CINECULTURE LINEUP: SPRING 2018
All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.
January 26: Extra-Terrestrials (Extraterrestres) (2016)
Discussant: Carla Cavina (Director)
First-time Puerto-Rican director Carla Cavina makes a dazzling debut with her humorous and touching film Extra-Terrestrials. Her main character Teresa could not have chosen a worse time to return to her native Puerto Rico, after an absence of several years, and announce her plans to marry fellow astronomer Daniela to her very conservative family. Her father’s poultry business is the target of both corrupt elements of the Puerto Rican government and the U.S. poultry industry that want to drive it out of business. These two events set off a chain reaction that will either unite or destroy Teresa’s fractious family. Indeed, Teresa decides to delay revealing her engagement but Daniela’s decision to travel to the island and force Teresa’s hand will expose the many secrets the family has been keeping from each other. Extra-Terrestrials is a thoughtful exploration of the sense of being alien and alone down on terra firma. The film might even suggest that we are not so foreign to each other after all. In Spanish with English subtitles, 1 hour 50 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnyFiS4flc4
Sponsors: The Spanish Program, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures and the Communication Department
February 2: Columbus (2017)
Discussant: Andrew Miano (Producer)
When a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour, his son Jin (John Cho) finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana – a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. As their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their conflicted emotions: Jin’s estranged relationship with his father, and Casey’s reluctance to leave Columbus and her mother. With its naturalistic rhythms and empathy for the complexities of families, Korean director Kogonada’s debut film Columbus unfolds as a gently drifting, deeply absorbing conversation. With strong supporting actors Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, and Michelle Forbes, Columbus also reveals its director’s striking eye for the way physical space can affect emotions. In English and Korean with English subtitles, 1 hour and 44 minutes.
Sponsor: Darden Architects
February 9: Our Little Sister (2015)
Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl
*Film Screening will begin at 5 p.m.
Directed by famed Japanese Director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Our Little Sister is based on and adapted from the Umimachi, or Seaside Town, Diary, a popular “manga” or comic strip series in Japan. The film tells the life stories of three sisters in their 20s who live together in the ancient city of Kamakura, a town about thirty miles southwest of Japan’s capital Tokyo. While attending their estranged father’s funeral they discover a14-year old half-sister who joins them in Kamakura. Our Little Sister was produced in 2015 and received the most nominations, twelve, at the 39th Japan Academy Prize winning four of them, including Best Picture of the Year and Best Director of the Year. In Japanese with English subtitles, 2 hours and 8 minutes, rated PG. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy2ZidLDgyk
February 16: A Suitable Girl (2017)
Discussant: Sarita Khurana (Director)
A Suitable Girl by Indian-American director Sarita Khurana follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. Ritu, Dipti and Amrita represent the new India. Educated, financially stable and raised with a mix of traditional and contemporary values in the urban cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, they have access to the world in ways their mothers did not. Yet their lives take a dramatic turn when they are pressured to settle down and get married. Career aspirations become secondary to the pursuit of a husband, and the women struggle with the prospect of leaving their homes and families to become part of another. Documenting the arranged marriage and matchmaking process in cinéma vérité-like style over four years, the film examines the women’s complex relationships with the institution of marriage, the many nuanced ways society molds them into traditional roles, and a rarely-seen portrait of India’s urban middle class. In English & Hindi, with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
February 23: Electric Shadows (2004)
Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl
Electric Shadows marks the directing debut of Xiao Jiang one of the few active female film directors in China. The film begins when a young woman mysteriously attacks a stranger and then asks him to care for her fish while she is being arrested. When he enters her apartment he discovers an apparent shrine to the iconic Chinese singer and film actress of the 1930s Zhou Zuan, nicknamed “ the Golden voice”, and that they share a love of the cinema and more. The film’s reverent attitude towards the power of film, and particularly classic films, is a Chinese homage to the 1988 cultural classic Italian film Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore. Through a series of flashbacks the young stranger begins to unravel the incredible series of coincidences that intertwine his life with his attacker’s. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 93 minutes.
