2018 Academy Awards – Foreign Language Films - Part 1
Bad, Banned and Obscene
This year a record 92 countries entered films in the foreign language category of the Academy Awards. I saw 89 of these films. Before commenting on individual films, here are a few observations.
Previously, I have only written about films I liked. But this year two of the foreign language entries were so ideologically offensive that I feel compelled to call attention to them.
Films Banned in their Own Country
Give credit to the Motion Picture Academy for allowing the entry of films that are not allowed to be shown in their country of origin. The two most notable examples come from Venezuela and Syria.
Most Overused Word by Subtitle Translators
Last year I noted that subtitle writers were obsessed with the words “moron” and “dude.” This year the most overused word, by far, was “fuck.” It’s true that this word is also used in most Oscar-nominated American films. However, in the case of foreign-language films, I feel that this is a sign of laziness on the part of the subtitle translators. Despite my lack of knowledge of most languages, I can tell that the obscenities in the various original languages are much more varied and creative. Either English-language obscenities are limited or the translators just took the easy way out.