Film Line-Up for Fall 2016


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.) and 10-21 and 11-18 films begin at 5:00 p.m. All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

September 2: Ocean Heaven (Hai yang tian tang) (2010)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

In 2010 famed martial arts star, Jet Li, made one of the most unusual and beautiful films of his career: Ocean Heaven.  A terminally ill father has to prepare his special needs son for a life without his father. Departing from his usual action genre films Jet Li explores a father son relationship that is tender and loving. Ironically, this film foreshadows a true life challenge in Jet Li’s own life that he struggles to deal with today. In Mandarin with English subtitles, 96 minutes.

*September 9: Filmworks: The Idol (Ya tayr el tayer) 2015

The Palestinian drama The Idol, was inspired by the incredible true story of a Gaza refugee who won the hearts of an entire region in 2013 when he won the Arab world’s version of American Idol. The movie follows the dream of Mohammad Assaf, a popular wedding singer whose band plays on second-hand, beat-up instruments, but whose ambitions are to someday play the world famous Cairo Opera Hall. On his unlikely journey against impossible odds, Mohammed retains hope that his voice will transcend the pain that surrounds him and bring joy to others. Although the borders are closed, he finds a way to reach the Arab Idol auditions in Cairo and make it in front of the judges. From there, destiny awaits. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, who also directed Omar (2013) and Paradise Now (2005). In Arabic, with English subtitles, not rated, 95 minutes.

*September 15-16: Three Events: Lectures & Film Screening with Gayla Jamison (Director) and Nancy Meyer (September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows)

Co-Sponsors: Beth Ann Harnish Lecture Series, the Department of Communication, Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, Fresno Center for Non-Violence, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Peace Fresno, Wesley United Methodist Social Justice Action Team, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

*Thursday, September 15: Conversations with Gayla Jamison & Nancy Meyer

Location:  Fresno State McLane Hall room # 121

Time: 3:30 p.m.

*Thursday, September 15: Presentation: Finding Unity in Diversity, Strength in Understanding, and Love Amid Loss

Location: Unity of Fresno, 315 W. Shields Ave., Fresno (between Palm & Fruit)
Time: 6:30 p.m.

September 16: In Our Son’s Name (2015)

Discussant: Gayla Jamison (Director) & Nancy Meyer

In Our Son’s Name is an intimate portrait of Phyllis and Orlando Rodríguez, whose son, Greg, dies with thousands of others in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The bereaved parents choose reconciliation and nonviolence over vengeance and begin a transformative journey that both confirms and challenges their convictions.

They speak out against war in Iraq and Afghanistan, publicly oppose the death penalty of avowed 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and befriend his mother. As their search for meaning evolves they speak out against anti-Muslim actions and find peace in working with prison inmates. Their marriage strengthens, and they reach a deeper understanding of their rebellious son, who had just begun to find his way when his life was cut short. The film mixes in-depth interviews with on-location footage and striking archival photographs and video to create a deeply personal story that invites us to re-consider conventional concepts of justice and healing. 64 minutes.

September 23: The Law (La Loi, le combat d’une femme pour toutes les femmes) (2014)

Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn

Directed by French Director Christian Faure and released in 2014, The Law brilliantly traces three days, in late Fall 1974, of stormy debate in the French National Assembly, around a bill which would make “voluntary termination of pregnancy” legal.  Behind this bill stands a lone woman brilliantly played by a remarkable Emmanuelle Devos (also in The Other Son): Simone Veil the Minister of Health in the Jacques Chirac government during the presidency of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.  During these three days of violent debate Veil, a Jew and Holocaust survivor, is spared nothing: political negotiations, solitude, sparring arguments, insults and violence to her family.  In spite of all of this, Veil never wavers. Viewers need not be afraid of being bogged down in the vagaries of 1974 French politics: Director Christian Faure has created a breathless thriller and gave the film’s “legal and political maneuvering some of the edge of a film noir”.

A television sensation in France, this profoundly disturbing and provocative film was a finalist for best television film award at the Globes de cristal in Paris and Emmanuelle Devos as Simone Veil was nominated outstanding actress at the Nymphes d’or in Monte-Carlo.  Additionally, The Law was a selection at many film festivals, including the San Francisco, New York, and San Diego Jewish Film Festivals in the US, as well as the Jerusalem and the UK Jewish Film Festivals. In French with English subtitles, 90 minutes.

Co-Sponsors: The French Program, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, and the Jewish Studies Certificate Program and the Jewish Studies Association

September 30: The Violin Teacher (Tudo Que Aprendemos Juntos) (2015)

Discussant: Sergio Machado Ribeiro dos Santos (Director)

The movie tells the story of Laerte (Lázaro Ramos), a talented violinist who after failing to be admitted into the OSESP Orchestra is forced to give music classes to teenagers in a public school at Heliopolis. His path is full of difficulties, but the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the teacher and the students open the door into a new world. In Portuguese with English subtitles, 102 minutes.

