COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Hirschfield International Film Series 2020-2021

Extraordinary foreign and independent films, streamed online most Saturdays via Virtual Cinema.  Free and open to the public.  Dates may vary.  Times may vary.  Attendance restrictions may vary.

The Hirschfield International Film Series runs from September through May.  New titles are being added monthly so check back regularly and 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: Boys State | Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour 2020 | Song Without A Name | John Lewis: Good Trouble | Ghost Tropic | Night Shot | State vs Natasha Banina | When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit | We Are Little Zombies | Objector |


September 12, Saturday

Boys State

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, USA, 2020, 1h 49min) Free

The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope. An Apple Original Films and A24 release.

Sundance Film Festival Winner: Documentary Grand Jury Prize

Read about this film on IMDB>>


September 19, Saturday

2020 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour

Saturday September 19th - Saturday September 26th, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (Virtual Version) is a 80-minute theatrical program of 6 short films selected from this year’s Festival. Widely considered the premier American showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years, the Short Film Tour includes fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, giving new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers.

Fueled by artistic expression and limited only by their runtime, short films transcend traditional storytelling. They are a significant and popular way artists can connect with audiences. From documentary to animation, narrative to experimental, the abbreviated form is made for risk-taking. The Festival has always treated short films with the highest regard and created a home for both established and new filmmakers with shorts for audiences to discover and celebrate.

The Festival's Short Film Program has long been established as a place to discover talented directors, such as past alumni Dee Rees, Taika Waititi, Debra Granik, Damien Chazelle, Wes Anderson, Jill Soloway, Spike Jonze, Paul Thomas Anderson, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Lake Bell, Jay and Mark Duplass, Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold, and many others.

Program

Benevolent Ba / Malaysia, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Diffan Sina Norman) — A devout woman's lust for virtue thrusts her family into a sacrificial slaughter of biblical proportions.

Hot Flash​ / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Thea Hollatz) — Ace is having a hot flash, and she's about to go live on local television. How one woman tries to keep her cool when one type of flash leads to another.

The Deepest Hole​ / U.S.A. (Director: Matt McCormick) — While the space and arms races are Cold War common knowledge, few know about the United States and Soviet Union’s race to dig the deepest hole. This is particularly surprising since Hell may have been inadvertently discovered in the process.

Meats​ / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ashley Williams) — A pregnant vegan struggles with her newfound craving for meat.

T /​ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Keisha Rae Witherspoon) — A film crew follows three grieving participants of Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model R.I.P. t-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead.

So What If The Goats Die​ / France, Morocco (Director and screenwriter: Sofia Alaoui) — Abdellah, a young shepherd living in the mountains, is forced to brave the snow blocking him in order to get food and save this cattle. Once he gets to the village, he faces a supernatural phenomenon. Winner, Sundance Film Festival Short Film Grand Jury Prize.


September 26, Saturday

Song Without A Name

Canción sin nombre (original title)

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(Melina León, Peru | Spain | USA | Chile, 2019, 1h 37min) Free

In Quechua and Spanish with English Subtitles

Peru, at the height of the political crisis of the 1980’s.
Georgina is a young woman from the Andes whose newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro Campos, a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation.
Based on a true story.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


October 3, Saturday

John Lewis: Good Trouble

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(Dawn Porter, USA, 2020, 1h 36min) Free

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (TRAPPED, GIDEON’S ARMY), chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia. Using interviews and rare archival footage, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE chronicles John Robert Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


October 10, Saturday

Ghost Tropic

Sponsored by The Department Of French and Francophone Studies

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(Bas Devos, Belgium | Netherlands, 2020, 1h 25min) Free

In Dutch and French with English Subtitles

Khadija (Saadia Bentaïeb) is a fifty-eight-year-old Maghrebi cleaning woman living in Brussels in the wake of the 2016 bombings that shook the city. After work one night, she falls asleep on the last subway train, wakes up at the end of the line and has no choice but to make her way home—all the way across the city—on foot. Along the way, she has a series of encounters: with a security guard, a convenience store clerk, a group of teenagers. She asks for help and she gives it and slowly, steadily makes her way.

