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International Film Festival

Confronting the Past: An International Festival of Films

February 25-28 & March 4-7, 2013
Time: All films will be screened at 7 pm except for the special screenings that start at 6 pm
Location: The Berman Center Theater

Admission is FREE! A Q & A will follow the screenings.

International Film Festival Poster

Monday, February 25, 2013, @ 7 p.m.

Monsieur Lazhar 2011 (Canada)
In French, English, and Arabic with English subtitles.

In Montreal, an elementary school teacher dies abruptly. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in an establishment in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy… -- (C) Music Box

Tuesday, February 26, 2013, @ 7 p.m.

The Secret in their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) 2009 (Argentina, Spain)
In Spanish with English subtitles.

Benjamin Esposito has spent his entire working life as a criminal court employee. Recently retired, and with time on his hands, he decides to write a novel. He does not decide to make up a story. There is no need to. He can draw on his own past as a civil servant for a true, moving and tragic story in which he was once very directly involved. In 1974 his court was assigned an investigation into the rape and murder of a beautiful young woman. -- (C) Sony Classics

Wednesday, February 27,2013@ 7 p.m.

Munyurangabo 2007 (Rwanda)
In Kinyarwanda with English subtitles.

In a Kigali, Rwanda marketplace, local adolescent boy Munyurangabo and his friend, Sangwa, swipe a machete from a vendor and hit the road together. Each young man is haunted by the ghosts of past experiences. Munyurangabo lost both parents to the Rwandan genocide and now embarks on a quest for swift justice; Sangwa left home years prior and longs to return…~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Thursday, February 28, 2013,@ 7 p.m.

Salt of this Sea (Milh Hadha al-Bahr) 2008 (Palestine, Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland)
In Arabic, English, and Hebrew with subtitles.

The first feature film from Palestine by a female director, Salt of this Sea is the politically and emotionally explosive story of Soraya (Suheir Hammad), a Brooklyn-born woman of Palestinian lineage who comes to Israel to search for the land and ancestral home near Jaffa from where her grandparents were ejected 60 years ago. Once she arrives, reality strikes hard and her mission to claim what is hers and fulfill her lifelong dream to "return" to Palestine is obstructed at every turn….-(C) Lorber

Monday, March 4, 2013,@ 7 p.m.

The Edukators (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei) 2004 (Germany)
In German with English subtitles.

Three young radicals face off against an older man who left behind his ideals years ago in this drama from Austria. Jan (Daniel Brühl) and Peter (Stipe Erceg) are a pair of leftist political activists who have their own ideas of how to strike out in the name of economic justice. Jan and Peter like to break into the homes of the rich, re-arrange their belongings, and leave behind a note crediting "the Edukators" with the invasion, satisfied that their efforts will teach their victims a lesson….-(C)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013,@ 7 p.m.

Heading South (Vers le sud) 2005
In French with English subtitles.

Director Laurent Cantet follows up his critically acclaimed "Time Out", set during an austere wintertime in France and Switzerland, with “Heading South,” set in Haiti during the late 1970s. Based on stories by Dany Laferriere, the heat comes not only from the summertime tropical setting. Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young, and Louise Portal head a group of single middle-aged women who have come for sun, fun, and romance. They desire the solicitous attention of attractive young Haitian men, and teenaged Legba…is an especially prized companion for whom the women vie. But in this difficult andeconomically devastated land, Legba has other demands on him as well...– © New Yorker Films

Wednesday, March 6, 2013,@ 7 p.m.

The Lark Farm (La Masseria dell Allodole2007 (Italy)
In Italian with English subtitles.

As adapted from the roman by Antonia Arslan and co-directed by legendary Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, The Lark Farm marks one of the few international features to tackle the Armenian genocide head-on. The story (with its thematic parallels, in the early scenes, to De Sica's 1970 Garden of the Finzi-Continis) concerns the Avakian clan. An Armenian family living an affluent lifestyle and periodically shuttling back and forth between their two comfortable homes, the Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day….~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Thursday, March 7, 2013,@ 7 p.m.

Departures (Okuribito) 2008 (Japan)
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Director Yojiro Takita and writer Kundo Koyama examine the rituals surrounding death in Japan with this tale of an out-of-work cellist who accepts a job as a "Nokanashi" or "encoffineer" (the Japanese equivalent of an undertaker) in order to provide for himself and his young wife. Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a talented musician, but when his orchestra is abruptly disbanded, he suddenly finds himself without a source of steady income. Making the decision to move back to his small hometown, Daigo answers a classified ad for a company called "Departures," mistakenly assuming that he will be working for a travel agency….~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Special Screenings

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, @ 6 p.m.

From the River to River: The Story of Durga Puja Première of documentary film by Dr. Alkananda Mukerji, Professor Studio Art Department, Manhattanville College.

The film is about the artisans of Kumartuli in the northern part of Kolkata, India. Kumartuli is a Bengali word that literally means potters' town (in Bengali, a potter is Kumor or Kumar).  This is a neighborhood of artisans whose primary medium is clay, clay that is collected from the silt of the Hooghly River flowing close by. The Kumartuli artists have been working with this medium for generations. Legend has it that the first artisan lived and worked here 400 years ago. In earlier generations, these artists used to use this clay to create miniature figurines and also life-size statues or head studies. Over the years, their focus has shifted to the creation of larger than life idols (effigies) of the various Hindu deities that are used for the multitude of festivals throughout the year.

A discussion with Professor Mukerji will follow the screening. She will be introduced by Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director and Founding Member of the Indo-American Arts Council, Inc. based in New York City. The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. For more information about their activities, please check out their website:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 @ 6 p.m.

Student films from the Ciné Institute, Haiti’s only film school located in Jacmel.

These films were recently screened at Haiti Optimiste: An Evening Celebrating Haitian Artistry held at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in New York on January 24, 2013.

Organizing Committee: Alessandro Daniele, Maria Jose Lujan, Binita Mehta, Gabriele Wickert, Karina Edouard (Sophomore), Tatiana Corporan-Crespo (Junior)

Co-sponsors – African Studies, Asian Studies, Communication Studies, French, German, International Studies, Italian, Spanish & Latin American Studies

The Film Festival is being sponsored by Sue Weil ‘10

Light refreshments will be served