SPRING 2023 Films

Virtual Film Screenings & Discussions Fall Semester

Dear CineCulture Supporters,

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 the CineCulture website (https://cineculture.csufresno.edu/). If you’d like to subscribe to the CineCulture listserv email me at mhusain@csufresno.edu.

Subscribers will have to watch the films on their own and prior to the discussions.  These films will be available for a period of 3-5 days before and will NOT be with the discussions.

Via weekly email announcements, listserv subscribers will be invited to attend Zoom discussions with guest discussants. As with in-person screenings, viewers will NOT be charged a fee for viewing the films. Audience members will view the films prior to the discussion dates. I hope you enjoy the films and can join us for the Friday discussions via Zoom! 

Dr. Mary Husain

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Opening Film: Children of the Mist)/ View the film January 25-27

Zoom Discussion with Hà Lệ Diễm (Director) January 27 at 5:30 p.m.

For links to view the film and join the zoom discussion email Dr. Kao-Ly Yang by Thursday, 1/26 at yangkaoly89@gmail.com

In a village hidden in the mist-shrouded Northwest Vietnamese mountains resides an indigenous Hmong community, home to 12-year-old Di, part of the first generation of her people with access to formal education. A free spirit, Di happily recounts her experiences to Vietnamese filmmaker Diễm Hà Lệ, who planted herself within Di’s family over the course of three years to document this unique coming of age. As Di grows older, her carefree childhood gives way to an impulsive and sensitive adolescence, a dangerous temperament for what will happen next; in this insular community, girls must still endure the controversial but accepted tradition of “bride kidnapping.” One night, when the young girl’s parents return home from celebrating the Lunar New Year, they are shocked to find their house is silent: Di has disappeared. Winner of the Best Directing award at IDFA, the leading festival for documentary film and new media, held every November in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Diễm’s documentary is a tender portrait of a community on the cusp between tradition and modernity, and one girl tragically stuck in the middle. It is also the first Vietnamese film to make the Oscars documentary shortlist.  In Hmong and Vietnamese with English subtitles. 90 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGrh3qXusUE

Sponsor: Hmong Studies Program

Map of Latin American Dreams/ View the film January 30 – February 3 

Zoom Discussion with Martin Weber (Director) February 3 at 5:15 p.m.  

A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, February 2 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

Between 1992 and 2013 the Argentine artist, Martín Weber, photographed powerful yet intimate people in Latin America. He asked them to write their dreams with chalk on a wooden board. Decades later, he wondered if any of those wishes had been fulfilled. This film is a new journey in the search for the same people to give testimony from their lives. For the last 8 years Martín filmed in Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. During his trip, he witnessed the economic, political, social and military violence that mark the continent. Martín ventured beyond the conventional limits of observation and entered situations that clearly show the consequences of migration, and the degradation of the social fabric. His experiences reveal the fractures and gaps in the dreams portrayed. His resilient characters, struggle between hope and despair, between emigrating and remaining home. This journey invites the spectator to identify with communal and private stories. If a photo freezes a moment, this film melts these past moments and provides them the strength of the present. Getty Images: https://www.reportagebygettyimages.com/features/a-map-of-latin-american-dreams/

In Spanish, Portuguese and Quechua with English subtitles. 92 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/430048118.

A Family for 1640 Days/ View the film February 6-10

Zoom Discussion (Thomas H. Zynda (Retired Dependency Attorney) February 10 at 5:15 p.m.

A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, February 9 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

A family for 1640 Days is Fabien Gorgeart’s second feature film. This touching film is inspired by true events that happened when the French director was a child. It tells the story of Anna (Mélanie Thierry) who lives happily with her husband Driss (Lyes Salem), their two boys Adrien and Jules, and Simon, a 6-year-old boy, who was placed with her by Child Care Services when he was only 18 months. However, Simon’s father decides that he is ready to take his son back.  What will happen to Simon? Will he go back to his father? What about Anna’s family who treated Simon as their son and brother? This “remarkable, sensitive and highly accurate drama” explores what makes a child happy and what it means to be a family. It has received a number of awards including the Jury Prize and the Valois for Best Actress at the Angoulême French-Language Film Festival in Angoulême, France, as well as the Bayard for Best Acting Performance at the International Francophone Film Festival in Namur, Belgium. In French with English subtitles. 102 minutes. Trailer: https://youtu.be/k5VE5erwW1w.

