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Films & Schedules - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

THE LIGHT THIEF

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 6 PM (B1)
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THE LIGHT THIEF

DIRECTOR: Aktan Arym Kubat - KYRGYZSTAN

When a small village in remote southern Kyrgyzstan is targeted by a greedy development scheme and impending Chinese domination, somebody has to stand up. Director-star Kubat plays the highly affable Svet-ake, a.k.a. “Mr. Light,” who makes his living ingeniously illuminating homes and businesses in the community. In order for Svet-ake to realize his dreams of having a son (he already has four girls) and bringing affordable energy to his community (his vision is to harness wind power), he must thwart those who have more sinister money-making plans. Treating his characters with humanity and tenderness, Kubat fashions an entertaining portrait of...

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THE WOODMANS

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 6 PM (WH)
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THE WOODMANS

DIRECTOR: C. Scott Willis - UNITED STATES

“Francesca Woodman’s haunting black and white images, many of them nude self-portraits, now reside in the pantheon of great photography from the late 20th century. The daughter of artists Betty and George Woodman (she a ceramicist and he a painter/photographer), Francesca came to New York with the intention of setting the art world on fire. But in 1981, at 22, she committed suicide. Beautifully interweaving Francesca’s work with interviews with her parents, who have nurtured her reputation while continuing to make art of their own, the film grapples with disturbing issues such as parent-child competition and the toxic level of...

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HIS & HERS

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 6:15 PM (B3)
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HIS & HERS

DIRECTOR: Ken Wardrop - IRELAND

Inspired by his own mother’s life, Wardrop has crafted a charming cinematic mosaic that tells a 90-year-old love story through the collective voice of 70 Irish ladies at different stages of their lives. The hallways, living rooms, and kitchens of the Irish Midlands become the canvas for the film’s rich portrayal of female characters. Unfolding sequentially from young to old, their unabashed and unique stories of life and love with the men closest to them—whether it be fathers, boyfriends, husbands, or sons—offer a delightful and sometimes heartbreaking array of personal ruminations. His & Hers celebrates the spectrum of ordinary moments...

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HEARTBEATS

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 6:45 PM (B2)
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HEARTBEATS

DIRECTOR: Xavier Dolan - CANADA

Part quirky farce, part serious meditation on the insanity of unrequited love and desire, Heartbeats centers on best friends Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri). One evening they meet Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a striking young man from the country who has recently arrived in town. His boyish charm and classic good looks set off bells in both of them that neither can shut off. The threesome begins to spend more and more time together. But the closer the three seem to get, the more remote and unattainable Nico becomes—is he straight or gay, or just wanting to be friends?—sending...

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THE ROBBER

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 7 PM (B4)
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THE ROBBER

DIRECTOR: Benjamin Heisenberg - AUSTRIA

“Adapted from a novel that was in turn based on the real-life case of a champion marathoner who led a double life holding up banks in 1980s Austria, Benjamin Heisenberg’s sleek and intelligent genre exercise is at once an action thriller, a love story, a character study, and an existential parable. Its protagonist, Johann (Andreas Lust, Revanche), is defined almost exclusively by his twin obsessions. He runs and he robs, therefore he is. Alternating between endorphin-rush kineticism and stretches of quiet tension, The Robber is as precise and single-minded as its hero. At the film’s center is a brilliantly calibrated...

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BUDRUS

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 8 PM (B1)
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BUDRUS

DIRECTOR: Julia Bacha - UNITED STATES

As Israeli-Palestinian tensions continue to escalate, Bacha’s inspiring film about the Palestinian village of Budrus (population 1,500) and its unlikely hero reveals the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary change. When a new Israeli-built wall threatened to lop off part of the border town, Ayed Morrar—a simple family man—was inspired to act. Soon rival parties Fatah and Hamas, Western activists, and even groups of Israelis were united peaceably behind Morrar and the citizens of Budrus, providing a galvanizing glimpse into the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for justice in one of the most war-torn parts...

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SAWAKO DECIDES

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 8:30 PM (B3)
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SAWAKO DECIDES

DIRECTOR: Ishii Yuya - JAPAN

Sawako has been in Tokyo for five years and is currently on her fifth temp job and her fifth boyfriend. When her dad becomes ill, she returns to her hometown and takes over his freshwater clam-packing business—everyone’s dream job. An insanely deadpan ode to misfits and female empowerment, Yuya celebrates people who are pulled in unexpected directions and make the most of it. “Straight outta Japan and right into your frozen seafood section, Sawako is the most cracked coming-of-age tale you’ll ever see, complete with a rollicking company anthem celebrating the ‘lower-middle’ of society and advocating the overthrow of the...

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STEAM OF LIFE

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 8:30 PM (WH)
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STEAM OF LIFE

DIRECTOR: Mika Hotakainen, Joonas Berghäll - FINLAND

Men in general, and especially Finnish men, are notorious for keeping their feelings bottled up. But in the almost dreamlike environment of a steam-filled sauna, Finnish men’s deepest feelings about life, love, and family are easily liberated. Steam of Life allows the viewer to become a fly on the wall as it listens in on (naked) men talking to each other and sharing like girls in the sanctuary of the country’s ubiquitous saunas. From the rusted interior of an old converted camper to beautifully appointed wooden steam rooms and even a roadside phone booth fashioned into an impromptu hotbox, the...

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IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE

Tue, Feb 15, 2011
at 9 PM (B2)
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IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE

DIRECTOR: Florin Serban - ROMANIA

Winner of the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival and this year’s Romanian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Serban’s film is a penetrating character study of misguided youth. Silviu has spent several years in a juvenile detention center after being arrested for theft, but just days before his release, he receives the dismaying news that his mother, who abandoned him and his younger brother years before, has returned. What’s more, she intends to take his brother, whom Silviu raised like his own son, to Italy. Devastated, resentful, and filled with an overpowering sense of betrayal, Silviu...

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