LOS ANGELES — For cinematic observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this is a banner year, with both sides choosing Oscar submissions that center on the Israeli occupation.
Israel’s “Bethlehem,” which pits Shin Bet agents against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish state, was eliminated early by the Academy Awards selection committee.
The Palestinian “Omar” is among the five finalists among foreign language films. Although it is considered a long shot to win the golden statuette, the judges in this category are notoriously unpredictable.
At the film’s opening, Omar (Adam Bakri), a handsome young baker, and the beautiful Nadja (Leem Lubany) pine for each other on opposite sides of the security fence.