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‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ wins Oscar for best international film

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a World War One epic with nine Oscar nominations this year, won the Academy Award for best international film on Sunday.

The Netflix Inc film, directed by Edward Berger, depicts the horrors of trench warfare through the eyes of a young man initially keen to join the fight. It is the first German-language adaptation of a 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, which was also made into a best picture-winning film in 1930.

Accepting his award, Berger thanked the film’s young star, Felix Kammerer, who was with him on stage.

“This was your first movie, and you carried us on your shoulders as if it was nothing,” Berger said.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” tells a story of a young man who, poisoned by right-wing political nationalist propaganda, goes to war thinking it’s an adventure, and war is anything but an adventure,” producer Malte Grunert said in his acceptance speech for best film at the BAFTA awards last month.

The film “is in fascinating dialogue with not just its source material, but the long history of warfare and cinema about war and atrocities,” Sight & Sound wrote in its review, saying the film also owed a debt to films like “1917,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down.”

The film was nominated in nine categories this year, including best picture. Only “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” with 11 nods, had more.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” beat out international film nominees “EO” from Poland, “The Quiet Girl,” from Ireland; Belgian film “Close;” and “Argentina, 1985” from Argentina.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; additional reporting by Nick Zieminski; editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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