Tuesday, October 2, 2007

UMD film series opens this Sunday

The University of Minnesota Duluth recently announced the selections for this year’s School of Fine Arts International Film Series. All of the films, which are screened at Weber Music Hall, are free and open to the public. For more information, call 726-8561. (For information on the films, follow the links to their individual Internet Movie Database listings.)

“Tsotsi” (2005, South Africa) Oct. 7, 2007, 7:30 p.m.

Based on a novel by Athol Fugard, “Tsotsi” won the Academy Award for best foreign film in 2005. Set on the edges of Johannesburg, South Africa, 19-year-old Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) has learned to fend for himself. One night, driven to the brink of desperation, he steals a woman’s car. As he drives off, he makes a shocking discovery in the backseat.

“Takva” (2007, Turkey) Nov. 11, 2007, 7:30 p.m.

In contemporary Istanbul, Muharrem, a 45-year-old single man living in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, lives an ascetic existence as a devout follower of Islam. The film, using a focus on Rumi, the 13th century mystic and poet, depicts Muharrem’s transformation when he acquires new duties with the leader of the religious sect he serves
selflessly. Soon he falls victim to the group’s hidden agenda, as his faith and their materialism collide.

“Himalaya” (1999, Tibet) Feb. 3, 2008, 7:30 p.m.

Filmed over seven months in the forbidding Dolpo region of Nepal, “Himalaya” tells the story of a generational struggle for the leadership of a tiny mountain village between its proud old chief and a headstrong young caravanner. The balance of power shifts uneasily as they make their annual salt trek across the Himalayas. A visually striking and spiritually captivating portrait of life in one of the world’s most extraordinary places, Himalaya is both an intense drama and a gorgeous tapestry of the fast-disappearing traditions of Tibetan life.

“The Lives of Others” (2006, Germany) (pictured) April 6, 2008, 7:30 p.m.

East Berlin, November 1984. Five years before its downfall, the former East German government ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party loyalist, Captain Gerd Wiesler, hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against the playwright, Georg Dreyman, and his girlfriend, the celebrated theater actress, Christa-Maria Sieland. After all, the “operation” is backed by the highest political circles. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is that submerging oneself into the world of the target also changes the surveillance agent. The immersion in the lives of others – in love, literature, free thinking and speech – makes Wiesler acutely aware of the meagerness of his own existence and opens to him a completely new way of life, which he has ever more trouble resisting. But the system, once started, cannot be stopped. A dangerous game has begun.


No comments: