of life under the Communist regime in East Germany. The film takes place almost entirely in East Berlin during the mid-80’s and shows the effects of the Minister of Culture’s decision to surveille the lives of a successful playwright and his actress wife. This film is a suspenseful thriller which contains appropriate relevence in terms of politics and morality. The film shows how the lives of many are shaped, sometimes unfortunatelly, by the societies they live in.

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Luz Aguado

Luz Aguado was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles. She is the oldest of four siblings. Prior to attending The Art Institute, Luz was a student at the University of California Riverside where she studied biology and aspired to become a medical doctor. Now she studies Media Arts and Animation at The Art Institute of Los Angeles and hopes of one day having the opportunity to work for Disney Animation Studios. Three dimensional animation and the innovative techniques that have given animation a more realistic appearance is something that she wishes to focus on while at The Art Institute.

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