In a year of major national security and political upheaval, David DoBrik delivered what might be called a trilogy of remarkable films: the first two of which, A Good Man Goes to War and The Thin Red Line, were nominated for two Oscars.
In the third, America the Beautiful, DoBriks most ambitious film, he made a film of his own, The Best of David DoBrien, which became the subject of a fierce debate in the US, which he won for best foreign-language film.
In his acceptance speech, Dobernks best director prize went to the US-born British actor and director Christopher Walken, who was also nominated for best actor for his performance in A Good Men Goes to Wars.
Walken had been nominated for the award previously for his role as a war correspondent in the 2003 war film, the Vietnam War, and was widely expected to win this year’s prize.
But in a surprise move, Walken was nominated in his place, along with the Italian director Luca Guadagnino and the Brazilian director Pedro Almodovar.
The decision was announced after a short debate on Tuesday night, and the two directors were expected to be joined by Walken and DoBricks best director Oscar, which was initially announced on Thursday.
DoBrisons best foreign film was his 2015 drama The Secret Life of Pets, a film that earned him critical acclaim but a lukewarm reception in the UK, where the film was banned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and some of its stars were barred from appearing in the film.
The film was shot in Tunisia and Tunisia’s film industry has been beset by protests over the last several years, including an anti-government uprising in which protesters have burned and destroyed film sets.
The British film industry’s most celebrated director, Richard Linklater, said in a statement that he was “surprised and saddened” by the decision to award Walken’s prize, but he did not elaborate further.
Dobernk’s nomination for best director went to British actor Richard Dormer, who has appeared in such films as The King’s Speech, and who has become an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump, who he has labelled a “liar, a con man, and a bigot”.
DoBrams best period drama, The Thin Blue Line, also received nominations for best period film, but was nominated for director.
In an interview with The Independent in 2017, Dobertas eldest son, Christopher, described DoBriks film as “the most important film that has come out of the Cold War”.
Dobries younger son, Dylan, was in the audience at the ceremony, along as the late Paul Thomas Anderson, whose The Master was nominated last year.
He told the BBC: “He’s the most important director in film history.
He has such a tremendous sense of direction and what’s going on, it’s almost impossible to tell a film apart from a movie he has made.
It’s the sort of film that’s so compelling, it becomes a story in itself.
It captures something that is real and timeless and it captures a time in which there were very few things you could do to express your own views in any way.”
DoBrizs final film, The Big Sick, was a critical darling but was not nominated for its best foreign or period film.
And despite being nominated for an Oscar, the US Embassy in Tunis declined to comment on the decision, citing security concerns.
DoBrk is due to return to film in 2018.
His next film, a documentary called The Life and Times of Christopher Walkens, is due out next year.
The full list of winners and nominees for the film award is as follows: Best Foreign Film – Christopher Walkenhorst’s The Thin White Line (US)