Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nerakhoon up for an Oscar

The big buzz for the Laotian community this month is the Oscars. Nerakhoon was nominated earlier this year, and we'll finally find out if this accalimed documentary will receive the nod it deserves. 

“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” goes up against:

  • “Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser.
  • “The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy.
  • “Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall in association with Red Box Films Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn.
  • “Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal.

  • Of course, I've got a bias, but Nerakhoon honestly has very good odds of walking away with the Oscar this year.  

    This film fulfills all of the qualities of a good documentary: An engaging subject presented from a distinctive perspective, and qualities that transcend the historical to the artistic and the aesthetic without ever compromising. 

    I would classify this as a distinctly unique document of one family's experience through the war and resettlement years, one that thankfully also has meaning for both the Laotian and American culture, and for any community in a stage of existence as refugees.

    And it is this unique aspect that I believe will carry it forward as an example of how documentaries can be made. 

    But we'll see on Oscar night! :)


    Chebutykin said...

    I'll lay my odds on Man on Wire, actually, because it's one of the best documentaries ever made, the sort of thing that pushes the envelope of the art form itself. The Academy loves stuff like that.

    But I'll root for Nerakhoon as an underdog. *grin*

    Really, there are no losers in the Best Documentary category. Most audiences don't hear about these films until they get the nomination. Just being part of that list boosts Nerakhoon's visibility considerably.

    Bryan Thao Worra said...

    Man on Wire would probably be my other pick of the current contenders. It connects in many different ways and has a great deal of art to it. Without disparaging the other entrants, because they're all very good films, I think Nerakhoon (bias freely admitted) does push the envelope in unique ways from the way it's made.

    On the other hand, slightly off topic, I'm wondering if Heath Ledger will get the Oscar for the Joker in Dark Knight. :)