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

Goliath/ View the film February 13-17

Zoom Discussion (Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn) February 17 at 5:15 p.m.

A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, February 16 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

Directed by Frédéric Tellier, Goliath is a thriller that deals with environmental and agricultural issues. The film was inspired by the “Monsanto Papers” and Monsanto File“ investigated by the French daily Le Mondepublished in Paris. These two cases involved the American agro-industrial corporation Monsanto and its glyphosate-based herbicide sold under the name “Roundup.” Tellier’s film features three main players: a tenacious lawyer called Patrick specializing in environmental law; France, a school teacher, who becomes an activist after her husband develops cancer from exposure to Thérazine, a fictional glyphosate-based pesticide; and Matthias, an ambitious lobbyist working for an international chemical corporation. The paths of these three characters collide as the lives of thousands are affected by a tragic act that sparks a powerful movement while the corporation fights to prevent the truth from being revealed. In French with English subtitles.  122 minutes.  Trailer: https://youtu.be/tUJ_WCRih0M.

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

The Investigator/View the film February 20-24

Zoom Discussion with Viktor Portel (Director) & Vladimir Dzuro (the investigator featured in the film)  February 24 at 5:15 p.m.

A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, February 23 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

A former investigator for The Hague Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands, returns to the Balkans, to places in Southern Europe where war crimes were committed in the 1990s. Can justice be brought from the outside? Czech film director Victory Portel tells the story of Vladimír Dzuro, the first Czech investigator to have worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Dzuro collected evidence against war criminals and hunted perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. The two biggest cases include the Ovcara massacre related to Vukovar‘s mayor Slavko Dokmanovic, and the ethnic cleansing committed by the Serbian nationalist warlord Željko Ražnatovic Arkan. We join Vladimír Dzuro on his metaphorical and real journey across the places of investigation in the former country of Yugoslavia and meet some survivors of these cases. What is the landscape of the Balkans, which saw a fratricidal conflict twenty-five years ago, like today? What happened to the people who still live there and to their memory? What is the significance and meaning of justice brought from the outside? The film is inspired by Vladimir Dzuro’s bestselling book The Investigator – Demons of the Balkan War (Grada, 2017, and Potomac Books, 2019). In Czech, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian with English subtitles. 74 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/793687774

The Forger/ View the film February 27-March 3

Zoom Discussion with Maggie Peren ( Director) March 3 at 5:15 p.m.

A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, March 2 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

The Forger by German director Maggie Peren takes place in Berlin, Germany, in 1940. It tells the story of Cioma Schönhaus (Louis Hofmann, star of the hit Netflix series Dark), a young Jewish man who won’t let anyone take away his zest for life, especially not the Nazis. Since the best hiding spots are in plain sight, Cioma audaciously adopts the identity of a marine officer to escape being deported like his family before him. Drawing on his art school background, he joins a network of underground rescuers and becomes infamous for his masterfully forged IDs – created with just a brush, some ink, and a steady hand – that save the lives of hundreds of Jews by allowing them to escape the country. Meanwhile, he throws himself into the city’s nightlife and even finds a fragile hope for love during the darkest moments of the war. His talent and propensity for boldness puts him in more and more danger, however, until his only chance of survival is one last forged document – with his own name on it. Based on a true story. In German with English subtitles. 115 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggRS4sAkIz8.

Sponsors: Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Association.

A Man of Integrity/ View the film March 6-10 

Zoom Discussion with Dr. Jamsheed Akrami (Film maker & Scholar) February 24 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, March 9 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

A Man of Integrity by Iranian film director Mohammad Rasoulof features Reza who, having distanced himself from the urban quagmire, leads a simple life along with his wife and young son, somewhere in a remote village in Northern Iran. He spends his days working on his goldfish farm. Nearby, a private company with close links to the government and local authorities, has taken control of nearly every aspect of regional life. Its shareholders, accumulating wealth, power and economic influence, have been pushing local farmers and small owners to sell off their belongings, farms and estates, to the benefit of the Company’s influential network and its monopoly. It is under their pressure that many villagers have themselves become local links in the larger network of corruption. Director Mohammad Rasoulof, whose latest feature There Is No Evil won the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlinale, has been making scathing social commentary of the Iranian regime for over a decade, but he remains relatively unknown and underappreciated in the US—despite winning numerous prizes at such top world film festivals as Cannes and Berlin. A Man of Integrity reveals the corruption and state cronyism at the heart of one of the most powerful and influential regimes in the Middle East. In Farsi with English subtitles. 117 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eKp7J04omE.

