Spring 2022 Films

Virtual Film Screenings Spring Semester.

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Dear CineCulture Supporters,

Happy new year to everyone!

I’m thrilled to share with you that CineCulture is bringing many exciting new films to our community this coming spring semester via virtual cinema. I will post announcements and links to view the films via email and on this website. If you’d like to subscribe to the CineCulture listserv email me at mhusain@csufresno.edu. As with in-person screenings, viewers will NOT be charged a fee for viewing the films. Films will be available 3-5 days, depending on the distributor. I miss you and look forward to returning to in-person screenings in Fall 2022. I hope you enjoy the films! 

Dr. Mary Husain


Opening Film Week of January 24: Hive (2021)

Filmed by Kosovar filmmaker Blerta Basholli in her directorial debut and Sundance triple award winner, Hive is a searing drama based on the true story of Fahrije, who, like many of the other women in her patriarchal village, has lived with fading hope and burgeoning grief since her husband went missing during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo. In order to provide for her struggling family, she teams up with the other widows in her community to launch a business selling a local food product. Together, they find healing and solace in considering a future without their husbands—but their will to begin living independently is met with hostility. The men in the village condemn Fahrije’s efforts to empower herself and the women around her, starting a feud that threatens their newfound sovereignty—and the financial future of Fahrije’s family. Against the backdrop of Eastern Europe’s civil unrest and lingering misogyny, Fahrije and the women of her village join in a struggle to find hope in the face of an uncertain future. Winner of the Audience Award, Directing Award, and World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Hive is a compelling but devastating portrait of loss and arduous journeys to freedom. In Albanian with English subtitles, 84 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39cIMHLPFMU


Week 1: Made in Bangladesh (2019)

Made in Bangladesh by Bangladeshi director Rubaiyat Hossain tells the story of Shimu, a 23-year-old textile worker, who toils in a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She resolves to fight for employee rights after one of her co-workers is killed in a fire at her factory. Faced with difficult conditions at work, she decides to start a union with her co-workers. Despite threats from management and the disapproval of her husband, Shimu is determined to go on. Together the women must fight and find a way. Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color – ADIFF 2019, London BFI. In English and Bengali with English subtitles, 95 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/366947967.

Week 2: The Citizen

Directed by Hungarian filmmaker Roland Vranik, The Citizen tells the story of Wilson, a black African in his late fifties. Wilson, whose family was killed during an outbreak of civil war in Guinea-Bissau.  Wilson had entered Europe as a political refugee and later settled for a sedate life as a security guard at a shopping center in Budapest, Hungary.  His main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship. The story follows Wilson as he attempts to find his place in Hungarian society in his daily life, at work, with Mari, a history teacher who helps him study for his citizenship exam, and Shirin, a young Iranian woman whose only hope to avoid deportation is to marry a Hungarian citizen.  The Citizen is an Award-winning drama that poignantly dwells on some of the most complex issues of contemporary European society.  In Hungarian with English subtitles, 108 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/267638864

Week 3: Why is We Americans? (2020)                                                                             

By turns kinetic and intimate, Why is We Americans? by director Udi Aloni is an in-depth, cinematic exploration of Newark’s legendary Baraka family. Spanning decades of social activism, poetry, music, art, and politics, this kaleidoscopic family saga is illustrated by on-camera interviews with singer and rapper Lauryn Hill as well as rare archival footage and revealing personal testimonials. As we connect with the iconoclastic poet Amiri Baraka, his wife, Amina, and their son, the current mayor of Newark, Ras, a portrait of a city emerges with an inspiring call to arms in the fight for class and racial justice. 102 minutes. Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=109TZtGf-ug.

Week 4: A Son (2019)

A Son is Tunisian director Mehdi Barsaoui’s first feature film. It received numerous accolades and prizes at many international film festivals around the world, which started this filmmaker’s international career. The film tells the story of a Tunisian couple, Fares and his wife Meriem, who live in France and are vacationing in Tunisia with their son Aziz. While driving in southern Tunisia with their son, they are ambushed by terrorists. They escape, but Aziz is seriously injured in the abdomen and needs an organ transplant. This creates a series of seemingly impossible complications and reveals a deeply hidden family secret. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. 96 minutes. Trailer: https://youtu.be/_K4qawhyasA.

Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures


Week 1: Salt of the Earth (1954)

Salt of the Earth is set in a small mining community in New Mexico. Written by Michael Wilson and directed by Herbert Biberman, both blacklisted Hollywood filmmakers during the Red Scare for their alleged involvement in communist politics, the film chronicles the true events of a 1951 miners’ strike in the area using local people and non-actors to re-enact their experiences. Banned in the USA for 11 years, the film centers on Esperanza Quintero (Rosaura Revueltas), the wife of a protesting miner, who must combat sexism and racism on both sides of the conflict to build a better future for her family. Completed against all odds, (including the deportation of Revueltas), Salt of the Earth highlights the complexity of gender, labor, and family relationships during a hostile political climate. 94 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Ro8dvYpsM.

Sponsors: Jewish Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Association

Sol (2020)

Directed by French director Jézabel Marquès, this heart-warming comedy is the story of Sol, a tango singer, who has been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for many years. Her impulsive nature and bright smile hide a wound that has never truly healed: the loss of her son, with whom she had cut all ties. She comes back to Paris in the hope of meeting her 7-year-old grandson Jo and her daughter-in-law Eva she has never met. She will try anything to get to know her estranged grandson. In Spanish and French with English subtitles. 98 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pW-PkM_Fwo.

Week 2: Tazeeka (2017)

Tazzeka is French director Jean-Philippe Gaud’s first feature film. It is a delightful and bittersweet dramatic comedy about a young man’s dream faced with social realities. The story starts in the heart of a Moroccan village, Tazzeka, where Elias is raised by his grandmother and learns from her the tastes and secrets of Morocco’s traditional cuisine. Years later, he meets a famous Parisian chef and a beautiful young woman named Salma who motivate him to leave home. Will he succeed in making his dream a reality? You will enjoy this film for its inspiring narrative, beautiful photography and wonderful music and, above all, you will want to savor the many mouthwatering dishes that Elias creates in front of your eyes. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. 95 minutes. Trailer: https://youtu.be/qODP5nJzmP4.

Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

Week 3: Where There Once Was Water (2021)

A story about water. A song for the sacred in all of us. A documentary centered on solutions. Directed by director Brittany App based in San Luis Obispo, California, Where There Once Was Water takes a look at the driest of places – California and the Southwest of the United States – and the deepest of spaces – our inner worlds. It presents an invitation to change our perspective and heal our relationship with water … one watershed, one meal, one raindrop, at a time.  74 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wherethereoncewaswater/496133512.

Sponsor: Sponsor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Week 4: The Carer (2016)                          

The Carer by Hungarian director János Edelényi tells the story of a British theatre legend, Sir Michael Gifford, who is terminally ill. He is also foul-mouthed, irascible, and generally impossible. Into his fraught household comes Dorottya, a Hungarian immigrant, to act as yet another in a long line of badly treated caregivers. She secretly hopes to become Michael’s acting pupil but Michael bullies and exploits her until an impromptu exchange from Hamlet reveals a mutual love of Shakespeare and their relationship gradually changes. As Michael mellows, she transcends her own selfish ambitions, and they learn some valuable lessons from each other. When Michael is offered a Lifetime Achievement Award Dorottya persuades him to accept it in person. Together they make it to the Awards Ceremony, which initially seems like a mistake. Michael looks completely out of his depth and the audience fears for his health. But then he rises to the occasion with a show-stealing speech and ends, prompted by Dorottya, with the illustrious question To be or not to be? And he responds in his famous thundering voice: “And the answer is TO BE!” 89 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hu0duNTy4A.


Week 1: Kuessipan (2019)

Directed by Quebec filmmaker Myriam Verreault, Kuessipan is a dramatic and poetic adaptation of First Nation Innu novelist Naomi Fontaine’s bestselling 2012 novel. The film takes place near Sept-Iles in Quebec, Canada, which is located on the North shore of the Saint Laurence River, some 560 miles east of Montreal. In a series of colorful and stunning vignettes, Kuessipan narrates the coming of age story of two young Innu girls, Mikuan and Shaniss, inseparable since childhood, who promise to always stay together no matter what. Will their relationship falter when their respective dreams of a future take different paths? In French and Innu. 117 minutes. Trailer: https://youtu.be/RVtRbCltm5g.

Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

Week 2: Xueta Island (2021)

Xueta Island by director Dani Rotstein explores the fascinating legacy of the Xuetas (pronounced Chuetas), a unique group of families on the Balearic island of Majorca, Spain, who are believed to be descendants of the island’s Inquisition-era Jewish population. Though they were practicing Catholics, the Chuetas were discriminated against until the middle of the 20th century, always forced to marry within their subgroup population. This film follows Rotstein, a Jewish-American expat, who moved to the island recently and quickly became fascinated with the story. Rotstein currently works as a social activist and filmmaker on the island, where he uses discoveries from his ongoing investigation to help build a new community. In Catalan, English and Spanish with English subtitles. 63 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P9B3A_TDSs.

Sponsors: Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Association.

Tokyo Shaking (2021)

On March 11, 2011, an extremely powerful underwater earthquake caused the biggest tsunami Japan had ever experienced. This gigantic tsunami triggered a terrible nuclear disaster, at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, Fukushima, including the meltdowns of three of its reactors, the discharge of radioactive water in Fukushima, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of local residents. Directed by French filmmaker Olivier Peyon,Tokyo Shaking tells how the health risks to the Japanese population were being downplayed while the foreign community in Tokyo was terrified by this tragic event and the fact that no one was capable of assessing its scope. Alexandra, a French executive newly arrived from Hong Kong to work in a French-owned bank, has to face this nuclear crisis with her employees. Torn between following the company’s instructions and going back to her husband and children who are still in Hong Kong, she will find herself defending her honor and given word, despite the pervading terror and chaos. 101 minutes. +In French and Japanese with English subtitles. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjxCW7qWC3I.

Week 4: The Desire to Live (2021)

Directed by Mariam Avetisyan, a filmmaker from Artsakh, formerly Nagorno-Karabakh, The Desire to Live, tells the stories of the indigenous people of Artsakh, after the recent 44-day war with Azerbaijan and suffering a devastating loss of lives and land. The desire to live is really a right to live on their lands and be protected by the threat of war, genocide and crimes against their humanity. In Armenian with English subtitles. 90 minutes. Film website: https://thedesiretolivedoc.com/  Trailer: https://vimeo.com/650680281

Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program

Week 5: The Velvet Queen (La panthère des neiges, 2021)

Directed by Marie Amiguet, The Velvet Queen follows world-renown French wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and French geographer, writer and traveler Sylvain Tesson on an urgent quest in a remote and mountainous region of Tibet. They hope to photograph the elusive snow leopard with no guarantee of success. Due to poaching and an increasing loss of habitat, the global population of this magnificent feline is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 and expected to further decline. The snow leopard is listed as “vulnerable”, i.e. threatened with extinction, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is featured on the Tibetan flag, still used by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, based in Dharamshala, India. A beautiful documentary, The Velvet Queen offers stunning landscape and wildlife photography, wonderful music and a fascinating narrative by writer Tesson, that is alternately, poetic, meditative or philosophical. In French with English subtitles. 92 minutes. Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXP-Nd58d4o.

Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures


Week 1: Children of the Exodus ( Los Niños del éxodo)

Directed by Mexican Director Wilma Gómez Luengo, Children of the Exodus documents the displacement of hundreds of communities in the Tierra Caliente de Guerrero, a region in Southern Mexico.  Many have been forced off their land by organized crime that wants to control drug traffic and exploit the natural resources in that area.  Refugees in a strange city, the children reveal the humanitarian crisis of forced displacement as well as the consequences of relocation and violence in their lives.  In Spanish with English subtitles. 84 minutes. https://vimeo.com/635935271.

Week 2: Maize in Times of War

Growing “la milpa” is an act of resistance, a profoundly political one. Maize In Times Of War, directed by Mexican Director Alberto Cortés, traces the yearly cycle of four Indigenous maize farmers in different regions of México. This film draws the exceptional process of growing maize, the delicacy of selecting seeds and preparing the land, and the tenacity required throughout the whole process until the harvest arrives. In Tseltal, Ayuujk, Wixárika & Spanish with English Subtitles. 88 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/321904731

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