Film Line-Up for Spring 2016

CINECULTURE SPRING 2016 LINEUP

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.).

All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

 

January 29: Dawn of the World (L’aube du monde, 2008)

Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn

Directed by Iraqi-born French film maker Abbas Fahdel, Dawn of the World is set in the Mesopotamian Marshes.  This complex of shallow freshwater lakes, swamps, marshes, and seasonally inundated plains between the Tigris and Euphrates makes up the largest river delta in the Middle East.  Located in southwestern Iraq on the border with Iran and Kuwait, the area is known as the land of the mythical Garden of Eden, explains the film director. This is where the Maadan tribes, also known as the Marsh Arabs, live, and where Mastur and Zahra grow up.
Shortly after their marriage, the first Gulf War breaks out and Mastur is sent to the front.  There he befriends Riad, a young Baghdadi soldier, and makes him promise to protect Zahra should something happen to him… Fahdel’s film is a visual poem taking place in a haunting and magical landscape.  The simplicity of his plot and the beauty of the images of the film almost make the story seem like a misty dream.

Starring in the film are two actresses whom some of the viewers might have seen in Radu Mihaileanu’s film La source des femmes (2011), Tunisian-French Hafsia Herzi as Zhara and Arab-Israeli Hiam Abbass as Mastur’s mother.  Additionally, Dawn of the World won the prestigious Grand Prix for the Best Screenwriter in France. In Arabic and French, with English subtitles.  96 minutes.  Trailer (in French): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8V9rZ11aIc

 

Sponsors: Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures Department, the French and Middle East Studies Programs

 

February 5: 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015)

Discussants: Dr. DeAnna Reese, Thomas Whit-Ellis, Melissa Harris & Minette Nelson (Producer)

In 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, two lives intersected and were forever altered. On Black Friday 2012, two cars parked next to each other at a Florida gas station. A white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the boy’s car. A gun entered the exchange, and one of them was left dead. Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and then fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. Thus began the long journey of unraveling the truth. 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets follows that journey, reconstructing the night of the murder and revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy. A harrowing exploration of criminal justice gone awry & an all-too-timely film that speaks loudly to the current racial climate in America. — Indiewire 98 minutes.

http://www.candescentfilms.com/three-half-minutes/

Sponsors: Africana Studies Program, African American Edge Initiative, Cross Cultural and Gender Center

 

*February 12-13: Filmworks: Oscar Nominated Short Films

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/146928939

 

February 19: Frame by Frame (2015)

Discussant: Mo Scarpelli (Co-Director)

After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves. When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, taking a photo was a crime. After the regime fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerged and a photography revolution was born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own, and so are its journalists. Set in a modern Afghanistan bursting with color and character, Frame by Frame follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape – reframing Afghanistan for the world, and for themselves. Through cinema vérité, intimate interviews, powerful photojournalism, and never-before-seen archival footage shot in secret during the Taliban regime, the film connects audiences with four humans in the pursuit of the truth. 85 minutes, in Dari & English.  http://www.framebyframethefilm.com/

Co-Sponsors: Department of Art & Design, Middle East Studies Program and Alliance for Medical Outreach and Relief (AMOR)

February 26: The Experimenter (2015)

Discussant: Dr. Robert Levine

 

Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designs a psychology experiment that remains relevant to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger (Jim Gaffigan) strapped into a chair in another room. Disregarding his pleas for mercy, the majority of subjects do not stop the experiment, administering what they think are near-fatal electric shocks, simply because they’ve been told to. Milgram’s exploration of authority and conformity strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community. Celebrated in some circles, Milgram is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. His wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) anchors him through it all. Rated PG-13, 98 minutes.

http://www.magpictures.com/experimenter/

 

Co-Sponsors: Psychology and Sociology Departments, Jewish Studies Certificate Program & Jewish Studies Association

 

March 4: Güeros (2014) 

Discussant: Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval

 

Güeros tells the story of Sombra and Santos, who have been living in motionless, angst-ridden limbo since the National University student strike of 1999 broke out. Their slacker routine is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Tomás, Sombra’s lighter-skinned kid brother. Tomás discovers that unsung Mexican folk-rock hero Epigmenio Cruz has been hospitalized somewhere in the city and wants to track him down in order to pay final respects to him. But a simple trip to find their childhood idol soon becomes a voyage of self-discovery and bonding across Mexico City’s invisible frontiers.

 

The film has been an international festival favorite, and it won five top honors at the 2015 Ariel Awards, Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscars. Filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios creates a love letter to Mexico City in his directorial debut. Critic A.O. Scott of The New York Times praised Güeros for being “sweetly nostalgic and exuberantly now.” Not rated, 90 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. http://www.kinolorber.com/film.php?id=2008

 

Co-Sponsor: Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures Department

 

*March 11: Filmworks: The Treasure (2015)     

Filmworks presents the Romanian dark comedy “The Treasure,” the satirical tale of a search for buried treasure that won the Prix Un Certain Talent at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie tells the story of Costi, a family man and self-proclaimed Robin Hood to his 6-year-old son. One night, Costi’s cash-strapped neighbor reveals a family secret that sets the two on a twisted, weekend-long comic caper at a hidden family home in the country. Hoping to be a hero for his son, Costi pools his money for a metal detector, and the tumultuous search for redemption begins. From Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu, whose 2007 debut film “12:08 East of Bucharest” won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes. Starring Toma Cuzin and Adrian Purcărescu. In Romanian, with English subtitles. Not rated, 90 minutes.

