Open Doors (1990); Gianni Amelio’s Italian Drama, Starring Gian Marie Volonte

Set in Palermo, Sicily, in 1937, Gianni Amelio’s drama Open Doors deals with a man who kills his boss (a Nazi) and his wife after losing his job

The good Italian actor Gian Marie Volonte plays a judge, a member of a panel trying the murder case. He is strongly against capital punishment because he considers it barbaric. To that extent, he goes against all odds to save the man from the death penalty.

Predictably, the movie was controversial due to its strong ideology.  Surprisingly, it became a finalist in the Best Foreign-Language Oscar category, but unsurprisingly, it did not win.

Movies dealing with hot-button issues, such as capital punishment, abortion, and AIDs, seldom win awards.

A distinguished director, Gianni Amelio has made many good films, including “Lamerica.”

Oscar Nominations: 1

Best Foreign Language Picture

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The surprise winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar was “Journey of Hope” from Switzerland.

The other contenders in this category were all superior to the winner: “Cyrano De Bergerac” from France, “Ju Dou” from China, and “The Nasty Girl” from Germany.