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Film

Germany sets Oscar hopes on neo-Nazi film starring Diane Kruger

The story of a neo-Nazi attack on immigrants could snag Germany its first foreign-language Oscar in over a decade. Fatih Akin's "In the Fade," with Diane Kruger in her first major German-speaking role, is in the running.

"In the Fade" has been selected to represent Germany at the Oscars, German Films, which markets German-made movies abroad, announced Thursday in Munich.

The film, directed by Fatih Akin, couldn't be more timely. It tells the story of a German woman, played by Diane Kruger, whose Kurdish husband and five-year-old son are killed in a neo-Nazi nail bomb attack.

Kruger, a Hollywood star with both German and American citizenship, won a Palme d'Or in Cannes for her performance.

While the German film industry has chosen "In the Fade," it will have to be nominated by the Academy to remain in the running for a best-language Oscar, presented on March 4, 2018. The shortlist of five nominees will be announced on January 23.

Fatih Akin (picture alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen)

This isn't the first time Germany has set its Oscar hopes on Hamburg-based director Fatih Akin

German bids tackle tough social issues

Apart from co-productions, Germany has only claimed three foreign-language Oscars, all of which focused on critical aspects of Germany's history. Another 19 German films have received a nomination from the Academy.

The most recent German winner was the East German Stasi drama "The Lives of Others" in 2007. "The Tin Drum," based on Günter Grass' war-time classic novel, won in 1980, as did "Nowhere in Africa," on the life in Kenya of a German-Jewish family that fled the Nazis, in 2003.

Read more: How Cannes finally discovered German film

"In the Fade" director Fatih Akin is known for tackling tough social issues, often including integration and discrimination.

His 2007 Turkish-German drama "The Edge of Heaven" is about a Turkish retiree in Germany who gets involved in a complicated relationship with a prostitute. It was also an Oscar contender, though it didn't garner a nomination. However, it did win Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.

In June, Akin became one of 774 film professionals invited this year to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making him eligible to vote for other Oscar winners. The Academy has more than 6,200 voting members.

kbm/eg (with dpa)

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