It surprised most of us when we did not see Apollo 11 in the list of nominations for Best Documentary Feature in Oscars 2020. However, despite this ‘epic snub’, there are still worthy names on the list that we can talk about. There are two titles that discuss the war in Syria, and another that gives an inside look at Brazillian politics and how it affects the world. We also saw how capitalism connects America with China and a close look at a beekeeper’s life in North Macedonia. Among all these, let’s discuss which is likely to take home the golden statuette.
“The Best Documentary (Feature) Award Goes To…”
Winner: American Factory
“Why”, you ask?
We all were hoping for something big from Apollo 11. Now, we look towards Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s American Factory. The documentary looks to be the most impressive nomination for the Best Documentary Feature yet. The documentary featured in Sundance Film Festival, telling the story of a Chinese company reviving an Ohio community after a General Motors plant shut down. The company saved a largely unemployed community but also brought a cultural clash between American individualism and Chinese collectivism.
Interestingly, the movie has also won Critic’s Choice Awards, IDA Award, and DGA Award and a few other notable ones. The movie is receiving astounding praise, backed also by the fact that it is a production of Michelle and Barack Obama’s company.
Close Call 1: The Cave
This is a film by National Geographic documentary, so you know how it is going to be. Ever since the civil war 10 years ago, filmmakers have been trying to get their hands on the stories and firsthand experiences to showcase to the world. For better or for worse, some succeeded and one of them is Talal Derki. The Academy also recognized his previous work Of Fathers and Sons. This year Oscars 2020 brings back Fayyad in the list for his take in The Cave.
Close Call 2: For Sama
Although a similar category, directors Waal Al-Kataeb, and Edward Watts made sure that their moving story gets the highlight as well. “For Sama” is about a woman and her family stuck in a war-torn Syria. As the family struggles to stay close and personal, the documentary offers a unique perspective to the Syrian Civil War. The documentary is already getting attention after winning the BAFTA award, Cannes Film Festival, European Film Awards, and IDA Award.
Honorable Mentions For Best Documentary
“Honeyland” from Neon studios and directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov is already making a highlight. It is not only in the Best Documentary Feature for Oscars 2020 but also in International Feature. The film takes an up-close look at a beekeeper’s life in rural Macedonia as environmental degradation has put her job at risk.
“The Edge of Democracy”, by Netflix and director Petra Cost, charts the rise and fall of Brazillian democracy. Costa talks about details, personal insight and gives a detailed investigation into a country that is hot for corruption, scandal, and propaganda. Increasingly informative, the non-fiction storytelling is captivating and picked up a number of strong award nominations. It is no wonder why it has also found its way to Oscars 2020 for the Best Documentary Feature.