March 18:  Racing Extinction (2015)

Discussant: to be announced

 

In Racing Extinction, a team of artists and activists exposes the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that will change the way we see the planet. Two worlds drive extinction across the globe, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. The international wildlife trade creates bogus markets at the expense of creatures that have survived on this planet for millions of years. And the other surrounds us, hiding in plain sight — a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes these two worlds in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it. From the Academy Award® Winning Filmmakers of “The Cove.” The soundtrack features the Oscar nominated (Original song category, 2015) “Manta Ray.” 90 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwxyrLUdcss

 

Sponsors: Beth Ann Harnish Lecture Series, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Earth Day Fresno & Citizen’s Climate Lobby Fresno

 

March 21- 25: SPRING BREAK 

 

April 1: Our Village (2014)

Discussant: Yelena Arshakyan (Director)

The movie tells the story of a modern village, particularly three neighbors, who live in this village, about their relations, wishes and bothers. These three rural families and immigration, which is a general problem for all Armenians, gave nationwide publicity to this movie. The most important problems are not presented by the oration pointed to countersignature, but by the combination of the genres of lyrical comedy and drama. In Armenian with English subtitles. 97 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGXfSPzP59w

Co-Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program

 

*April 8: Filmworks: Mountains May Depart (2015)

 

Mainland master Jia Zhangke scales new heights with Mountains May Depart. At once an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic that leaps from the recent past to the present to the speculative near-future, Jia’s new film is an intensely moving study of how China’s economic boom and the culture of materialism it has spawned has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love. In Cantonese, Mandarin and English, with English subtitles. 131 minutes.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc1ZKyhMG6o

 

April 15: Volcano (Ixcanul) (2015)

Discussant: Jayro Bustamante (Director)

 

María, a young 17-year old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation on the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her. Although Maria dreams of going to the “big city”, her condition as an indigenous woman does not permit her to change her destiny. Later on, a snake bite forces her to go out into the modern world where her life is saved, but at what price…

First-timer director Jayro Bustamante proves himself a true global up-and-comer with his Berlinale-Competition Ixcanul (Volcano). As touching as it is visually beautiful and impressively well performed, this Guatemala-France coproduction includes Edgard Tenembaum, producer of the acclaimed The Motorcycle Diaries. 93 minutes, in Mayan and Spanish with English subtitles.  http://www.filmfactoryentertainment.com/ficha.php?id=129

 

Co-Sponsor: Chicano & Latin American Studies

 

April 22: Ghost Town to Havana (2015)

Discussant:  Eugene Corr (Director)

A life rampant, street level story of mentorship and ordinary, everyday heroism in tough circumstances. An inner city coach’s son, estranged in his youth from his father, spends five years on ball fields in inner city Oakland and Havana, following the lives of two extraordinary youth baseball coaches: Nicolas Reyes, a 61-year old Afro-Cuban who coaches in a Havana neighborhood that is rich in community but struggling desperately economically, and Roscoe Bryant, a 46-year old African-American man who coaches in a troubled Oakland neighborhood wracked by three decades of gang violence.

The filmmaker introduces the coaches on videotape and Coach Roscoe vows he will take his players to Cuba to play Nicolas’ team one day.

Two years of US/Cuba sanctions and red tape later, Coach Roscoe and 9 players fly to Havana to play Coach Nicolas’ team. For the next week, the boys and coaches eat, dance, swim, argue, tease, and play baseball together. The wary, street-smart, Ghost Town boys gradually warm to the fun-loving friendship of their Afro-Cuban hosts. Baseball! Girls! Fun! Real friendships form. Then Roscoe receives a fateful phone call from home. Right fielder Chris Fletcher’s stepfather has been murdered on an Oakland street. Ghost Town to Havana is contemporary in content but as old as the Greeks thematically: the human struggle to wrest life from death. 86 minutes.

http://www.ghosttowntohavana.com/8ioznv329fg9c558o9v38mmg1isqjm

Co-Sponsors: Africana Studies Program, Chicano & Latin American Studies, and Cross Cultural and Gender Center

 

April 29: When Voices Meet; One United Choir; One Courageous Journey (2015)

Discussants: Marilyn Cohen (Executive Director) & Sharon Katz (Subject and Composer) & Band Members

When Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, courageous South African musicians broke through Apartheid’s barriers to form a 500-voice, multiracial children’s choir. Threatened with bombs and thwarted at every turn, they prevailed and railroaded across the country aboard The Peace Train.

Singing their way into the hearts, minds and soul of a divided nation amidst a civil war, they promoted a peaceful transition to democracy and went on to become Mandela’s face of the new rainbow nation.

When Voices Meet documents the trials, tribulations and triumphs of those musician activists and young choir members. They performed together for seven years; never lost touch with one another; and then reunited 20 years later. 86 minutes. http://whenvoicesmeet.com/

Band concert following film screening and Q&A! It was music that brought the disparate groups together, and the harmony of their voices became emblematic of the new South Africa. Original songs in the trailer’s award-winning soundtrack include We Are The Children of South Africa, The Time Is Right Today and Siyajabula.

Sponsors: Beth Ann Harnish Lecture Series, Cross Cultural and Gender Center, Jewish Studies Certificate Program & Jewish Studies Association, Africana Studies Program and Global Music Lecture Series

 

May 6: Coming Home (Gui Lai) (2014)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

 

Li Yanshi and Feng Wanyu are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.

 

A stranger alone in the heart of his broken family, Lu Yanshi is determined to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife’s memory. Based on Yan Geling’s novel, The Criminal Lu Yanshi, Coming Home is a love story about joy and sadness, as well as separation and reunion. Directed by Zhang Yimour (Hero and House of Flying Dagger). In Mandarin with English subtitles. PG-13, 109 minutes. http://sonyclassics.com/cominghome/

 

*May 13: Filmworks: To be announced

 

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.

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: https://cineculture.csufresno.edu/

Contact:

Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at mhusain@csufresno.edu

Julian Srey (Club President) at  juliansrey@mail.fresnostate.edu

 

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