The Nov. 7 Style article “For Nigerian Oscar entry, a language barrier” described how the first Nigerian Oscar entry film, “Lionheart,” was disqualified from competing in the category of international film because too much of its dialogue is in English. Although the academy clearly states that the intent of the award is to recognize films specifically produced in languages other than English, such criteria go against the very nature of art itself.

The rich culture and spirit of a country are more than its language. Regional customs, traditions and societal conventions can be conveyed in any language while still maintaining the identity of the country. An international film tells a story that incorporates these elements to paint a picture of that identity. Language is only a means by which to convey that story and should not be treated as the defining element that makes it international.

If the Academy Awards intend to only award international films that are not in English, not only is it barring myriad otherwise-deserving films from recognition, it is also failing to see what the point of a film is in the first place.

Shanti Fewell, Falls Church

AD
AD