“The Band’s Visit” Is the Israeli Film That Didn’t Make It to the Oscars
The Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars is one of my personal favorites simply because it manages to be such a diverse display of international talent and culture, so I always watch out for the nominees. And while Israel began a short three year consecutive nomination streak for the award starting in 2008, the film they sent that year, Beaufort, was not their first choice. The Band’s Visit was actually sent to the Academy, but it was rejected for having more than 50% of it’s dialogue in English.
It was a bummer for me, since I had actually watched that film and not Beaufort, but it’s understandable that a Foreign Language Film award not be given to a mostly English speaking movie. Nevertheless, The Band’s Visit is a stupendous film. It tells of an Egyptian band that travels to Israel to play at a certain town, but given differences in language, end up in a completely different place: a small, isolated town in the middle of the desert. With no hotel to stay the night in and no transportation until the following morning, the eight members of the band experience deeply moving transformations in the most mundane ways possible.
The film has been praised by critics all over the world, even despite it’s non-inclusion at a certain awards ceremony, with the consensus being the acting as a major highlight. The Band’s Visit is certainly a film that you will remember for years to come, mostly because there’s nothing out there like it.