Spring 2021 Films

Virtual Film Screenings Fall and Spring Semester.

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Week 4: February 9-12 Film Link available: Shared Legacies

The crucial historical lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation are revisited and revived in this utterly fascinating, urgent call to action. Common cause was found in the turbulent 60’s Civil Rights era, when Jewish leaders backed Dr. King’s efforts at racial equality and harmony. Yet, the relationship has frayed in recent years, as a once mighty bond of support and respect has seemingly faded, been forgotten or ignored. Pivotal events come alive through a treasure trove of archival materials, narrated by eyewitnesses, activists, Holocaust survivors, and leaders of the movement, including prominent Atlantans such as Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Rabbi Peter S. Berg, Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., members of the King family, and many others. With divisive seeds of hate taking root anew in the American landscape, a new generation also affirms their pledge to actively promote the values of social justice. This potent, inspiring story of unity, empathy and partnership validates the ubiquity of the human experience, and how freedom and equality for all can be achieved only when people come together. 97 minutes. Film website: https://www.menemshafilms.com/shared-legacies.

Co-Sponsor: Jewish Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Association & Center for Creativity and the Arts

February 15- 19 Two Film Links Available: Restless River & SOL

Restless River

Directed by French-Canadian Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Inuk-Canadian Madeline Ivalu, La rivière sans repos (Restless River) is based on French-Canadian writer Gabrielle Roy’s 1970 eponymous novel. Set in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, the northern third of the Canadian province of Quebec, at the end of World War II, the film narrates the story of Elsa (Malaya Qaunirq Chapman), a young Inuk, as she comes to terms with motherhood. She learns to navigate the social norms of the colonizers and her own heritage and draws courage and strength from her rugged land to become a woman as independent as the restless river that cuts across it.  In English, French and Inuktitut. 99 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhOsb01GsAc.


Directed by Jézabel Marquès, this heart-warming French film 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. Will she succeed? In French and Spanish with English subtitles.  98 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pW-PkM_Fwo.

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

Week 6: February 22-26 Two Film Links Available: Me Raqsam & Police (Nightshift)

Mee Raqsam

Mee Raqsam revolves around a Muslim schoolgirl Maryam (Aditi Subedi), who has to battle barriers of class, religion and gender as she pursues her passion for Bharatanatyam dance. She receives generous support and encouragement from her father Salim (Danish Hussain), a highly skilled tailor who struggles to make ends meet. Salim faces a bruising backlash from his conservative village community, represented principally by the girl’s stubborn maternal aunt Zehra (Shraddha Kaul). But he does not budge an inch from his decision to back his daughter even at the risk of being socially ostracized. Maryam’s dance teacher Uma (Sudeepta Singh), too, is in danger of alienating her academy’s principal patron Jayprakash (Rakesh Chaturvedi Om), who suspiciously looks at a Muslim girl wanting to learn a classical dance form that, in substance and execution, adheres to strict, codified, religiously-sanctioned norms. For Maryam, Bharatanatyam is an assertion of her freedom of choice as well as her love for her late mother Sakina, a talented dancer herself whose gifts remained hidden from the world. Sakina falls ill in the film’s prelude and passes away. The grieving daughter discovers in the classical dance form not just a means to take her mind away from her personal loss but a source of rejuvenation. In Hindi with English subtitles. 100 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgje8YR2sGE.

Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

Police (Nightshift)

Directed by director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel), Police, or Nightshift in English, brings together three cops Virginie (Virginie Efira), Aristide (Omar Sy, The Intouchables) and Erik (Grégory Gadebois) who work in the same Paris precinct but have drastically different lives. Virginie is one of only a handful of women in her highly macho patrol squad; Aristide is a laid-back jokester who gets easily affected by what he witnesses on the job; and Erik is the no-nonsense cop whose perfect track record is impeded by a nasty drinking problem. Assigned an unusual task, these three police officers face an unbearable dilemma and start questioning their mission during one very long and trying night on duty. In French with English subtitles.  99 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KVD4N4TEas.

