2024 Academy Awards: Best Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

Oscar Documentaries
Photo Credit: Kino Lorber, PBS
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, popularly known as The Academy, recently unveiled the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards. Although several big names are going against each other to win the Oscar, one of the most competitive categories this year is Documentary Feature.

The category includes some of the best feature-length documentaries released last year. Interestingly, all the movies nominated in the category are international projects focusing on geopolitical situations. So, if you are looking for some groundbreaking documentaries, here are all the documentaries nominated for Oscars this year.

Four Daughters

This Tunisian documentary is a classic example of how filmmakers can take an unorthodox route to tell a hard-hitting story. Four Daughters chronicles the journey of a Tunisian family that lost its happiness because of political and religious extremism. However, as the documentary progressed, viewers learn that it is much more than that. In the documentary, we see real-life people reenacting some of the worst memories of their lives. Meanwhile, actors play the role of people who are no longer with the family.

At first, it might sound like an ordinary cinema. However, the movie takes an unexpected turn when viewers discover what happened to the family members who are not with them. It is one of the boldest documentaries where women take charge of their narrative.

20 Days in Mariupol

There have been many documentaries about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but none of them covered the war like Mstyslav Chernov’s 20 Days in Mariupol. The Ukrainian documentary focuses on Chernov spending 20 days with his colleagues in besieged Mariupol. Chernov was one of the war correspondents from the Associated Press who got stuck in Mariupol after Russia began striking different parts of Ukraine.

Despite being an uncomfortable watch, 20 Days in Mariupol is one of the most important pieces of cinema. The documentary received universal acclaim and won several accolades, including a BAFTA for Best Documentary Feature.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Directed by Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo, the Ugandan-British-American documentary follows the renowned Ugandian musician Bobi Wine and his long-running fight against the ruling government. Wine actively uses his music in his activism against Yoweri Museveni, the ninth President of Uganda. Additionally, the documentary closely follows the violence that has happened in Uganda for the last 35 years and the man who came close to ending it.

Moreover, Wine and his wife were under “house arrest” when the Oscar nominations were announced. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wine added, “It’s only the other day that the military withdrew from our home.”

The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory is a sad story about a Chilean couple who have been together for over two decades. The documentary primarily focuses on Chilean journalist Augusto Gongoro and actress Paulina Urrutia. In 2014, the doctors diagnosed Augusto with Alzheimer’s disease, and their lives haven’t been the same since that day. Paulina has been doing everything for Augusto, but things are worsening because of the illness.

The Eternal Memory is a poignant look at the tender moments between two people experiencing a life-altering scenario. This is one of the most beautiful love stories ever to be documented.

To Kill a Tiger

Most documentaries nominated at this year’s Oscars are about war and extremism. However, To Kill a Tiger talks about a weighty subject: rape. Set in India, the documentary chronicles the journey of a family seeking justice for their 13-year-old daughter, who fell victim to a gang rape. The family leaves no stone unturned to ensure the culprits receive punishment for the crime.

Notably, director Nisha Pahuja followed the case for three and a half years to bring one of the most extraordinary documentaries of the year.

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