The following 31 films, all from different countries, were submitted for the 61st Academy Awards in the category Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The bolded titles were the five nominated films, which came from Belgium, Hungary, India, Spain and the eventual winner, Pelle the Conqueror, from Denmark.[1]

The Dutch submission, the thriller The Vanishing, was disqualified by the Oscar committee.[2] AMPAS complained that less than 50% of the dialogue in the film was in Dutch, and that French was the majority language. Although the film was made by the Netherlands with a French-Dutch filmmaker and a mixed cast (mostly Dutch), AMPAS deemed that the film was not suitable to represent the Netherlands. The Netherlands declined to send another film, leaving them unrepresented for the first time since 1972. The Soviet film was filmed in 1967, but was banned for twenty years.


Submitting country Film title used in nomination Language(s) Original title Director(s) Result
 Argentina The Debt Spanish La Deuda interna Miguel Pereira Not nominated
 Austria Undiscovered Country German Das Weite Land Luc Bondy Not nominated
 Belgium The Music Teacher French Le Maître de musique Gérard Corbiau Nominated
 Brazil The Story of Fausta Portuguese Romance da Empregada Bruno Barreto Not nominated
 Bulgaria Where Do We Go? Bulgarian А сега накъде Rangel Vulchanov Not nominated
 Canada The Revolving Doors French Les portes tournantes Francis Mankiewicz Not nominated
 China Red Sorghum Chinese 红高粱 Zhang Yimou Not nominated
 Cuba Letters from the Park Spanish Cartas del parque Tomás Gutiérrez Alea Not nominated
 Denmark Pelle the Conqueror Danish Pelle erobreren Bille August Won Academy Award
 Dominican Republic One Way Ticket Spanish Un Pasaje de Ida Agliberto Meléndez Not nominated
 France The Reader French La Lectrice Michel Deville Not nominated
 West Germany Yasemin German Yasemin Hark Bohm Not nominated
 Greece In the Shadow of Fear Greek Στη σκιά του τρόμου Giorgos Karypidis Not nominated
 Hungary Hanussen Hungarian Hanussen István Szabó Nominated
 Iceland In the Shadow of the Raven Icelandic Í skugga hrafnsins Hrafn Gunnlaugsson Not nominated
 India Salaam Bombay! Hindi Salaam Bombay! Mira Nair Nominated
 Israel The Summer of Aviya Hebrew הקיץ של אביה Eli Cohen Not nominated
 Italy The Legend of the Holy Drinker Italian La Leggenda del santo bevitore Ermanno Olmi Not nominated
 Japan Hope and Pain Japanese ダウンタウン・ヒーローズ Yoji Yamada Not nominated
 Mexico The Last Tunnel Spanish El Último túnel Servando González Not nominated
 Netherlands The Vanishing Dutch, French Spoorloos George Sluizer Disqualified
 Nicaragua The Ghost of War Spanish El Espectro de la guerra Ramiro Lacayo-Deshon Not nominated
 Norway The Ice Palace Norwegian Is-slottet Per Blom Not nominated
 Peru The Mouth of the Wolf Spanish La Boca del lobo Francisco José Lombardi Not nominated
 Poland A Short Film About Love Polish Krótki film o milosci Krzysztof Kieślowski Not nominated
 Portugal Hard Times Portuguese Tempos Difíceis João Botelho Not nominated
 Puerto Rico Tango Bar Spanish Tango Bar Marcos Zurinaga Not nominated
 Soviet Union Commissar Russian Комиссар Aleksandr Askoldov Not nominated
 Spain Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Spanish Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios Pedro Almodóvar Nominated
  Switzerland La Méridienne French La Méridienne Jean-François Amiguet Not nominated
 Taiwan My Mother's Teahouse Chinese 春秋茶室 Chen Kunhou Not nominated
 Yugoslavia My Uncle's Legacy Serbo-Croatian Život sa stricem Krsto Papić Not nominated


  1. ^ "The 61st Academy Awards (1989) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Nomination Intricacies For Foreign-Film Oscar". New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2015.