Director Bas Devos’ lightness of touch combines with the richness of Grimm Vanderkerckhove’s 16mm images to create a small wonder of humanistic storytelling. Ghost Tropic is a testament to the everyday drama of immigrant life and insists on the possibility of goodness and beauty, even in the dark of night.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


October 17, Saturday

Night Shot

Visión nocturna (original title)

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(Carolina Moscoso, Chile, 2020, 1h 18min) Free

In Spanish with English Subtitles

Eight years after being raped on a beach near Santiago, a young filmmaker arms a kaleidoscope with dozens of video diaries, showing the wounds of the abuse, the re-victimizing legal proceedings and the friendship that accompanies it.  In a voyage from which the question arises. What is a rape, really, and when does it end?

Read about this film on IMDB>>


October 24, Saturday

State vs. Natasha Banina

Live on ZOOM

Sponsored by the Committee on the Arts and the Engaged Listening Project

8:00 PM, Online (Zoom) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

Free

“Critic’s Pick! A bracing trial by Zoom…Riveting!” - Maya Phillips, The New York Times

From Boston's award-winning Arlekin Players Theatre, this interactive digital production is set inside a live "ZOOM courtroom," where the virtual audience serves as the jury. Performer Darya Denisova gives a “mesmerizing portrayal” (The Boston Globe) of Natasha Banina, a teen orphan on trial for a crime of passion, whose alluring testimony reveals her dreams for love, family, and freedom.

This inventive digital production that began in May 2020 as a living room experiment and went on to earn critical acclaim from The New York Times is based on Natasha’s Dream by the Russian playwright Yaroslava Pulinovich. Says director Igor Golyak, “We are creating a new art form to overcome social distancing, the pandemic, and ultimately unite people in one virtual space by merging theater, cinematography, and video games.” A leading example of innovation in virtual theater, State vs. Natasha Banina is evidence that live performance can engage audiences even when experienced at home.

State vs. Natasha Banina is followed by a discussion with the artists and audience.

Based on Natasha’s Dream by Yaroslava Pulinovich
Performer: Darya Denisova
Translator: John Freedman
Director and Video Design: Igor Golyak
Production Associate: Marianna Golyak
Animator: Anton Iakhontov
Music Composor: Vadim Khrapatchev
Produced by Igor Golyak & Sara Stackhouse

For more information, visit www.arlekinplayers.com.


October 31, Saturday

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl (original title)

Sponsored by the Holocaust Film Fund

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTER HERE*

(Caroline Link, Germany | Switzerland, 2020, 1h 59min) Free

In German, Swiss German, French, and English with English Subtitles

Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing it became dangerous for some people to live in your country. Suppose you found, to your complete surprise, that your own father was one of those people. That is what happens to Anna in 1933. Anna is not sure who Hitler is. She is nine years old when everything begins, too busy to take much notice of his face on posters all over Berlin. But when her own father goes missing one day, she comes to realize that the man on the posters is about to change the whole of Europe – starting with her own small life. She is forced to uproot her entire existence. Anna and her family hastily flee Germany, leaving even her favorite stuffed pink rabbit behind. From now on Anna encounters life in exile, not speaking the language, not knowing customs and manners, missing her friends and loved ones. To find a school for Anna is difficult, money is getting very short and they are fearful as they also encounter xenophobia. Yet Anna grows up, finds new friends, and learns to take responsibility. So when her family has to move away yet again, she is certain she can do anything.

Oscar®-winner Caroline Link (All About MeNowhere in Africa) adapted Judith Kerr’s bestseller When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, a true story about parting, family cohesion, and optimism, for the screen.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


November 7, Saturday

We Are Little Zombies

Wî â Ritoru Zonbîzu (original title)

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTER HERE*

(Makoto Nagahisa, Japan, 2020, 2h) Free

In Japanese with English Subtitles

When four young orphans—Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura—first meet, their parents’ bodies are being turned into dust, like fine Parmesan atop a plate of spaghetti Bolognese, and yet none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes—just enough to start a band-and then conquer the world. Tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst are all subsumed in this eccentric cinematic tsunami.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


November 14, Saturday

Objector

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTER HERE*

(Molly Stuart, USA, 2019, 1h 15min) Free

Q&A with Director Molly Stuart '15 immediately following the screening.

Synopsis:

Like all Israeli youth, Atalya is obligated to become a soldier. Unlike most, she questions the practices of her country’s military, and becomes determined to challenge this rite of passage. Despite her family’s political disagreements and personal concerns, she refuses military duty and is imprisoned for her dissent. OBJECTOR follows Atalya to prison and beyond, offering a unique window into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of a young woman who seeks truth and takes a stand for justice. 

Read more about this film on IMDB>>  


Department of Film and Media Culture

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15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805