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

Week 7: March 1-5 Film Link Available:  Belly of the Beast

When an unlikely duo discovers a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons, they wage a near impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Filmed over seven years with extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, Belly of the Beast exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons. The pastoral farmlands surrounding the Central California Women’s Facility, the world’s largest women’s prison, help conceal the reproductive and human rights violations transpiring inside its walls. A courageous woman who was involuntarily sterilized at the facility, teams up with a radical lawyer to stop these violations. They spearhead an investigation that uncovers a series of statewide crimes, primarily targeting women of color, from inadequate access to healthcare to sexual assault to illegal sterilization. Together, with a team of tenacious heroines, both in and out of prison, they take to the courtroom to fight for reparations. But no one believes them. As additional damning evidence is uncovered by the Center for Investigative Reporting, a media frenzy and series of hearings provide hope for some semblance of justice. Yet, doctors and prison officials contend that the procedures were in each person’s best interest and of an overall social benefit. Invoking the weight of the historic stain and legacy of eugenics, Belly of the Beast presents a decade long, infuriating contemporary legal drama. 82 minutes. Film website: https://www.bellyofthebeastfilm.com/.

Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

Week 8: March 8-12 Two Film Links Available: The Illegal & 10 jours sans maman (10 Days with Dad)

The Illegal

A gritty, realistic story about a student (Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi) arrives in the U.S. from Darygani, India, ready to seize his dream of attending UCLA’s film school. But that dream quickly turns sour. When his uncle’s family admits they are too poor to house and feed him, they leave him on the street with nowhere to go, testing his core values and integrity forcing him to choose between his family and his dream. He ends up working illegally at an Indian restaurant to survive and the struggle of living inside a system set up for his failure challenges him to look within to find inner strength, overcome obstacles, and never give up. 86 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xODabHmmLbc.

10 Jours Sans Maman (10 Days with Dad)

Directed by Ludovic Bernard, this zany French remake of the Argentinian comedy Mama se fue de viaje tells the story of Antoine Mercier, the head of HR of a big company in Grasse, France. When his wife decides to take a vacation and leaves him with the responsibility of their four kids, he knows it will not be easy. But he had clearly underestimated the mess that four mischievous and unsupervised kids can cause. In French with English subtitles.  97 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42hFreb2JF8.

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

Week 9: March 15-19 Film Link Available: Driveways

Kathy (Golden Globe Nominee Hong Chau), a single mother, travels with her shy eight-year-old son Cody (newcomer Lucas Jaye) to Kathy’s late sister’s house which they plan to clean and sell. As Kathy realizes how little she knew about her sister, Cody develops an unlikely friendship with Del (Golden Globe, Tony winner and acting legend Brian Dennehy), the Korean War vet and widower who lives next door. Over the course of a summer, and with Del’s encouragement, Cody develops the courage to come out of his shell and, along with his mother and find a new place to call home. 83 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-j1p-U7nKw&feature=youtu.be.

Week 10: March 22-26 Film Link Available: Les parfums (Perfumes)

Directed by Grégory Magne, Les Parfums is an utterly charming French comedy bringing together two very unlikely characters. The film tells the story of Anne Walberg (Emmanuelle Devos, The Other Son and The Law), a feared, temperamental, and reclusive ‘nose’ who has fallen from grace but whose skills are still in demand, and her troubled relationship with Guillaume, her new chauffeur also down on his luck with a nasty divorce and an unhappy young daughter. They strike up an unlikely friendship and might be able to repair their lives… Who knows? In French with English subtitles. 100 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBkTaKPTUoI.

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


Week 11: April 5-9 Film Link Available: Coup 53

Coup 53 tells the story of the 1953 Anglo-American coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah. While making a documentary about this event, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover extraordinary never seen before archive material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to show this pivotal moment in Iran’s past in unprecedented detail, but also lead to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. What begins as a historical documentary about 4 days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with Britain and America have never been so forensically and dramatically exposed. In Italian, English and Farsi with English subtitles. 120 minutes. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSK6wdqo0xY.


