Layla M. is the Dutch entry for the Oscars
by Vitor Pinto
- Mijke de Jong’s film tackles Islamic radicalisation from a female perspective
Mijke de Jong’s feature Layla M. [+see also:
film profile] has been chosen to officially represent the Netherlands in the race for the upcoming Oscars, in the Best Foreign-language Film category.
Layla M. tackles the delicate and controversial issue of Islamic radicalisation from a female perspective. Starring newcomer Nora El Koussour, the film focuses on a Dutch-Moroccan teenager who is revolted by her adopted country’s anti-Muslim attitudes. This revulsion leads to her increasing radicalisation. She eventually marries a young jihadist, leaves Amsterdam and settles in Jordan before finding out that her new Islamist community has its own restrictions and rules that can be just as oppressive as the ones she had criticised back in Amsterdam.
In times of growing Islamophobia in the Western world, the film is expected to catch the Academy members’ attention on account of its socio-political pertinence and provocative approach.
If Layla M. makes it onto the Oscars shortlist, it will be the cherry on the cake of its successful international career, which started at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, followed by screenings at several showcases worldwide, including Chicago, AFI Fest Los Angeles, BFI London, Marrakech, Goa, Gothenburg, Jeonju IFF, Dubai and Tallinn Black Nights.
The film was released in Dutch theatres in November 2016. It is currently nominated for four Golden Calves, also known as the “Dutch Oscars”, including Best Film and Best Script.
The Oscar nominees will be unveiled on 23 January 2018. The 90th Oscars ceremony will be held on 4 March 2018.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.