As Hollywood celebrates the Oscars with all the usual glitz and glamour, German movie "The White Ribbon" is a contender for best foreign language film. It's been a good year for German-speaking actors and filmmakers.
German film 'The White Ribbon' could win two Academy Awards
As the cinema world gets ready to celebrate the Hollywood's biggest night of the year, the team behind German-made movie "The White Ribbon" is hoping for success.
The film, known as "Das Weisse Band" in German, was among the front runners to pick up two Academy Awards; one for best foreign language film and the other for best cinematography.
It has already picked up a Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival as well as a Golden Globe Award.
'The White Ribbon' tells the story of a village before the First World War
A bleak, black and white drama by Munich-born director Michael Haneke, "The White Ribbon" tells the story of life in a rural German community in the years before World War One.
The movie examines a collection of sinister and sometimes violent acts taking place in a Protestant village in the north of the country. Perhaps most hauntingly, the film hints at the rise of fascism that was to take place before the Second World War.
Warning against fanaticism
67-year-old Austrian Haneke said he that wanted the film to be seen as a general warning against all forms of fanaticism and authoritarianism - not only to Nazism. "I do not want the subject to be seen abroad as purely German,” Haneke said.
The subject of violence is a regular theme running through Haneke's film which include "Cache" and "Funny Games".
Among "The White Ribbon's" rivals in the best foreign language film category are the French film "A Prophet" and "Ajami" from Israel.
Director Michael Haneke has already picked up a Golden Globe award for his film
Germany last won a best foreign language film Oscar in 2007 for the drama "The Lives of Others", "Das Leben der Anderen", by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. That movie examined the obsessions of a man working for the East German secret police.
Hopes of crowning glory
For Haneke's colleague Christian Berger, a best cinematography award for "The White Ribbon" would represent the crowning glory of a long career.
Austrian-born Berger has already picked up a top award for his work on the film from the American Society of Cinematographers' Outstanding Achievement Awards, beating leading Oscar contenders in the category.
"The White Ribbon" nominations represent a triumph for Austria, which co-produced the movie with Germany. The country also has a stake in the best supporting actor category with Christian Waltz nominated for his part as a Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds".
This year's awards are set to be hotly contested with science-fiction "Avatar" as joint favorite with low-budget Iraq war story "The Hurt Locker" to win best film.
Editor: Andreas Illmer