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Films & Schedules - Monday, February 15, 2016

IRAQI ODYSSEY

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 12 PM (Cinema 21)
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IRAQI ODYSSEY

DIRECTOR: Samir - SWITZERLAND

Bombs, war, angry bearded men, shrouded sobbing women, shattered cities: Iraq, as seen through the eyes of the Western media these days. In this riveting and timely film, author and director Samir tells the compelling story of his globalized middle-class Iraqi family—now scattered between Auckland, Moscow, Paris, London and Buffalo, New York—recounting their stories of departures and uprootings. Samir also engrossingly chronicles how Iraqis’ dreams of building a modern and just society after their nation achieved independence in the 1950s were brutally dashed over the course of half a century of dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation. (162 mins.)

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THE JUDGMENT

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 12:45 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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THE JUDGMENT

DIRECTOR: Stephan Komandorev - BULGARIA

Mityo, a poor milk-truck driver, has lost everything that matters to him: his wife, his work, and his hopes. And now he’s losing the trust of his only son, Vasko. Out of desperation, Mityo agrees to smuggle illegal immigrants from Syria through a steep Turkish border mountain pass. Left at the mercy of Judgment Mountain and in desperate need of help from his ever more distant son, Mityo will soon discover if he can be forgiven for a terrible sin committed 25 years ago. “A timely, well-crafted thriller.”—Hollywood Reporter. (107 mins.)

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Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 12:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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LITTLE BIG MASTER

DIRECTOR: Adrian Kwan - HONG KONG

Faced with a broken education system and misguided parents and school board, headmistress Lui Wai-hung resigns her post at a prestigious private school and takes on the job running a failing rural kindergarten. With only five children enrolled, it’s slated for shutdown if one of them drops out, and because the kids have poor parents and tough lives, she figures her job will be to ease their transition. But after meeting the kids she vows to keep the doors open by any means necessary. Based on a true story, Director Adrian Kwan fashions an enlightening, moving and culturally complex chronicle...

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IN TRANSIT

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 1 PM (World Trade Center)
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IN TRANSIT

DIRECTOR: Albert Maysles, Lynn True, Nelson Walker III, David Usui, Benjamin Wu - UNITED STATES

The final, fitting film of documentary legend Albert Maysles, In Transit, journeys into the hearts and minds of everyday passengers aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the busiest long-distance train route in America. Unfolding as a series of interconnected vignettes, ranging from overheard conversations to moments of deep intimacy, we are swept into a fleeting community that transcends normal barriers. To some passengers, the train is flight and salvation; to others it is reckoning and loss. But for all, it is a place for personal reflection and connecting with others they may otherwise never know. (76 mins.)

Director Lynn True in attendance at...

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LIZA THE FOX-FAIRY

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 1 PM (Moreland Theater)
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LIZA THE FOX-FAIRY

DIRECTOR: Károly Ujj Mészáros - HUNGARY

Liza’s a lonely nurse whose search for a companion always ends in the same way— with the death of her suitor. Now the bodies are piling up and Liza, whose only friend is the ghost of a 1950s Japanese pop singer, is coming under the suspicion of a bumbling detective. Reminiscent of both Amélie and Takashi Miike’s The Happiness of the Katakuris, Mészáros blends whimsy, death, Japanese lore, and catchy pop songs into a delightfully dark cocktail. “Rarely has grisly death been packaged in such adorable wrapping.”—Film School Rejects. (98 mins.) 

PRECEDED BY:
KNIFE OF THE PARTY
Brian Henderson,...

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DUKHTAR

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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DUKHTAR

DIRECTOR: Afia Nathaniel - PAKISTAN

In the mountains of northern Pakistan, ten-year-old Zainab has been promised to Tor Gul a cruel, aging tribal leader six times her age, in order to broker peace between two warring camps. On the eve of the nuptials, Zainab’s mother refuses to have her daughter meet her same fate, and the two make a harried escape, beginning an epic journey fraught with danger and both tribes hot on their trail. Finding shelter, solace, and perhaps romance in the form of Punjabi trucker, they set off for Lahore, hoping to create a new life away from their oppressive upbringing. (93 mins.)

...

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KING GEORGES

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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KING GEORGES

DIRECTOR: Erika Frankel - UNITED STATES

Fiery French chef Georges Perrier is on a crusade to save his world-renowned 40-year-old Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec-Fin from closing. For decades, Perrier was on top of the world and Le Bec-Fin was consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the country. But times and tastes have changed: what was once cutting edge is now out of favor. Frankel captures the mastery in the kitchen and charisma on the dining room floor, and has us rooting for a determined, tragi-comic figure and his quixotic fight to keep his cherished culinary traditions alive. Interviews with such legends as Thomas...

