CINECULTURE LINEUP: Fall 2014
Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart
Center in the Student Recreation Center Building)
*Exceptions noted (Fresno Filmworks at Tower Theater, 815 E. Olive Ave.), September 12th, October 3rd (Screening will begin at 5pm), October 10th, & November 14th.
*Please click on the title of the film to view its trailer.
August 29: BESA: The Promise (2012)
Discussant: Christine Romero (Producer/Editor)
BESA: The Promise weaves Albania’s heroism in WWII through the vérité journeys of two men. One is Norman Gershman, a renowned Jewish-American photographer determined to document first-person accounts of the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. The other is Rexhep Hoxha, a Muslim-Albanian. Rexhep must fulfill the promise made to a Jewish family his father rescued during the Holocaust and return to them a set of Hebrew books they left behind. And Rexhep’s promise is more than words: it is part of his besa, an honor code that pledges all Albanians to offer safe harbor to refugees. With Norman’s help, Rexhep embarks on a journey to Bulgaria and Israel. His quest brings about an epiphany that he is part of this Jewish family — even as his Islamic faith, long suppressed under decades of communism, is reaffirmed. Through the stories of Rexhep and his fellow Muslims, we discover a nation of everyday heroes far removed from the narrative of violent Islam and anti-Semitism that is so often portrayed in today’s media. More than seven years in the making, this film presents a powerful human drama compounded by a devastating twist. It is a story that that bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews. 90 minutes. http://besathepromise.com/thefilm.html
September 5: In the Shadow (2012)
Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl
In the Shadow is a gritty, dark, exciting crime drama set in Czechoslovakia during the criminal and repressive domination of that country in 1950s by the Soviet Union. Directed by famed film director/producer David Ondricek and written by, who many are calling Czechoslovakia’s boy genius, Marek Epstein, In the Shadow is a gripping film experience. The film stars the great Czech film actor, Ivan Trojan and co-star Sebastian Koch, one of Germany’s finest film actors. Trojan plays Police Captain Haki who has been called into investigate what seems to be a simple jewel robbery. Events soon get completely out of control and Haki finds himself in the middle of a political fire storm, anti-Semitism, and a Cold War attack on the USA by using the Czech legal system. The cinematic technique used in this film is reminiscent of both film noir and Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant use of the Camera to increase tension and advance the plot. 106 minutes. In Polish, German and Czech with English subtitles. http://www.intheshadowfilm.com/
*September 12: Filmworks: May in the Summer (2013)
Discussant: Cherien Dabis (Director)
Filmworks presents the multicultural romantic comedy “May in the Summer,” the latest feature from Palestinian American filmmaker Cherien Dabis. The movie, which has charmed festival audiences from Venice to Sundance, tells the story of May, a sophisticated and educated New Yorker who travels to her childhood home of Amman, Jordan for her wedding. Immediately upon returning home — a cosmopolitan Middle Eastern city, still full of natural and spiritual landscapes — the cracks in her seemingly perfect life begin to show. Her Christian mother disapproves of her fiancé Muslim faith, her sisters revert to behaving like rebellious teenagers, and their estranged father attempts to make amends for divorcing their mother for a younger woman. Confronted with the unavoidable wounds of her own family’s long-broken relationships, the fresh culture clash of old-world traditions and modern values leaves May at a crossroads. Written, directed by, and starring Dabis, whose debut feature film “Amreeka” played to international acclaim in 2009. Co-starring Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, and Bill Pullman.
99 minutes, Rated R. Film website: http://www.cohenmedia.net/films/may-in-the-summer
For additional information: http://fresnofilmworks.org/film/may-in-the-summer/
September 19: Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa (2014)
Discussant: Abby Ginzberg (Director)
Soft Vengeance is a film about Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Shining a spotlight on Albie’s story provides a prism through which to view the challenges faced by those unable to tolerate a society founded on principles of slavery and disempowerment of South Africa’s majority black population. As a young man, Albie defended those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa. For his actions as a lawyer, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Cape Town, tortured through sleep deprivation, and forced into exile. In 1988 he was gravely injured in a car bomb set by the South African security forces in Maputo, Mozambique. This attack cost him his right arm and his sight in one eye, but, miraculously, he survived. While recovering in a London hospital, he received this note: “Don’t worry, Comrade Albie, we will avenge you.” This led him to wonder: “What kind of country would it be, if it ended up filled with people who were blind and without arms? But if we achieve democracy, freedom and the rule of law, that will be my ‘soft vengeance’.” Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write south Africa’s new Constitution and was later appointed as one of the first eleven judges to the new Constitutional Court, which for the past 20 years has been insuring that the rights of all South Africans are afforded protection. 90 minutes. http://softvengeancefilm.org/MAIN.html
September 26: Dancing in Jaffa (2013)
Discussant: Hilla Medalia (Director)
Pierre Dulaine, a four-time ballroom dancing world champion, is fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities who continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three of these children who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy. We watch Dulaine transform their lives, confirming his belief that dance can overcome hatred and provide the first steps towards real change. His classroom becomes a microcosm of the Middle East’s struggle to work together harmoniously while still caught in the politics of the region and race. Dancing In Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography. 90 minutes. In English, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. http://www.dancinginjaffa.com/
October 3: La Source des Femmes (The Source) (2011)
Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn
*Film screening at 5 p.m.
In a small village somewhere “between North Africa and the Middle East”, it has always been a woman’s chore to fetch water from the “source”, or spring, at the top of the mountain. This arduous task causes several pregnant women to fall and miscarry while hauling their heavy pails of water back to the village. Leila, a young bride, urges the village women to action: no more hugs, love, and sex until the men do their part and bear the painful task of fetching water from the spring back to their village. This whimsical and, at times, heartbreaking Belgian-Moroccan-French comedy directed by Romanian-born French filmmaker Radu Mihaileanu was selected for screening at the 2011 Festival of Cannes. 124 minutes. In Arabic with English subtitles. Trailer in English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwanQtCJGeM
*October 10: Filmworks: Life After Beth
October 17: Libertador (The Liberator) (2013)
Discussant: Dr. Maria Aparecida-Lopes
An impressively scaled chronicle of the life and times of Simon Bolivar, hero of South American anti-colonialist struggles in the early 19th century. The film journeys through the impassioned struggle of Simón Bolívar’s (Édgar Ramírez) fight for independence in Latin America from Spain and his vision of a united South American nation. Bolivar rode over 70,000 miles on horseback. His military campaigns covered twice the territory of Alexander the Great. His army never conquered: it liberated. 119 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.
October 24: Grandma’s Tattoos (2011)
Discussant: Suzanne Khardalian (Director/Producer)
Grandma’s Tattoos lifts the veil of thousands of forgotten women—survivors of the Armenian Genocide—who were forced into prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from the locals.
“As a child I thought these were devilish signs that came from a dark world. They stirred fear in me. What were these tattoos? Who had done them, and why? But the tattoos on grandma’s hands and face were a taboo. They never spoke about it,” explains Khardalian. Grandma’s Tattoos is a journey into the secrets of her family. Eventually, the secret behind Grandma Khanoum’s blue marks are revealed. The story of Grandma’s Tattoos is a personal film about what happened to many Armenian women during the genocide. It is a ghost story—with the ghosts of the tattooed women haunting us—and a mystery film, where many taboos are broken. As no one wants to tell the real and whole story, and in order to bring the pieces of the puzzle together, the director makes us move between different times and space, from today’s Sweden to Khardalian’s childhood in Beirut.
October 31: Nosotros los Nobles ( We are the Nobles) (2013)
Discussant: Dr. Adela Santana
When successful construction mogul Herman Noble accidentally stumbles onto his children’s credit card statements, he discovers they are spending money beyond control. His oldest son Javier neglects the family business in exchange of his own ridiculous business ideas. His daughter Barbara gets engaged to a 40 year-old gigolo just to spite her father, Herman, and his youngest son Charlie is expelled from college after having sex with a teacher. Herman realizes his children are spoiled beyond redemption and decides to teach them a lesson, before it is too late. Nosotros los Nobles is a 2013 Mexican comedy film directed by Gary Alazraki, the most successful Mexican film of all time. Rated: PG-13, 108 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvhIeGXM2OU
November 7: (No film screening)
*November 14:Filmworks: to be announced
November 21: Couleur de Peau: Miel (Approved for Adoption) (2012)
Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn
Couleur de peau: Miel was codirected by French director Laurent Boileau and Korean-born Belgian comic book artist Jung Sik-jun. It tells Jung’s own story who, as a young boy, was adopted by a Belgian family and grew up in Belgium. Based on Jung’s eponymous comic book series, this film chronicles the important moments of his childhood and adolescence and alternates between documentary footage of live action, animation sequences in 2D and 3D, and archival images. The film received several awards in 2013 including: the Grand Prize for Animation at the Japan Media Arts Festival, and both the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the World Festival of Animated Film in Zagreb, Croatia. In French and Korean with English subtitles. 75 minutes. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTz4nWpL5DI
NOVEMBER 26-28 THANKSGIVING BREAK
December 5: Siddharth (2013)
Discussant: Richie Mehta (Director)
After sending away his 12 year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra, a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets, is relieved: his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns that his son may have been abducted by child-traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India hoping that, whoever arbitrarily took his child away, will return him unharmed. Inspired by a true story. In Hindi with English subtitles. 96 minutes. http://siddharththefilm.com/
December 12: Filmworks: To be Announced