Oscar 2006: Days of Glory–Algerian (French) Nominee

There was excitement in France today over the Best Foreign-Language nomination for Rachid Bouchareb's, “Days of Glory” (aks “Indigenes”) even though the film represents Algeria, not France, at the Oscars. The movie world-premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival in the main competition section.

The movie (one of the best I have seen in 2006, see review) concerns North Africans who fought alongside the French soldiers, helping to liberate France in World War II. It was mostly produced by France with Morocco, Algeria and Belgium co-producing.

Jean Brehat, who produced the $15 million film with writer-director Rachid Bouchareb, said: “What makes me most happy is that an American academy has chosen a film about Arab heros in World War II. This is a side of America that Bush would make us forget. It is heartening that Academy members can make the distinction and show their support for people America treates as as the enemy today.”

For Paris-based sales house Films Distribution, which handled international sales on “Days of Glory,” nomination reps its second shot at best foreign-language film in as many years, since the company also handled last year's French nominee, “Merry Christmas.”

“Days of Glory is not a war film,” distribution head Francois Yon said, “it is a film that gives back Arab Muslims their rightful place as heros of World War II and is a reminder that Muslims weren't always terrorists, they were allies.”