Co-Sponsors: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies and the Department of History

October 7: Nari (2016)

Discussant: Gingger Shankar & Band

NARI is a global, multi-generational, multimedia live performance conceived by Gingger Shankar about the unsung story of the lives of Lakshmi Shankar and her daughter Viji, two extraordinary artists who helped bring Indian music to the West in the 1970s through their close collaborations with Ravi Shankar and George Harrison. In Sanskrit, “Nari” means both “woman” and “sacrifice”. As two female artists who grew up in a patriarchal society and tried to establish themselves in a male-dominated field, Lakshmi and Viji fought to overcome numerous challenges in both their artistic and personal lives as they were catapulted from conservative Indian culture into the stratosphere of American rock & roll. Conceptualized in early 2013 and followed by recordings and filming in India, UK, and US, Nari premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and had it’s U.S. Premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Co-Sponsor: The Department of Art and Design

*October 14: Filmworks: Miss Sharon Jones! (2015)

Two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, Shut Up and Sing) follows Grammy-nominated R&B dynamo Sharon Jones during the most courageous year of her life.  Often compared to the legendary James Brown because of her powerful and energetic performances, Sharon Jones is no stranger to challenge. For years her music career struggled as she was kept in the wings by a music industry that branded her “too short, too black, too fat.” After decades of working odd jobs, from corrections officer to wedding singer, Sharon had a middle-aged breakthrough after joining forces with Brooklyn R&B outfit The Dap Kings. In 2013, on the eve of the release of the much-anticipated album Give The People What They Want, Sharon was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Miss Sharon Jones! is a triumphant crowd-pleaser that captures an irrepressible human spirit as she battles back to where she belongs: center stage. Not rated, 93 minutes.

*October 21: The Merchant of Venice (2004) Film will begin at 5 p.m.

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

In the late 16th century the greatest playwright of the Western world, William Shakespeare wrote a play which still shocks the world today: The Merchant of Venice. This exciting story is one of the first plays where a woman becomes the hero of the action because of her brains and not because of her femininity. Why was this play called a “comedy” in Shakespeare’s day will be dramatically revealed after the performance of this wonderful play brought to life by one of America’s greatest film actors, Al Pacino; costarring Jeremy Collins and Lyn Collins. Rated R, 131 minutes.

Co-Sponsors: The Jewish Studies Certificate Program and the Jewish Studies Association

*October 28 : Imminent Threat (2015)

Location: Unitarian Universalist church of Fresno, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave. (between Willow and Chestnut) Fresno, CA 93720


Discussant: to be announced

Imminent Threat, directed by Janek Abors documents the War on Terror’s impact on civil liberties as well as the potential coalition that may form between the progressive left and libertarian right.  The film is executive produced by James Cromwell, Jillian Barba (Fresno State Alumna), Anthony A. LoPresti, and D.J. Do:30 p.m. dd. 73 minutes.

Official Trailer:

Co-Sponsors: The Department of Sociology & Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno Social Justice Committee

November 4: Armenian Film (to be announced)  

Co-Sponsor: The Armenian Studies Program

*November 11-13: (11-11 Veteran’s Day) Filmworks/Festival

*November 18: Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) (2015)

  Film will begin at 5 p.m.

Discussant: Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval

At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, the third feature by Ciro Guerra. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, Serpent centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers, Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes, who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. The film has won numerous prestigious awards, including awards at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. In Spanish, Portuguese, Aboriginal, German, Catalan, and Latin, 125 minutes.

Co-Sponsors: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies, the College of Arts & Humanities, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures and the Center for Creativity and the Arts.


December 2: The Destruction of Memory (2015)

Discussant: Tim Slade (Director)

This film traces the war against culture and the battle to save it. Over the past century, cultural destruction has wrought catastrophic results across the globe, including Armenia, Germany, Hungary, Bosnia, Mali, and more. This war against culture is not over – it is been steadily increasing. In Syria and Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilization’, millennia of culture are being destroyed. The push to protect, salvage and rebuild has moved in step with the destruction. Legislation and policy have played a role, but heroic individuals have fought back, risking and losing their lives to protect not just other human beings, but our cultural identity – to save the record of who we are.

Based on the book of the same name by Robert Bevan, The Destruction of Memory tells the whole story – looking not just at the ongoing actions of Daesh (ISIS) and at other contemporary situations, but revealing the decisions of the past that allowed the issue to remain hidden in the shadows for so many years. Interviewees in the film include the Director-General of UNESCO, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as diverse and distinguished international experts, whose voices combine to address this urgent issue. 81 minutes.

December 9: Filmworks: (to be announced)

CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.

Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us in advance to your participation.

For further information about CineCulture:

Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s