March 2: And Then They Came for Us (2017)
Discussant: Don Tamaki (Fred Korematsu Legal Team Attorney)
Seventy-five years ago, Executive Order 9066 paved the way to the profound violation of constitutional rights that resulted in the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. Directed by directors Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider, And Then They Came for Us features Japanese-American actor George Takei and many others who were incarcerated, as well as newly rediscovered photographs of the late Dorothea Lange, a photojournalist best known for her Depression-era work. This film brings history into the present, retelling this difficult story and following Japanese American activists as they speak out against the Muslim registry and travel ban. Knowing our history is the first step to ensuring we do not repeat it. And Then They Came for Us is a cautionary and inspiring tale for these dark times. Please partner with us to share this critical story. 40 minutes. https://www.thentheycamedoc.com/
Sponsors: The Central California District Council of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.
March 9: Angelica (2016)
Discussant: Marisol Gómez-Mouakad (Director)
Angélica dreams of a major career as a fashion designer in New York, but has not got much further than a boring sewing job. After a long absence from Puerto Rico, she returns to the island when her father, Wilfredo, suffers a heart attack. The unexpected return to the house where she grew up, plus her father’s illness, force Angélica to re-evaluate her relationship with her mother, who has always disdained her because of her race, with family members who clearly are racist, and with her partner in New York, who travels to Puerto Rico in an attempt to bring her back. All this forces her to face herself and realize that she does not know who she is, and also, that she does not accept herself. After the death of her father, Angélica must decide whether to return to the comfort of her previous life, dissatisfied but secure, or set on an adventurous path to rediscover herself as an independent woman, modern, strong, mulatto and Puerto Rican, in a globalized world on the cusp of the twenty-first century. In Spanish with English subtitles. 90 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/150479172
Sponsors: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies, the Spanish Program, and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and Literatures
March 16: Serenade for Haiti (2016)
Discussant: Christy McGill (Producer)
Filmed over a seven-year period in Haiti, this documentary feature film by director Owsley Brown tells the story of a small classical music school, the Sainte Trinité Music School, in the heart of troubled Port au Prince, Haiti. This modest school thrives in the shadows of decades of political turmoil and natural disasters. Its story transcends poverty and political violence and shows how music can transform the lives of the children and faculty of the school and unlock the power of their own lives and imagination. In Haitian Creole, French, and English with English subtitles. 78 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaDpXqm56S4
Sponsors: The Africana Studies Program, The French Program, and, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, L’Alliance Française de Fresno
March 23: Shadow of Drought: Southern California’s Looming Water Crisis (2018)
Discussant: Bill Wisneski (Director)
While California recovers from the worst drought in state history, a myriad of impacts resulting from climate change threaten Southern California’s imported water supply. As a shadow of drought hangs over the region, this documentary explores the dire consequences of inaction that lie ahead. 42 minutes. https://www.droughtfilm.com/#anchor-about-home
This film is being screened in recognition of World Water Day March 22
Sponsor: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Fresnans Against Fracking, Tehipite Chapter of Sierra Club and Friends of the San Joaquin River Gorge
SPRING BREAK: MARCH 26-30 (Caesar Chavez Holiday March 30)
April 6: Dogs of Democracy (2016)
Discussant: Mary Zournazi (Writer/Director)
Dogs of Democracy is a documentary film about the stray dogs of Athens, Greece, and the people who take care of them. Greek-Australian filmmaker Mary Zournazi explores life on the streets through the eyes of these dogs and their peoples’ experience. Shot on location in Athens, the birthplace of democracy, the film is about how the Greeks have become the ‘stray dogs of Europe’, and how the stray dogs in Athens have become a symbol of hope for the people and for the Greek anti-austerity political movement. This is a universal story about love and loyalty and what we might learn from animals. “A powerful film narrative, the stray dogs of central Athens are transformed from mere symbols of a peculiar freedom to witnesses of a heart-wrenching human crisis.” Yanis Varoufakis, Greek economist, Academic and Politician. 58 minutes, trailer: https://vimeo.com/239054560
Sponsors: The Classics Program, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, with support from the Phebe McClatchy Conley Endowment
April 13: Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)
Discussant: Richard Rhodes (Author of Hedy’s Folly …on which the film is based)
What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII. Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day. 88 minutes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKXAkITImGU
Sponsors: The Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Association
April 20: The Other Side of Home (2016)
Discussant: Naré Mkrtchyan (Director/Producer)
