Israeli Documentary 'Precious Life' Shortlisted for Oscar

Director and Channel 10 news reporter Shlomi Eldar's documents the story of desperately ill Palestinian child Mohammed, his militant mother, and his Israeli doctor.

Israeli documentary Precious Life was shortlisted for the Best Documentary Film category in the 83rd Academy Awards, alongside 15 feature documentaries.

Director Shlomi Eldar, Tomer Appelbaum
Tomer Appelbaum

Director Shlomi Eldar's moving film documents a saga involving a breathtaking race to save the life of a desperately ill Palestinian baby.

The baby's militant mother, an Israeli doctor and Eldar, the Channel 10 Gaza correspondent, star in the documentary, which premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival in July and has since been screened in documentary film festivals around the world.

Eldar heard the news about the Oscar nomination after he has taken the film to the New York Jewish film festival.

The film tells the story of Mohammed Abu-Mustafa, a young Palestinian boy who needed donations for an operation that could save his life. This was after gaza was closed off to Israeli reporters, and Eldar, who had build his career as the Gaza correspondent, was not at all eager to report on a heartfelt story.

Things changed for him when he travelled to the Jerusalem hospital in which the child was hospitalized, and encountered a story that would eventually change all their lives.

Among the 15 shortlisted films were also U.K. and Cambodia production "Enemies of the People," by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, U.S. film "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," by Alex Gibney, U.S. film "Waiting for Superman," by Davis Guggenheim, and New Zealand film "This Way of Life," by Thomas Burstyn.