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Global Classroom

Presented by

February 19-22, 2013
The Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum

Five films from this year's PIFF line-up will screen for high school classes the mornings and afternoons of February 19-22. Exploring themes of immigration, identity, bullying, art and politics, social justice, and other topics, the films introduce young people to contemporary world cinema while providing valuable content that integrates into academic subjects. See below for film dates and times, as well as study guides, articles, and other resources to help incorporate this material into your classroom. The screenings are free but reservations are required.

Preview DVDs and PIFF posters are available by emailing

Note: Festival screenings are subject to change.

Click here to download the reservation form.

For more information:
Global Classroom Coordinator Karen Wennstrom or 503-221-1156

Whitsell Auditorium
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205


Tuesday, February 19
10 a.m. LA PIROGUE (Senegal)
12:45 p.m. THE PAINTING (France)

Wednesday, February 20
12:30 p.m. A LETTER TO MOMO (Japan)

Thursday, February 21
10 a.m. ALIEN BOY (USA) *Director Q&A
12:45 p.m. THE PAINTING (France)

Friday, February 22
9:45 a.m. AFTER LUCIA (Mexico) *Director invited
12:30 p.m. AFTER LUCIA (Mexico) *Director invited

Click here to download the reservation form.

Note: Festival screenings are subject to change.


AFTER LUCIA (Mexico, 2012)
Director: Michel Franco (Director Q&A to be confirmed)
Narrative | 103 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles
Topics: bullying, violence prevention, healthy behavior choices

Friday, February 22, 9:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Synopsis: Following a car accident, Roberto is left grieving the death of his wife and raising his emotionally distant yet self-sacrificing daughter Alejandra alone. The broken family uproots their lives in Puerto Vallarta and moves to Mexico City in hopes of starting anew. After Lucia focuses on Alejandra as she simultaneously attempts to deal with both her mother’s death and a drunken, teenage mistake that makes her the target of cruel harassment and abuse from her classmates. Ashamed and unable to tell her distressed father or anyone else about the escalating bullying at school, Alejandra’s silence ultimately takes a dreadful toll. This exquisitely told tale of the heartbreaking pain of insensitive bullying won the main prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and is this year’s Mexican submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

This film contains some violence, strong language, and a sexual situation. For ages 15+.

Official Website
Director's Statement
Interview with the Director
Study Guide


ALIEN BOY (United States, 2013)
Director: Brian Lindstrom (Director in attendance to introduce film; Q&A following)
Documentary | 90 mins.
Topics: mental illness and civic responsibility, social justice

Thursday, February 21, 10 a.m.

Synopsis: On September 17, 2006, James Chasse, a shy and gentle man with schizophrenia, was tackled by three police officers in front of dozens of eyewitnesses on a downtown street corner in Northwest Portland. He was not suspected of a crime, nor had he committed one, but nonetheless he suffered 17 broken ribs, a separated shoulder, a punctured lung, and numerous bruises and contusions—before dying. Chasse’s death and treatment shocked the city, prompting profound questions about how we treat those with mental illness and what kind of a police force we want. Lindstrom’s moving film, six years in the making, provides both a detailed chronicle of Chasse’s tragic final hours and a deep look at the arc of his life from suburban childhood to trying to live as an independent adult with mental illness in a society ill equipped to recognize his needs.

This film contains brief strong and suggestive language and video of James carried in and out of an isolation cell.

Official Website
Director’s Statement


LA PIROGUE (Senegal/France, 2012)
Director: Moussa Touré
Narrative | 87 mins.
In French with English subtitles
Topics: struggle and perseverance, African diaspora, immigration

Tuesday, February 19, 10 a.m.

Synopsis: It is estimated that between 2005 and 2010, more than 30,000 Africans set off for Europe in small boats, with more than 5,000 dying on the journey. La Pirogue is the moving story of a group of Senegalese taking the chance in hopes of a better life. Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue—an open-top wooden boat—who dreams of earning a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head from Dakar to Spain via the Canary Islands, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing the dangers that lie ahead. Adroitly capturing the dilemmas and dangers facing these desperate men, La Pirogue is a powerful depiction of a universally human story.

For ages 12+.

Trailer with English subtitles
Article and 3 clips with English subtitles
Trailer and 3 clips with French subtitles
Article and Photos


A LETTER TO MOMO (Japan, 2011)
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
Animation | 120 mins.
In Japanese with English subtitles
Topics: identity and belonging, Anime genre

Wednesday, February 20, 12:30 p.m.

Synopsis: From anime master Hiroyuki Okiura comes this touching, fantastical tale of a young girl’s grief and the three mischievous spirits sent to look after her. After the death of her father, 13-year-old Momo and her mother move from Tokyo to the remote island of Shio. Here, Momo is haunted by the discovery of an unfinished letter her father was writing to her—and plagued by the presence of three heaven-sent goblins whose bumbling efforts to protect her tend to cause more chaos than good. “As gorgeous as Momo is to behold, the film’s sensitive portrayal of a teenager dealing with grief proves its most compelling element. ... With its complex characterizations and multiple storylines, [Momo] rivals mature live-action drama.”—Variety

Winner of the Grand Prize at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Appropriate for all ages.

Official Japanese Website
Study Guide


THE PAINTING (France, 2012)
Director: Jean-François Laguionie
Animation | 76 mins.
In French with English subtitles
Topics: art and politics, class warfare, tolerance

Tuesday, February 19, 12:45 p.m. & Thursday, February 21, 12:45 p.m.

Synopsis: Inside the magical world of a painting, figures divide themselves into three castes: the realistically rendered, highly polished Alldunns, who hold court in a castle; the Halfies, who for want of a brushstroke are denied the privileges of the Alldunns; and the Sketchies, rough and ragged outlines treated as untouchables by the others. A forbidden romance between the Halfie Claire and the Alldunn Ramo leads the two, along with Claire’s friend Lola, to run away—all the way to the edge of their painting, where they hop out of the frame and into the studio of the man who created them. An inventive, animated fable about art and life, appearance and perception. “Enchanting! This consistently enjoyable, inventive, and beautifully crafted tale is a color riot suitable for all ages. ... A constant feast for the eyes.”—Variety

This film contains brief animated violence and a partially clothed woman depicted in a work of art.

Trailer and Clips
Study Guide

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Screenings will begin promptly. If traveling by TriMet bus, please allow ample travel time. Often, large groups of students will not fit on a single TriMet bus. Consider traveling in smaller groups at staggered times.

Enter through the Hoffman Entrance of the Portland Art Museum, which faces north into the sculpture courtyard. All visitors must leave bags, backpacks, and umbrellas with the coat check at the door. Please ask students to leave large backpacks at school if possible. We will check you in and usher you downstairs. The Whitsell Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. No food or drinks are allowed in the building.

Please do not plan to eat lunch inside the Museum. Lunch spaces are available in the following locations: Art Museum outdoor sculpture courtyard, open seating in the South Park Blocks, Director Park (SW Park at Taylor), and the Portland State Smith Memorial Union Building.

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Museum tours are arranged separately from film screenings (both self-guided and docent-led tours). These are also free for high school classes. To schedule a tour, please contact Betsy Konop at Please do not let students wander into the galleries after screenings, as tours may be in progress. Click here for a list of current exhibitions.

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