Hirschfield International Film Series 2018-2019

Extraordinary foreign and independent films, screened on Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. in Dana Auditorium at the Sunderland Language Center, plus special events and lectures (times vary; see listings for details). Free and open to the public.

Please note that all screenings will take place in Dana Auditorium.

We are programming the series on a month to month basis this year so check back regularly or subscribe to ArtsMail to stay informed about upcoming screenings.

Some of the works in this series may be inappropriate for children; we regret that we are unable to preview the material.

Skip to a movie listing: A Fantastic Woman | 2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour​ | BPM (Beats Per Minute) | Won’t You Be My Neighbor? | Lemonade | I Am Not A Witch | BorderWoman at War | The Dark | Shoplifters | Sorry To Bother You | Children of Men | Burning | Hale County This Morning This Evening |

September 15, Saturday

A Fantastic Woman

Una Mujer Fantástica (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In Spanish with English subtitles.

(Sebastián Lelio, Chile | Germany | Spain | USA, 2018, 1h 40min) Free

Q&A with Screenwriter Gonzalo Maza following each screening.

Marina, a transgender woman who works as a waitress and moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the death of her older boyfriend.

Director's Statement:

I see A FANTASTIC WOMAN as a film of aesthetic splendor, narrative vigor, tension and emotion. Polytonal, multi-experiential, multi-emotional. It’s a film that is both a celebration and examination of its main character: Marina Vidal. What will the viewers see when they see Marina? A woman, a man, or the sum of both? They will see a human being who constantly changes before their eyes, who flows, vibrates, and modifies herself. But what they are seeing isn’t precisely what they are seeing, and this condition turns Marina into a vortex that attracts the viewer’s fantasy and desire, inviting them to explore the limits of their own empathy. -Sebastián Lelio

Winner: Best Foreign Language Film of the Year - Academy Award

Read about this film on IMDB>>

September 22, Saturday

2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

(2018, 1h 30min) Free

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour is a 91-minute theatrical program of seven short films selected from this year’s Festival, widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years. Including fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, the 2018 program offers new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers, from laugh-out-loud comedy to contemplative reflections of the world we live in.


U.S.A, 10 minutes. Written and directed by Anna Margaret Hollyman.
Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job – until she's shocked to meet the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be...until she gets caught.

Baby Brother
U.S.A., 14 minutes. Written and directed by Kamau Bilal.
The director's baby brother moves back in with his parents.

The Burden
Sweden, 14 minutes. Written and directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr.
A dark musical enacted in a modern shopping center, situated next to a large freeway. The employees of the various commercial venues deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns. The apocalypse is a tempting liberator.

Hair Wolf
Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
U.S.A., 12 minutes. Written and directed by Mariama Diallo.
In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.

U.S.A., South Korea, 4 minutes. Written and directed by Kangmin Kim.
A father and a son both have the same big birthmark on their butt. Believing that the two birthmarks are connected, the son scrubs his father's birthmark to remove it – but he just can't get rid of it.

Short Film Special Jury Award
Canada, 16 minutes. Written and directed by Jérémy Comte.
Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game, with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

Short Film Grand Jury Prize, Presented by YouTube
Spain, 21 minutes. Written and directed by Álvaro Gago.
Faced with a challenging daily routine, Ramona tries to take refuge in her relationships with her daughter and granddaughter.

Read more about the Short Film Tour>>

September 29, Saturday

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

120 battements par minute (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In French with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Department of French.

(Robin Campillo, France, 2017, 2h 23min) Free

In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.

Read about this film on IMDb>>

October 6, Saturday

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

Co-sponsored by The Department of Music, The Mahaney Center for the Arts, and The Office of Academic Affairs.

(Morgan Neville, USA, 2018, 1h 34min) Free

Q&A with Special Guest Dr. François Scarborough Clemmons

For over thirty years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before and there hasn’t been since.  In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood. Neville pays tribute to this legacy with the latest in his series of highly engaging, moving documentary portraits of essential American artists.

Dr. François Scarborough Clemmons performed the role of Officer Clemmons for 25 years on the Emmy and Peabody award winning television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  He was the Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence and Director of the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir at Middlebury College from 1997 - 2013.  We are overjoyed to invite François back to Middlebury with his award winning film Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Read more about this film on IMDB>>  

October 13, Saturday


3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In English and Romanian with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Vermont International Film Foundation.

(Ioana Uricaru, Romania | Canada | Germany | Sweden, 2018, 1h 28min) Free

Q&A with Special Guests Ioana Uricaru and Mãlina Manovici 

While working in the US on a temporary visa as a caretaker, Mara, a 30 year-old single mother from Romania, marries Daniel, an American. After the arrival of her son Dragos, everything seems to have fallen perfectly into place. When the process of getting a green card veers unexpectedly off course, however, Mara is faced with abuses of power on every level and forced to answer a dark question about herself – how far would you go to get what you want?

Please join us after each screening for a conversation with Director and Barksdale Jr. Assistant Professor of Film & Media Culture, Ioana Uricaru and lead actress Mãlina Manovici.

Read more about this film on IMDB>> 

October 20, Saturday

I Am Not A Witch

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In English and Nyanja with English Subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Vermont International Film Foundation.

