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And The Nominees For The Best Documentary Feature Oscar Are...

posted 26 Feb 2014, 08:12 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Feb 2014, 08:12 ]

A look at scenes from the five films nominated in the best documentary feature category at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

 (RADIUS-TWC) - The five films nominated for best documentary feature this year are: "The Act of Killing," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," "The Square" and "20 Feet from Stardom."

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Japanese artists Noriko and Ushio Shinohara are the subjects of "Cutie and the Boxer," directed by Zachary Heinzerling, but the film is focused less on the art they make than on the relationship between them. The artist couple have been together for 40 drama-filled years, with wife Noriko yearning to break out from her role as an assistant to her husband to being an artist in her own right. The film won the best director award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

"The Act of Killing," made by Texan-born director Joshua Oppenheimer, depicts the brutality of the anti-Communist government in Indonesia during the 1960s. Death squads were set up and operated systematically across Indonesia during that time period. Estimates put as many as one million people dead in a wave of violence after an aborted coup and purge of communists and alleged sympathizers. The film, which cost $1 million to make over five years, re-enacts several murders and features a member of a death squad. "The Act of Killing" won the 2014 BAFTA award for best documentary.

Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill were longtime war reporters when they got together to document the growing covert warfare-drone strikes, targeted assassinations, off- the-books military operations-that dominated the war on terror. "Dirty Wars" is directed by Rowley and features Scahill as the face of the investigation into a troubling style of warfare. The film won the cinematography award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

"The Square" is a street-level chronicle of the grassroots Egyptian revolution that toppled both Hosni Mubarak and the military rule that replaced his government. The film landed an Oscar nomination almost exactly a year after it won the audience award at last year's Sundance Film Festival. Director Jehane Noujaimand producer Karim Amer went back to Tahrir Square after the festival to film the protests that over the summer pushed Mohamed Morsi out of office.

And rounding out the category is the biggest commercial success with its global earnings at $5.2 million (USD) among this year's documentary nominees, "20 Feet From Stardom." The film, directed by Morgan Neville, chronicles a group of background singers and follow their stories through pop music history. The film's highlight is an extended sequence in which singer Merry Clayton listens to the original vocal track she recorded for the Rolling Stones classic "Gimme Shelter."

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out in a live telecast ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 2nd.