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SHORT CUTS II: ANIMATED WORLDS

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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SHORT CUTS II: ANIMATED WORLDS

DIRECTOR: Various - SHORT CUTS

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SONITA

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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SONITA

DIRECTOR: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami - IRAN

If 18-year old Sonita had a say in things, Michael Jackson would be her father and Rihanna her mother, and she captures her dream of being a famous rapper in her scrapbook. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. There, Sonita, a refugee from Afghanistan, gets counseling for the traumas she has suffered and receives guidance in shaping her future. Despite Sonita’s dreams of fame, her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000. What’s more, women aren’t allowed to sing in Iran. How...

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WHEN A TREE FALLS

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 3:30 PM (Moreland Theater)
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WHEN A TREE FALLS

DIRECTOR: Asier Altuna Iza - SPAIN

A film about the passing of Basque rural culture, When A Tree Falls lyrically explores spirit of place, ancestry and the inevitability of change. Gaizka is the eldest son in the family, but refuses to take over the caserio – the farm that has been with the family for generations. His sister Amaia is the one who must deal with the protest from their stubborn, old-fashioned father. He insists that the farm represents a way of life and values that must be upheld. Amaia finds herself torn between tradition and her life in the modern world, but she cannot leave...

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DISORDER

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6 PM (Cinema 21)
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DISORDER

DIRECTOR: Alice Winocour - FRANCE

Afghanistan war vet Vincent is suffering from PTSD. He’s hired as a temp security guard at Maryland, the estate of Lebanese businessman Whalid. Soon, he overhears a conversation that seems to indicate Whalid is involved in illegal arms dealing. Vincent’s paranoid episodes only increase when he’s hired as a bodyguard for Whalid’s icy German wife Jessie and her son. But is the threat is outside the gates of Maryland or already within them? Told largely through Vincent’s anxious point of view, this claustrophobic thriller makes the most of rhythm, sound, and silence to create an atmosphere of building unease. (101...

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THE OTHER SIDE

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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THE OTHER SIDE

DIRECTOR: Roberto Minervini - ITALY

“By turns tender and disturbing, Minervini’s powerful docu-fiction hybrid profiles people living on the fringes of society. While they essentially play themselves, he clearly intervenes to create situations rather than observe them. Following his superb Texas-based Stop the Pounding Heart [PIFF 38], Minervini moves to Louisiana, where we come face-to-face with a group of people who seem to have stepped out of Deliverance. Faces carry the lines and scars of hard living, clothes are tattered, living conditions are chaotic. Some are addicts; others are libertarian fanatics. Yet Minervini finds a compassion and tenderness behind their gruff exteriors as he peers...

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SUNSET SONG

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6 PM (Moreland Theater)
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SUNSET SONG

DIRECTOR: Terence Davies - UNITED KINGDOM

“Davies exquisite treatment of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 novel gives him a broad canvas of rain-lashed farmland on which to apply his knack for literary adaptation. It’s the early 20th-century in rural Scotland and Chris Guthrie is a young woman with plans. Excelling at her schooling and in possession of a burgeoning independent streak, she seems destined for a job in teaching. But as the constellation of her family shifts around her and romance comes calling, Chris grows into womanhood just as the First World War begins to devastate a generation. A true Scottish epic, Sunset Song laments the devastation...

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VIVA

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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VIVA

DIRECTOR: Paddy Breathnach - IRELAND

Jesus does hair and make up for the drag queens at a bar in Havana. Wanting to be a performer himself, he finally gets his chance on stage, but only to be greeted by a punch in the face from a stranger. It’s his father, Angel, a former boxer, who has been absent from his life for 15 years. Furious about his son’s sexuality, Angel forbids Jesus from performing. Unwillingly giving up his dream to reconnect with his father, the two clash over their opposing expectations of one other as they struggle to become family again. “Confidently mixing melodrama, fairy...

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SONGS FROM THE NORTH

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 6:15 PM (World Trade Center)
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SONGS FROM THE NORTH

DIRECTOR: Soon-Mi Yoo - SOUTH KOREA

An intimate essay, Songs from the North provides a deep look at the enigma of North Korea. Bypassing and decoding the country’s jingoistic propaganda, as well as derisive satire from the West, Soon-Mi Yoo interweaves footage from three visits to North Korea with songs, spectacle, popular cinema, and archival footage to understand, on their own terms, the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people and the political ideology of absolute love. “Rare and extraordinary… profoundly strange, immediate, and real.”–The Village Voice. Best First Feature at both the Locarno International Film Festival and Bueos Aires International Festival. (75 mins.)

