Helsingin Sanomat reports that Aki Kaurismäki has boycotted the Oscars for a third time in requesting that The Other Side Of Hope be excluded from Finland’s nomination list for Best Foreign Film which will be drawn up next month.
Tero Koistinen, who is responsible for Finland’s selection, told Helsingin Sanomat: “The reason for his exclusion is not known and we did not ask for it.” However, the film may be ideologically in conflict with President Trump’s tightening of immigration laws given that it concerns a young Syrian immigrant struggling to find a safe haven in Europe.
In 2002, The Man Without a Past made history by being the first Finnish film to receive an Oscar nomination, but Kaurismäki boycotted the ceremony because he condemned the US invasion of Iraq. Then in 2006 he declined that Lights in the Dusk be entered as Finnish nominee for the Oscars, even though it had already been selected.
However, Kaurismäki lifted the boycott in 2011 when Le Havre was considered for nomination, and wrote to Helsingin Sanomat: “Because the United States currently has a democratic president and its forces have been pulled out of Iraq, there is no longer a boycott in place.”