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Films & Schedules - Monday, February 9, 2009

Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 1:45 PM (B1)

The Necessities of Life

DIRECTOR: Benoît Pilon - Canada

Inuit hunter Tivii, stricken with tuberculosis, leaves his northernhome and family in 1952 to recuperate in a sanitarium near Quebec City. Uprooted, unable to speak French, and faced with a completely alien world, Tivii becomes despondent.  His fading will to live is suddenly reinvigorated when his nurse arranges for a young Inuit to be transferred to the same hospital.  The boy, and orphan named Kaki, manages to help Tivii adjust.  In exchange for his kindness, Tivii educates his newfound friend about the ways of the land and the Inuit people, and rediscovers hope through his plan to adopt Kaki and...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 6 PM (WH)


DIRECTOR: Matteo Garrone - Italy

"From Roberto Saviano's bestselling 2006 book about the international influence of the Italian organized crime empire known as the Camorra, Garrone has made an electrifying mob mobie set in Naples that will impress an unnerve even the most demanding aficionados of the genre.  In this deft interweaving of five stories, the Camorra's reach extends from the heights of haute couture to the depths of toxic waste, and Garrone coolly observes all the attendant brutality.  The great Neapolitan director and actor Toni Servillo heads a strong cast as a lethally smooth businessman in a sharp suit who specialize in the illegal...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 6:15 PM (B4)

Loose Rope

DIRECTOR: Mehrshad Karkhani - Iran

Two young men from an Iranian village who work in an animal market are given a seemingly simple task: to deliver a large, wounded cow to Tehran.  As we follow the struggling pair on their panoramic cross-country journey, Karkhani shows the divide between rural and urban life in modern day Iran, while finding moments of gentle humor and stinging truth.  Rather than dwelling on the overtly political, Loose Rope tells a wonderfully human tale of two wandering souls experiencing the wide-eyed wonder of the big city and the simple pleasures of smiling girls, overly officious traffic wardens and bemused crowds...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 6:45 PM (B1)

The Black Balloon

DIRECTOR: Elissa Down - Australia

A witty, insightful drama, The Black Balloon is a story about fitting in, discovering love and accepting family.  When Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) and his family move to a new home and he starts at a new school, all he wants is to fit in.  As if first love and being the new boy aren't enough to worry about, Thomas must also control and confine the behavior of his autistic brother, Charlie.  With his mother (Toni Collette) about to give birth, and his father taking on a new job, it's left to Thomas to keep an eye on the brother he...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 7 PM (B3)

The Baader Meinhof Complex

DIRECTOR: Uli Edel - Germany

Edel's riveting thriller chronicles the rise and fall of the left-wing militant group the Red Army Faction (RAF), which carried out an international terrorist campaign in the 1970s opposing American imperialism and the West German establishment.  Based on Stefan Aust's definitive book about the group, Edel's film mixes tense action sequences with character studies, deftly exploring the contradictory mentality of a croup that murdered over 30 public figures to thwart what they perceived as a new fascist state.  An exceptional cast of young German actors, along with screen legend Bruno Ganz (portraying the head of the German police force charged...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 8:30 PM (B4)

Dunya & Desie

DIRECTOR: Dana Nechushtan - Netherlands

A spin-off of an award-winning TV series of the same name, this warm-hearted and upbeat film catches up with best friends Dunya (Moroccan-born, Muslim and conservative) and Desie (Dutch, outgoing and fond of skimpy clothes) at age 18.  To her chagrin, Dunya's parents are taking her to Morocco for an arranged marriage.  Meanwhile, Desie faces a very different problem: she's pregnant.  When Desie learns that her estranged father lives in Morocco, a spontaneous cross-cultural road trip ensues, as the two friends attempt to navigate familial expectations and learn what it means to straddle two worlds. "Sunny and clever, never preachy,...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 8:45 PM (B2)

Under the Bombs

DIRECTOR: Philippe Aractingi - Lebanon

During the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, which devastated Lebanon's infrastructure and civilian population, filmmaker Aractingi experienced firsthand the rocket attacks on Beirut.  He shot footage of the destruction and chaos and then, following the ceasefire, filmed a fictitious narrative, a thriller about a Shiite woman searching for her missing son with the aid of a Christian cab driver.  These combined elements form his engrossing docu-fiction road movie in which we see the reality of incredible destruction and devastating community trauma.  Despite the context, Aractingi does not opt for political diatribe, but rather for an emotional, strikingly authentic cry...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 9 PM (B1)

The Country Teacher

DIRECTOR: Bohdan Sláma - Czech Republic

Sláma's touching film explores the search for affection and the plight of those who long for love but are somehow too afraid to seek it out or give in to it.  Leaving behind a promising career and a lover in Prague, a young teacher escapes to the countryside to work in a village school.  His own difficulties in accepting his sexual identity as a gay man are reinforced by the conservative social climate of the small community.  He befriends a local widow who soon wants to take the relationship further.  But the teacher, unable to tell the truth about himself,...

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Mon, Feb 9, 2009
at 9 PM (WH)


DIRECTOR: Götz Spielmann - Austria

"The ex-con Alex and his immigrant prostitute girlfriend Tamara are desperate to escape the dangerous brothel where they work.  Robert is a police officer happily married to Ursula, the two enjoying the serene splendor of a farmhouse they've designed and built themselves.  A botched robbery and a bullet fired astray set these characters on a collision course.  What begins as a grim, melodramatic thriller soon spins into completely unexpected emotional territory as writer-director Götz Spielmann reveals the characters' wounded psyches and traces their uneven arcs of redemption.  With its long, carefully composed medium shots, the film ventures into rich, temporal...

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