...

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ARABIAN NIGHTS: VOLUME 1, THE RESTLESS ONE

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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ARABIAN NIGHTS: VOLUME 1, THE RESTLESS ONE

DIRECTOR: Miguel Gomes - PORTUGAL

“An up-to-the minute rethinking of what it means to make a political film today, Gomes’s shape-shifting paean to the art of storytelling strives for ‘a fictional form from facts.’ Gomes turns actual events into the stuff of fable, and channels it all through the mellifluous voice of Scheherazade, the mythic queen of the classic folktale. Volume 1 alone tries on more narrative devices than most filmmakers attempt in a lifetime, mingling material about unemployment and local elections with visions of exploding whales and talking cockerels. It is hard to imagine a more generous or radical approach to these troubled times, one that honors its fantasy life as fully as its hard realities.”—New York Film Festival. In Portugese, French and German with English subtitles. (125 mins.)

Filmography: Tabu (2012), Our Beloved Month of August (2008)

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CHEVALIER

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Regal Fox Tower)
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CHEVALIER

DIRECTOR: Athina Rachel Tsangari - GREECE

“While on a fishing trip in the Aegean Sea, six men decide to play Chevalier, a game that measures every aspect of who they are. Things will be compared. Blood will be spilled. At the end of the game, one man will emerge as the best and receive a signet ring. Tsangari further solidifies her place as a master of the Greek cinema new wave with a cleverly written script with co–writer Efthymis Filippou (The Lobster, PIFF39) that is an acute and humorous study of male egotism. Chevalier is an absurdist farce that explores the competitiveness of male relationships as could only be observed by a female auteur.”—AFI Fest. (99 mins.)

Filmography: Attenberg (2010), The Slow Business of Going (2000)

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FRANCOFONIA

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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FRANCOFONIA

DIRECTOR: Aleksandr Sokurov - FRANCE

Celebrated for his daring and landmark films—such as Russian Ark (2002,) which was filmed in one sequence in the Russian State Hermitage Museum—Francofonia transforms Paris’ Louvre Museum into a magisterial, centuries-spanning reflection on the relationship between art, culture, and power. Sokurov examines the story of Jacques Jaujard, Director of the French National Museums and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich, who conspired to protect and preserve the art treasures of the Louvre Museum from the cataclysm about to visit Europe in 1940, and asks what art tells us about ourselves in the face of one of the most devastating conflicts the world has...

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A GOOD AMERICAN

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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A GOOD AMERICAN

DIRECTOR: Friedrich Moser - UNITED STATES

The explosion of information in the digital age left government agencies like the NSA struggling with bureaucracy and technology to keep up with the changing times. Responding to the challenge, NSA technical director Bill Binney and a small team of code breakers developed ThinThread, an astonishingly effective data collecting and sorting program that also protects privacy. ThinThread’s built-in safeguards would have prevented the massive surveillance methods later exposed by Edward Snowden. Despite its success, ThinThread was discontinued just weeks before September 11, 2001. How did this program work? Who was behind it? Why was it killed off? After Binney and...

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A GOOD AMERICAN

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 8:30 PM (World Trade Center)
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A GOOD AMERICAN

DIRECTOR: Friedrich Moser - AUSTRIA

The explosion of information in the digital age left government agencies like the NSA struggling with bureaucracy and technology to keep up with the changing times. Responding to the challenge, NSA technical director Bill Binney and a small team of code breakers developed ThinThread, an astonishingly effective data collecting and sorting program that also protects privacy. ThinThread’s built-in safeguards would have prevented the massive surveillance methods later exposed by Edward Snowden. Despite its success, ThinThread was discontinued just weeks before September 11, 2001. How did this program work? Who was behind it? Why was it killed off? After Binney and...

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MAGALLANES

Mon, Feb 15, 2016
at 9 PM (Moreland Theater)
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MAGALLANES

DIRECTOR: Salvador Del Solar - PERU

In this engrossing thriller, Magallanes works as a psychologically scarred taxi driver in the streets of Lima. But he has also has a side job chauffeuring a brutal retired colonel whom he once served in the army many years ago. One day, Celina steps into Magallanes’ cab, and he recognizes her as a former wartime captive the Colonel viciously abused. Haunted and conflicted by his failure to act to help her in the past, Magallanes vows redemption. He digs up an old photo that could be presented as evidence of the Colonel’s crimes and begins to concoct a plot to...

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