The foreign language submissions are continuing to pile up for the Oscar race in 2018. For many countries, the process represents a month-long discussion over the film that will represent a nation at the Academy Awards. There is plenty of reason for the casts and crews to be excited about their success. Now, another feature can officially join the ranks of the Oscar race. Yesterday, “The Journey,” from director Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, became the Iraqi submission.
The trailer is included below:
The official synopsis from the studios follows:
Al-Daradji takes us into the moments immediately before a suicide bomber detonates their deadly bomb. What do they see? Who do they think about? What brought them to this point? Who are they?
Baghdad, 2006, Sara enters Baghdad station with sinister intentions for its reopening ceremony. As she braces to commit an unthinkable act, her plans are drastically altered by an unwanted and awkward encounter with Salam, a self-assured and flirtatious salesman.
With Salam now hostage to Sara’s confused and deluded plan, he battles desperately to appeal to her humanity and sway her decision. In a moment of consideration and with her convictions crumbling before her, Sara has the opportunity to witness the life and innocence she was so willing to destroy.
But is this a second chance or an admission of guilt?
Director Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji represents Iraq for the third time in his career. Al-Daradji’s last two films were “Ahlaam” in 2007 and “Son of Babylon” in 2011. Neither film could make the shortlist, but “Son of Babylon” received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (only 11 reviews). It’s possible that Al-Daradji will find his way to the Oscars someday. It’ll be interesting to see if he can make “The Journey” can be that film.