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THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS | DOCUMENTARIES

Serious topics this time: War, religion, the planet

January 24, 2007|Tina Daunt | Times Staff Writer

FIVE FILMS — narrowed from a field of 81 -- received Oscar nominations in the best documentary category. With hand-held cameras and stripped-down techniques, the films delve into serious topics about contemporary politics.

"An Inconvenient Truth," director Davis Guggenheim's film about former Vice President Al Gore's efforts to bring awareness to the devastating effects of global warming, received two Oscar nominations, one for documentary and another for song (Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up.")

"For a long time, people found that there was no way to express themselves on this issue," Guggenheim said.

Laura Poitras' "My Country, My Country," a story of one Iraqi man's effort to ease suffering in his town amid the ongoing war, was also nominated, as was "Iraq in Fragments," a film by James Longley and John Sinno.

Amy Berg received a nod for "Deliver Us From Evil," about a former priest and convicted pedophile. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady were nominated for "Jesus Camp," which follows a group of children attending a summer camp where they are taught to be "dedicated Christian soldiers in God's army."

Grady said she and Ewing were on a plane when the nominations came out.

"It's like we've been on the journey of our lives," said Grady.

tina.daunt@latimes.com

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