The Russian film Beanpole, about two women readjusting to civilian life after fighting side by side in World War II, has been shortlisted among ten movies that are vying for an Academy Award nomination for best international film.
The best international feature shortlist was announced on December 16 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Its director, 28-year-old Kantemir Balagov, won a directing award in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival that recognizes young and innovative cinematic talent.
The movie shows the two women return in 1945 to then-Leningrad, a city in ruins. The film chronicles how they struggle to rebuild their lives in a city whose residents had been tattered physically and mentally during the war.
The nine other short-listed films are: the Czech Republic’s The Painted Bird, Estonia’s Truth and Justice, France’s Les Miserables, Hungary’s Those Who Remained, North Macedonia’s Honeyland, Poland’s Corpus Christi, Senegal’s Atlantics, South Korea’s Parasite, and Spain’s Pain and Glory.
Romanian director Bogdan Muresanu's The Christmas Gift has also been shortlisted in the live-action short-film category. It tells the story of a man who, shortly before the fall of communism in December 1989, finds out that his little boy had sent a letter to Santa asking him to fulfill his Dad's wish to see dictator Nicolae Ceausescu dead.
The film has been named the best European Short Film of 2019 by the European Film Academy.
The Russian animated short film He Can’t Live Without Cosmos has also been shortlisted in the corresponding category.
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 9, 2020, in Los Angeles.