The Erie Situation/View the film March 13-17

Zoom Discussion with Director David J. Ruck March 17 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv.

For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, March 16 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

Discussant:  David J. Ruck (Director)

“Something was clearly wrong with Lake Erie”, the fourth largest lake by surface area, the shallowest and smallest by volume of the five Great Lakes in North America, as well as the eleventh-largest globally. Indeed, in 2014, the citizens of Toledo, Ohio had to go without running water for three days when a bloom of highly toxic algae entered the drinking water plant from Lake Erie. This should have been a wake-up call for politicians, big agriculture, and citizens everywhere that freshwater resources are at risk of becoming toxic. Directed by David J. Ruck, the documentary The Erie Situation explores the confluence of science, public sentiment, politics, and the powerful farming lobby as Ohio wrestles with how to confront the drivers of toxic algae in one of the Great Lakes. What’s at stake? Who’s at risk? And will volunteer measures be enough to confront this growing crisis, both in Ohio and beyond? 72 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJLCPedUiPg

Sponsor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Occupied: Our Secret Life in Kherson/View the film March 20-24

Zoom Discussion with Lidia Biletska (featured in the film) March 24 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv. For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, March 9 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

Dmytro Bahnenko, a Ukrainian journalist in Kherson, southern Ukraine, spent three months secretly recording his city’s resistance to the Russian occupation. In this extraordinary film for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s investigation unit BBC Eye, Dmytro chronicles the harsh reality of life under occupation, as food and medicines become scarce, people flee, and others begin to disappear. Dmytro and his wife Lidia struggle to shield their four-year-old daughter Ksusha from the war, and make the difficult decision to try to escape. In English and Ukrainian with English subtitles. 47 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWXUCZz9YZ0.

March 31: No Film – Caesar Chavez Holiday


Motherland/ View the film April 10-14

Zoom Discussion with Vic Gerami (Director) April 14 at 5:30 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv. For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, April 13 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

It took 106 years before the United States formally recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. On April 24, 2021, President Joe Biden became the first United States president to officially recognize the Armenian genocide and to recommit preventing such an atrocity from occurring again. Tragically, history is repeating itself with Turkey’s ongoing genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against Armenians as we’ve witnessed recently in Artsakh. Motherland is a 120-minute documentary feature film about Azerbaijan’s, Turkey’s unprovoked genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against Armenians of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, starting on September 27, 2020. Through a journalist and activist’s lens, Motherland focuses the world’s attention on the atrocities, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijan and Turkey against Artsakh and Armenia. Motherland tells the story of this ongoing tragic chapter through the lens of Armenian-American journalist and LGBTQ+ activist, Vic Gerami. In English, Armenian, and Turkish with English Subtitles. 115 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/714287976.

Sponsor: The Armenian Studies Program

 I’ll Meet You There/ View the film April 17-24  

Zoom Discussion with Iram Bilal (Director) April 24 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv. For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, April 23 atmhusain@csufresno.edu

I’ll Meet You There by Pakistani director Iram Bilal is a dramatic thriller following the father-daughter journey of Majeed, a Chicago policeman, and Dua, his teenage ballerina daughter. Eager for a raise, Majeed is cherry-picked to go undercover in a mosque for a special FBI co-assignment. Shortly after, Baba, Majeed’s long-estranged father, shows up unannounced from Pakistan. Majeed uses Baba as an excuse to reenter the mosque after a decade. Counter to his liking, Dua and Baba take to each other. Baba urges Dua to question her passion for dance in the name of religion. The family explores new truths about their present, past, and future until everything comes to a head in a surprise bait and switch by the FBI. In Urdu and English with English subtitles. 90 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/499268885/3663cacc3c?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=6857131.

