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International Film Series Returns to Kent State Trumbull for Second Consecutive YearPosted Oct. 17, 2011
The Kent State University at Trumbull Office of Student Activities will present select films from the Global Film Initiative’s “Global Lens 2011” film series during the months of November and December.
The film series – a set of nine award-winning narrative feature films from Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Iran and Uruguay – will be shown at Kent State Trumbull. The entire series will be featured at The Lemon Grove Café in Youngstown.
All screenings are free and open to the public at both locations. Films screened at Kent State Trumbull, 4314 Mahoning Avenue NW, Warren, will be shown in Room 202 of the Classroom/Administration Building. Screenings at The Lemon Grove will be shown at 122 Federal Plaza West, Youngstown.
“This year’s lineup really does break new ground for the series,” says Susan Weeks Coulter, board chair of the Global Film Initiative. “The films are unusual and intriguing, wildly creative, experimental at times, and quite different from previous editions of Global Lens.”
Global Lens 2011 will premiere a number of festival-headliners, including Federico Veiroj’s homage to Uruguayan cinephile culture, A Useful Life (Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival); Iranian auteur Mohammad Rasoulof’s visually arresting cultural mythology, The White Meadows (Special Jury Award, Dubai International Film Festival); and Zhang Lu’s brooding and timely portrait of Chinese-Korean border politics, Dooman River (NETPAC Award, Pusan International Film Festival).
The upcoming series also features the U.S. premiere of Diego Lerman’s dystopian portrait of sexual psyche in mid-80s Argentina, The Invisible Eye (Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes International Film Festival); veteran Kyrgyz director Aktan Arym Kubat’s entrepreneurial charmer, The Light Thief (FIPRESCI Award, Eurasia International Film Festival); and Belvedere—Ahmed Imamović’s picturesque image of post-war life in a Bosnian refugee town, and follow-up to his controversial first feature, Go West.
The 2011 series is rounded out by Georgian newcomer Levan Koguashvili’s ironical tale of daily life and drug addiction in Tbilisi, Street Days (VPRO Tiger Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam); Sérgio Bianchi’s noir-like visage of urban tension in a São Paulo suburb, The Tenants (Best Script, Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival); and Sidharth Srinivasan’s fiercely independent chronicle of caste and class in rural India, Soul of Sand (Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival).
The schedule for the films is listed below:
Director: Zhang Lu
China | 2009 | 89 minutes
Nov. 7, 2 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Nov. 13, 6 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Writer-director Zhang Lu’s fascinating window into a rarely seen corner of rural China revolves around 12-year-old Chang-ho, living with his grandfather and mute sister along the frozen river-border with North Korea. Although fraught with unemployment and other tensions, his community seems sympathetic toward the Korean refugees fleeing famine and misery; Chang-ho even bonds over soccer with one young border-crosser who comes scavenging food for a sibling. But he soon turns on his new friend as suspicions mount against the illegal immigrants and his sister reels from unexpected aggression, provoking a quandary over his loyalties in an exquisitely detailed story of compassion and strife across an uneasy geopolitical border.
Director: Ahmed Imamović
Bosnia and Herzegovina | 2010 | 90 minutes
Nov. 2, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Nov. 6, 7 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Ruveyda is like most residents of the Belvedere refugee camp: a widow yearning to forget the tragedy of war, 15 years after the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But unlike those around her, she spends most of her days in a bittersweet routine of caring for her extended family, and searching for the remains of her husband and son—both of which offer a precarious hope that is one day tested when her nephew is selected to participate in a reality show in a former enemy enclave. An emotionally rich portrait of war’s troubled aftermath, director Ahmed Imamović’s film paints an uncommon image of patience, faith, love, and above all, forgiveness.
The Invisible Eye (La Mirada Invisible)
Director: Diego Lerman
Argentina | 2010 | 95 minutes
Nov. 9, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Nov. 27, 7 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s military regime of the 1980s, Diego Lerman’s engrossing and beautifully acted exploration of the totalitarian urge opens with a portrait of María Teresa, a lonely and deeply repressed assistant teacher at an elite Buenos Aires private school. Obedient and willing, she accepts unquestioningly the school’s rigid code of conduct and proud identification with the nation state. But her head professor’s words about the “cancer of subversion” and need for total surveillance soon feed an unhealthy obsession with one of her students, leading to an ensuing spiral of degradation and breakdown in discipline that parallels a popular rebellion beyond the school’s ivy-covered walls.
