New Zealand Selects ‘A Flickering Truth’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Race

Foreign-Language Oscars: New Zealand Selects 'A
Courtesy of New Zealand Film Commission

“A Flickering Truth,” a documentary about the preservation of film archives in Afghanistan, has been selected by New Zealand as its contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards prize.

The film was produced and directed by Pietra Brettkelly (“Maori Boy Genius”) and had its premiere in September last year at Venice. Shortly after it also played at the Toronto Film Festival.

The selection was made by a committee chaired by New Zealand Film Commission CEO Dave Gibson. “Pietra Brettkelly is an uncompromising and courageous filmmaker with a singular cinematic voice and vision,” he said.

“A Flickering Truth” had a theatrical release in New Zealand on Aug. 25 this year, qualifying it for the Oscars run, which requires a minimum commercial run of one week in theatres of the film’s home country. It is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Umbrella Entertainment.

The film follows three men who have dedicated decades to protecting Afghan film culture and national history from the time of King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s, the invasion of the Russians, and the days when women wore miniskirts. Their challenges include 100 years of war, hiding the collection from the Taleban who want to destroy the archive, and Kabul’s extreme weather.