In 1915, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turks, during the Armenian Genocide. One hundred years later, also in 2015, a Turkish woman named Maya discovers that her great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Maya embodies this painful conflict for she bears two enemies in her body: one that suffers and the other that denies. This documentary follows Maya as she decides to go to Armenia to take part in the 100th anniversary of the genocide and to explore her conflicted identity. This film is a universal story of identity, denial, and how the experience of genocide creates a ripple effect for future generations on both sides. In English, Armenian, and Turkish with English subtitles. 40 minutes, Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6r7rhRPHlA
Sponsor: The Armenian Studies Program and the Sociology Department
April 27: The Suffragists (Las Sufragistas) (2012)
Discussant: Ana Cruz Navarro (Director)
The Suffragists by Mexican filmmak er Ana Cruz Navarro tells the story of Eufrosina Cruz, an indigenous woman from the Zapotec community of Santa María Quiegolani in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2008, her right to vote and run as Municipal President of her community was denied on the grounds that indigenous customary laws prohibit women from participating in electoral processes. In Mexico, women won the right to full suffrage in 1953. Today, after a long battle, Eufrosina Cruz is a representative in Mexico’s federal government, and the first indigenous woman to be a member of the Congress of Oaxaca. The Suffragettes details her political struggle, as well as Mexican women’s long fight for political power. The film also considers challenges which women in power face, drawing on interviews with Mexican female politicians and Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s first female president and the first Executive Director of UN Women. In Spanish with English subtitles, 78 minutes, Trailer: https://vimeo.com/220101466
Sponsors: The College of Arts and Humanities, Aeromexico, the Spanish Program, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, and the Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies
May 4: A Billion Colour Story (2016)
Discussants: Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy (Director/Writer) via Skype & Professor Joan K. Sharma
Like so many nations, India is a land of high ideals and hopes that doesn’t always live up to its better nature. That is the learning curve not only for 11-year-old Hari Aziz, but also for his parents, self-declared “Indophiles” and “religion agnostics,” who met in film school in Australia but moved back to the land they love. When the funding on their film fizzles, the family is forced to downsize to a cheaper neighborhood, and with the move they find that their religious backgrounds (Imran was born a Muslim, and Parvati a Hindu) suddenly matter to people. A lot.
The masterstroke in writer/director Padmakumar’s debut feature is to tell this story of intolerance and fundamentalism through the eyes of a smart, curious and tech-savvy child, a 21st-century kid who embodies the best of a globalized outlook (he’s played by the director’s son). Shot in black and white, the film was received with a four-minute standing ovation at its European premiere at the London Film Festival in October. Legendary star Shabana Azmi was moved to tweet: “A heartwarming film that celebrates the idea of India & tears at heartstrings. It’s a must watch.” 105 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1nKB8k2Um8
May 10 & 11: Exhibition Peolota Mixteca Game and Film Screening: Pasajuego
*May 10: Exhibition Pelota Mixteca game to be played, featuring traditional Folklore dancers from Oaxaca Mexico: O’Neil Park, 6:30 p.m.
May 11 Film Screening: Pasajuego: Ethnography, Migration and Identity of the Oaxacan Peoples throughout the Game of Pelota Mixteca. (2018)
Discussant: Daniel Oliveras de Ita (Director)
In the southern state of Oaxaca, México, Pasajuego is the name of the court where the ancient indigenous game of Pelota Mixteca is played. Pasajuego is a visual ethnography about the migration of Oaxacan workers to urban centers of Mexico and the U.S. In this story the game of Pelota Mixteca, acts as a window to look through the lives of the Oaxacan people at their migration destinations. The practice of Pelota Mixteca in different contexts reflects the lives of those who play the game, and shows how culture travels with them when they migrate. It tells the story of the players, shows the solidarity between paisanos, the cooperation systems among different regions of Oaxaca, Mexico and the U.S., and takes the audience through the diaspora of these migrants. This documentary film aims to capture the community contexts in which the game is carried out, and the ability of Oaxacan people to recreate their communities of origin on the other side of the border. In this journey the locations are condensed into one to describe Pasajuego as an embassy with diverse cultural expressions, geographically dispersed but unified by practice, cooperation and exchange between Oaxacan communities. Today at least two million Oaxacans live in the United States. This is the story of their ballgame, now taking root throughout the U.S. In Spanish, English, and Zapotec with English subtitles. 75 minutes.
Sponsors: The Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, The College of Arts and Humanities, The College of Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies, M.E.Ch.A and M.O.L.E.
CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State campus students, faculty, and staff, and community. CineCulture is also offered as a 3 unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Mass Communication and Journalism Department. CineCulture fulfills General Education Integration Area Multicultural International (MI).
CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.
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Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at firstname.lastname@example.org