River’s End reveals California’s complex struggle over who gets fresh water, and how moneyed interests game the system. Constant battling over uncertain water supplies heralds an impending crisis—not just in California, but around the world. Using California as a microcosm, River’s End explores the global water crises. It draws the parallel between the draining of the Owens Valley by LA, made famous by CHINATOWN, and what is happening in real time in Northern California’s Bay-Delta. Winner of both the Jury Award and the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, River’s End implores viewers to learn where their water comes from so that we can save our rivers and the ecosystems and communities that depend upon them. 81 minutes. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/521104319

Sponsor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Week 12: April 12-16 Film Link Available: The Last Inhabitant

Evicted as a result of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Abgar stays behind alone in a gradually shrinking enemy ring. He is waiting for his daughter, who has become a witness to her husband’s tragic death and was hospitalized with a trauma disorder. An Azerbaijani neighbor finds Abgar’s daughter Yurga, in one of the psychiatric hospitals of Baku and brings her to her Father. In exchange for finding his daughter, Abgar constructs a mosque for his neighbor. A powerful historical drama that delves straight into the heart of the Artsakh conflict, resulting in the mass deportation of Armenians from Azerbaijan prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. The film is based on the story of “The Last Inhabitant of Gyurjevan” by Tsovinar Khachatryan, about the expulsion of an Armenian village in Azerbaijan in 1988. In Armenian, English, Russian and French with English subtitles, 82 minutes. Film website: http://thelastinhabitant.com/

Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program

Week 13: April 19-23 Film Link Available: Beate

Partially inspired by several true stories, the comedy BEATE is a modern social fairytale set in Northeast Italy.  When the employees of the Veronica lingerie factory discover they’re about to be fired, they take matters into their own hands and “borrow” equipment to produce their own garment line.  Lead by plucky forewoman, Armida (Donatella Finocchiaro, Angela, Terraferma, The Wedding Director), they’re determined to overcome the odds and make their business a success despite their lack of resources.  Nearby, in “Convent of the Holy Mantle”, a handful of nuns skilled in the art of embroidery and devoted to a mummified body of a “blessed one”, are in danger of being transferred because they don’t have enough money to secure the property, while the unscrupulous and greedy mayor – also the owner of the Veronica factory – wants to develop a luxury resort where the Holy Mantle resides. Together, to oppose their unfortunate turns, they join forces for a surprising collaboration: an artisanal line of sexy embroidered lingerie.  However, they soon come under attack from the owner of Veronica, the developer, and the convent’s Mother Superior, from whom the operation had to be kept secret.  But for things to go in the right direction, they must all pray for a miracle from the “blessed one,” who has yet to provide proof of even one.  In Italian with English subtitles, 95 minutes. Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt_9fKyY494

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

Week 14: April 26-30 Film Link Available:  A Regular Woman

Based on the tragic “honor killing” of Hatun Aynur Sürücü in 2005, the film A Regular Woman portrays a glimpse of the life of a free-spirited young woman living with an ultra-conservative Turkish Muslim family in Berlin. After escaping a forced marriage in Turkey with her abusive cousin, Hatun provokes the ire of her family by embracing a westernized lifestyle. Enduring constant harassment, she finally leaves her family and tries to survive alone with her child, with whom she had escaped Turkey while pregnant. The threats and harassment continue and the German authorities refuse to do anything unless physical harm takes place. This soon materializes as the family decides to task Hatun’s youngest brother with a deed that would end the family’s “shame,” and thrust the horrific practice of honor killings into the national spotlight. In German and Turkish with English subtitles, 90 minutes. Film website: http://corinthfilms.com/films/a-regular-woman/.

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

Week 15: May 3-7 Film Link Available: The Guardian of Memory

The Guardian of Memory tells the stories of Mexican men, women, and children seeking safety in the US.  El Paso immigration lawyer Carlos Spector fights tirelessly to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing extreme violence. This is the story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have endured tremendous suffering. Mexican Academy Award Winner (2020) for Best Feature Length Documentary.In Spanish and English with English subtitles, 93 minutes.  Trailer: https://vimeo.com/322529104   

Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

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