April 28: Pakistani Short Film Program/ View the films April 24-28

Zoom Discussion with Directors Marya Javed, Tabish Habib, Fatima Sattar & Areeba Naved

Baadi: Director Marya Javed

Baadi is a coming-of-age story about a young girl’s desperation to make sense of her inner world, which is in conflict with her outer world. It is a story about repressed female sexuality and highlights the dearth of conversation or information for teenagers about their changing bodies in a society where their latent desires are often shamed as a means of control. Baadi is the Punjabi slang word for bra, derived from “body”, since saying “bra” is considered taboo in Pakistan. In Urdu with English subtitles. 20 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTjYw7XOGSU

May I Have This Seat: Director Tabish Habib

It is smog season in Lahore, Pakistan. Sonia is 25 years old and 8 months pregnant. Late for her doctor’s appointment and short on cash, she tries to grab a rickshaw whose driver makes her very uneasy. Instead she takes the local city bus and ends up sandwiched between an ocean of male shoulders, arms and heads. Extremely uncomfortable, she asks Masood, a harmless looking man for his seat but to no avail. As she prepares to look elsewhere the bus lurches suddenly, she loses her balance and falls on Masood who grabs her. She immediately gets back up and accuses him of harassment while he maintains his innocence. As the two argue with each other the travelers watch in shock, awe and amusement. In Urdu with English subtitles. 10 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-CjyXJQqBw

Kiran: Director Fatimah Sattar

In between the mandalas and paisleys on the lines and pores of the bride-to-be’s palms, a Mehndi applicator finds a space for herself. Belonging to a culture where there is no room to even think about one’s identity, let alone question it, Kiran faces a wave of emotions. She knows nothing can be changed drastically in her life and small unnoticeable footprints are all that she leaves. In Urdu with English subtitles. 17 minutes.  Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13gyCuJSxEM

City of Men (Hira): Director Hira Sheraz Yousafzai

A orthodox Muslim Pashtun household in Peshawar, Pakistan, is led by a strict patriarchal mother who is greatly alarmed by her two naïve and rebellious daughters. As the chronicles of their rebellion unfold, the cost of dreams may be consequential for them, who mustn’t flee from the ‘City of Men’. In Pushto with English subtitles. 19 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kjz-RfAliY

It’s a Boy: Directed by Marya Javed

Neha and Taimoor, a fairly educated and emancipated couple, are open to the ideas of homosexuality and gender fluidity. They seem to have no prejudices. But when it comes to their own son, displaying “unconventional” behavior for a boy, their introjected fears start to surface. They struggle to answer this simple question, how do we know, it’s a boy? In Urdu with English subtitles 8:36 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzmzFOrVsF0

Like Father Like Son/ Available on Kanopy (Fresno State Library or Fresno Public Library)

Zoom Discussion with Dr. Ed EmanuEl May 5 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv. For a link to join the zoom discussion email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, May 14 at mhusain@csufresno.edu

Which would you choose your biological child, or the child you believed was yours? Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu addresses this difficult question in his film Like Father, Like Son. Following an unexpected phone call, affluent architect Ryota Nonomiya and his wife, Midori, are told that their six-year-old son, Keita, was switched at birth and is not their biological child. Seeing Midori’s devotion to Keita even after learning this distressing news, and observing the humble yet caring family who has raised their biological son for the last six years, Ryota begins to question his own values on fatherhood as he must choose between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture,’ a decision that will change their lives forever. In Japanese with English subtitles. 121 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9ZU0_RFiDQ

Kamli/ View the film May 8-12

Zoom Discussion with (Director) May 12 at 5:15 p.m. A link to view the film will be posted on the CineCulture website and listserv. For a link to join the zoom discussion with Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (Director) email Dr. Mary Husain by Thursday, May 11 at mhusain@csufresno.edu

Kamli by Paksitani director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat is a tale of love, love and cloaked secrets. The film revolves around two women, Sakina and Hina.  The live in a remote village in Pakistan and are bound together in a relationship through Saqlain, a man missing for 8 years. Sakina’s reluctance to accept that her brother is no longer with them and her rigid idea that their lives must continue in the same way forever conflicts with Hina’s quiet discontent with an unfulfilled marriage with Saqlain and her loneliness as her youth flies by.  Into Hina’s life walks a young and handsome photographer named Amaltas who wanders in the countryside saving bird eggs from falling out of nests, philosophizing about love and swimming in the clear pool near Sakina and Hina’s village. Fascination turns into affection. Affection onto passion… and Hina begins to imagine a life with Amaltas as they fall in love. Will they be able to be with each other and live as man and wife? 130 minutes. In Urdu, Punjabi and English with English subtitles. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb-7sTVoQvw

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