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Films & Schedules - Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 6 PM (B3)

Milking the Rhino

DIRECTOR: David E. Simpson - United States

Dispelling the prevailing western myth of Africa as a sort of wilderness theme park populated by people who despoil the land and slaughter endangered species, Milking the Rhino tells the inside story of Africa's environmental revolution and community-based conservation efforts.  Director Simpson follows members of two tribes, the Masai of Kenya and the Himba of Namibia, through fledgling plans to balance their ancient cattle-based economies with new initiatives for a lucrative eco-tourism industry.  The triumphs and the perils of this risky endeavor play out against the backdrop of some of the most sumptuously beautiful footage of Africa ever put on...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 6 PM (WH)


DIRECTOR: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck - United States

Every year, hundreds of aspiring baseball talents from the Dominican Republic are drafted into minor teams in the U.S. Sugar follows Miguel Santos, a player struggling to make it to the big leagues and pull his family out of poverty.  Traveling from his tight-knit community to a small town in Iowa, Miguel struggles to make his living in a language he doesn't speak, and as the dream of making it to the majors starts to fade, he must question his choices.  What starts out as a classic rags-to-riches sports story turns into a much more complex and realistic examination of...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 6:45 PM (B4)

Idiots and Angels

DIRECTOR: Bill Plympton - United States

Plympton's latest cartoon noir--what he calls an "intimate one man film"--tells the provocative tale of Angel, a cruel, misanthropic, sex-hungry, gun-dealing businessman who hangs out at his local bar, berating the other patrons.  One day Angel, much to his dismay, mysteriously wakes up with a pair of wings on his back.  The wings gradually spur him into doing good deeds for the fellow inhabitants of his suburban world of dive bars and seedy unhappiness.  Unfortunately he is shot by Bart, the nasty bartender, who then has a doctor sew the wings onto his own back and uses them to his...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 7 PM (B2)


DIRECTOR: Maris Martinsons - Lithuania

Inspired by Six Degrees of Separation and a  line from Dostoyevsky about "the tears of that one tortured child," Loss tells of a tangled web of lineage, adoption and deception.  This brooding drama delves into the harsh lives of six people whose destinies are intertwined after a tragic accident more than two decades before.  The story unfolds as a priest in Ireland meets a woman, Valda, from his native Lithuania, and dark secrets from his past emerge.  Valda herself is locked in a desperate struggle to honor a promise she made to her son: to return to him.  "Gints Berzins'...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 8:15 PM (B3)

Tehran Has No More Pomegranates

DIRECTOR: Massoud Bakhshi - Iran

"In this beautiful and sometimes mischievous homage to the weird and wonderful city of Tehran, the curious contradictions of Iranian history are playfully exposed.  Bakhshi constructs a century-spanning postmodern portrait of a metropolis turning megalopolis, increasingly an unsustainable urban mess of pollution, inadequate infrastructure and overcrowding.  Using an energetic mix of archival footage, unconventional photography and sometimes asynchronous music and sound, Bakhshi considers the aesthetic and cultural values that have shaped old and new Tehran.  The chaotic impulse of the film's construction is a fitting parallel to the development of a city that has haphazardly survived oppressors, wars and internal...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 8:45 PM (B1)


DIRECTOR: Andrzej Wajda - Poland

Following the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland in 1939, nearly 15,000 Polish army officers, police, gendarmes, and civilians were taken prisoner by the Red Army and executed at three different sites, the most famous of which was Katyn Forest.  In 1943, the Germans announced the discovery of the Katyn graves, but the Soviets denied the killings, fabricating evidence that implicated the Germans.  In Communist Poland, asserting the truth about Katyn resulted in persecution by the Secret Police.  Katyn does not tell the story of the massacre, but rather of the families that had to live with both the pain of...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 9 PM (WH)

The Great Buck Howard

DIRECTOR: Sean McGinley - United States

Troy, a young law school dropout, answers an ad for a "personal assistant to a celebrity performer," hoping it will catapult him into a glamorous career in the entertainment industry.  Little does he know that the performer is a "mentalist" prima donna infamous for his 61 performances on the Tonight Show.  John Malkovich revels in his over-the-top performance as Howard, who is counting on the debut of an astounding new trick to trigger a comeback.  In an inspired bit of casting, Tom Hanks plays Troy's father, who ironically disapproves of show business, and Emily Blunt is the fiery publicist hired...

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
at 9:15 PM (B2)

Fermat's Room

DIRECTOR: Luis Piedrahita, Rodrigo Sopeña - Spain

Invitations have been sent to four notable Spanish mathematicians to attend a mysterious weekend excursion to a remote location (rowboat-across-the-lake remote).  Code names of famous mathematicians from history are assigned to protect their identities--or for some other sinister purpose?  The host is named Fermat, and the weekend's goal is to solve one of the world's greatest enigmas.  After an elegant dinner, though, the real challenge is presented: the foursome must solve incoming logic puzzles and submit the answers through a handheld PDA, or else… let's just say that not knowing your math might be dangerous to your health.  With their...

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