(Rungano Nyoni, UK | France | Germany | Zambia, 2018, 1h 28min) Free


I AM NOT A WITCH came about because of a huge spate of witch accusations that took place over a particularly dry summer in Zambia. What drew me in particular was that these accusations of witchcraft were almost always aimed at Women. Naturally this added to my curiosity. I soon saw this phenomena repeated throughout different parts of Africa. Eventually my research took me to Ghana. For over a month I stayed in one of the oldest Witch Camps in the world (over 200 years old) – the first foreigner to sleep there apparently. It’s my stay at the ‘witch camp’ that informed the script. I observed the life at the camp, how they were organized, the routines and characters. For example the character of Tembo was inspired by the Keeper whose father and father’s father were charged to look after and oversee the witches’ welfare. A job that had been passed down his family for over 100 years. I observed how limited these women’s lives had become based on nothing more than hearsay. I also witnessed the hostility of the locals towards the women in the camp. What was particularly shocking in Zambia is that it’s a country dominated by Bembas (my Maternal Tribe). The Bemba people are Matriarchal. We pride ourselves in the equality between Men and Women. Women were in the army and police long before many Western Countries admitted them. Women could divorce just as easily as Men. Women can own land and inherit just as a Man does. Even our names are gender neutral. It’s this apparent contradiction that held my curiosity.

Read more about this film on IMDB>>

October 27, Saturday


Gräns (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In Swedish with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Vermont International Film Foundation.

(Ali Abbasi, Sweden | Denmark, 2018, 1h 41min) Free

Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It’s almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can’t identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself. Tina, like Vore, does not belong to this world. Her entire existence has been one big lie and now she has to choose: keep living the lie or embrace Vore’s terrifying revelations.

Winner: Un Certain Regard Award at 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Read more about this film on IMDB>>

November 3, Saturday

Woman at War

Kona fer í stríð (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In Icelandic with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Vermont International Film Foundation.

(Benedikt Erlingsson, Iceland | France | Ukraine, 2018, 1h 41min) Free

Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. As Halla's actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminium smelter in the mountains. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything. Her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and saviour of the Highlands to fulfil her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminum industry a crippling blow.

Read more about this film on IMDB>>


November 10, Saturday

The Dark

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

Co-sponsored by the Department of German.

(Justin P. Lange, Austria | Canada, 2018, 1h 35min) Free

Once upon a dark, dark time, there was a girl, lonely, undead and bloodthirsty. Behind her a dark, dark past – a curse. Hidden in the dark, dark woods, she tirelessly haunts her childhood home. Mina (Nadia Alexander) is a damaged soul, and tears to pieces anyone who dares enter her hunting ground. When she meets Alex (Toby Nichols), a disfigured and blind boy, brought to her by mysterious circumstances, her animalistic cannibal instincts seem to strangely fade away. As this uncanny friendship grows, little by little, both of these lost children learn how to reach out to the hints of light left within.

Read more about this film on IMDB>>


November 17, Saturday


Manbiki kazoku (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In Japanese with English subtitles

(Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2018, 2h 01min) Free

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them...

Winner: Palme d'Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Read more about this film on IMDB>>



December 1, Saturday

Sorry to Bother You

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

(Boots Riley, USA, 2018, 1h 51min) Free

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe of "power- calling" that leads to material glory. But the upswing in Cassius' career raises serious red flags with his girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a performance artist and minimum-wage striver who's secretly part of a Banksy-style activist collective. As his friends and co-workers organize in protest of corporate oppression, Cassius falls under the spell of his company's cocaine-snorting CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams. A surreal comedy about rising up and selling out, Sorry to Bother You marks the feature-film debut of Boots Riley — founder and front man of the Bay Area hip-hop collective The Coup — whose evocative story-raps formed the basis for the film's unique, feverishly inventive screenplay. The film also features performances from Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover and Terry Crews, as well as the voice-over talent of Patton Oswalt, David Cross and Rosario Dawson.

Read more about this film on IMDB>>


January 12, Saturday

Children of Men

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

(Alfonso Cuarón, USA, 2007, 1h 49min) Free

Q&A with Screenwriter Hawk Ostby following each screening.

No children. No future. No hope. In the year 2027, eighteen years since the last baby was born, disillusioned Theo (Clive Owen) becomes an unlikely champion of the human race when he is asked by his former lover (Julianne Moore) to escort a young pregnant woman out of the country as quickly as possible. In a thrilling race against time, Theo will risk everything to deliver the miracle the whole world has been waiting for. Co-starring Michael Caine, filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men "Lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking. The action is swift, ferocious and spectacularly choreographed." (The New York Times)

Read more about this film on IMDB>>



January 19, Saturday


Beoning (original title)

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

In Korean and English with English subtitles

(Chang-dong Lee, South Korea, 2018, 2h 28min) Free

An introverted young man, Jongsu (Ah-in YOO), finds romantic interest in a young woman from his past, Haemi (Jong-seo JUN). One day she returns from a trip with Ben (Steven YEUN), a wealthy and sophisticated young man. When Haemi disappears, Jongsu becomes suspicious of Ben and his mysterious hobby.

Winner: FIPRESCI prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Read more about this film on IMDB>>

January 26, Saturday

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

(RaMell Ross, USA, 2018, 1h 16min) Free

An inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people, Hale County This Morning, This Evening looks at the lives of Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young African American men from rural Hale County, Alabama, over the course of five years. Collins attends college in search of opportunity while Bryant becomes a father to an energetic son in an open-ended, poetic form that privileges the patiently observed interstices of their lives. The audience is invited to experience the mundane and monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime. These moments combine to communicate the region’s deep culture and provide glimpses of the complex ways the African American community’s collective image is integrated into America’s visual imagination.

In his directorial debut, award-winning photographer and director RaMell Ross offers a refreshingly direct approach to documentary that fills in the gaps between individual black male icons. Hale County This Morning, This Evening allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South, trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously offering a testament to dreaming despite the odds.

Read more about this film on IMDB>>

Department of Film and Media Culture

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805