The Light Thief (Svet-Ake)
Director: Aktan Arym Kubat
Kyrgyzstan | 2010 | 80 minutes
Nov. 14, 2 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Nov. 20, 6 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
In this colorful modern-day parable of good and evil, a humble village electrician devotes his compassion and ingenuity to destitute neighbors in a wind-swept valley of Kyrgyzstan. Played with wry humanity by writer-director Aktan Arym Kubat, the trusting Mr. Light strikes a suspect bargain with a rich developer running for local office, as unemployment threatens the survival of the community. Stoking a dream to supply wind-generated electricity to the whole valley, the modest visionary comes up against an increasingly dark cloud of corruption in this affecting tale of solidarity and ordinary decency amid the injustices and hardships of a changing world.
Soul of Sand (Pairon Talle)
Director: Sidharth Srinivasan
India | 2010 | 98 minutes
Nov. 28, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Dec. 4, 7 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
A watchman and his wife living at an abandoned mine find themselves trapped in the brutal schemes of their tyrannical landlord in this suspenseful, visually striking drama set on the urban outskirts of Delhi. When the landlord offers his daughter to a wealthy potential buyer of the mine, she and her lower-caste lover run away. The watchman reluctantly helps them, but a sinister masked killer dispatched to hunt down the runaways endangers them all. A searing take on the politics of caste and money in a rapidly developing economy, Sidharth Srinivasan’s eccentric thriller delves into the dark interstices between Indian modernity and tradition.
Street Days (Quchis Dgeebi)
Director: Levan Koguashvili
Georgia | 2010 | 86 minutes
Nov. 20, 8 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Nov. 28, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
A middle-aged, unemployed heroin-addict, Checkie, loiters on the Tbilisi street outside his son’s school, where he himself was once a promising student. His wife, meanwhile, struggles to pay the tuition and understand her husband’s lack of interest in the family’s survival—even as the bank repossesses their furniture. But when a group of policemen blackmails Checkie into entrapping the son of his wealthy friend, husband and wife are unified by the uncertainty of their deepening moral dilemma, and a series of worsening foul-ups, in Levan Koguashvili’s lightly humorous yet realistic drama about the fate of a generation left behind in Georgia’s post-Soviet era.
The Tenants (Os Inquilinos)
Director: Sérgio Bianchi
Brazil | 2009 | 103 minutes
Nov. 1, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Dec. 11, 7 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Despite a recent wave of violent crime in the city, manual laborer and night student Valter lives a relatively content life with his family in working-class São Paulo. But when three young criminals move in next door, a bunker mentality sets in and Valter soon discovers he is not the only one perversely affected by the mounting chaos of a city under siege, or the unsettling presence of his new neighbors. Building tension throughout with stylish sequences that blend reality and fevered imagination, Sérgio Bianchi’s gripping domestic thriller offers a shrewd portrait of the social and psychological impact of urban violence, depicting a community beset yet also aroused by a permeating atmosphere of destruction.
A Useful Life (La Vida Útil)
Director: Federico Veiroj
Uruguay | 2010 | 63 minutes
Nov. 13, 8 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
Nov. 15, 2 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
After 25 years, Cinemateca Uruguaya’s most devoted employee, Jorge (real-life Uruguayan critic Jorge Jellinek), still finds his inspiration in caring for the films and audiences that grace the seats and screen of his beloved art house cinema. But when dwindling attendance and diminishing support force the theater to close its doors, Jorge is sent into a world he knows only through the lens of art—and suddenly forced to discover a new passion that transcends his once-celluloid reality. Stylishly framed in black-and-white with brilliantly understated performances, Federico Veiroj’s sly and loving homage to the soul of cinema is a universally appealing gem and knowing charmer about life after the movies.
The White Meadows (Keshtzar Haye Sepid)
Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
Iran | 2009 | 93 minutes
Nov. 17, 6 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull
Dec. 18, 7 p.m. at The Lemon Grove
In this dreamlike yet earthbound film, Rahmat the boatman navigates the increasingly brackish waters of a coastal land, collecting the heartaches and tears of its inhabitants. But he remains powerless against their misguided attempts to appease the gods and make the land green again, whether by offering a bride to the sea or forcibly “treating” the eyes of a painter who sees in different colors. Drawing firsthand on the challenges faced by Iranian artists of today, writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof’s deeply atmospheric and poetical film is a gorgeous allegory of intolerance, brutality and mystified routine that resonates far beyond any one state’s borders.
For additional information, contact Jacob Roope at 330-675-8858.