COVID-19: Essential Information

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 | Out Stealing Horses | True Mothers | Another Round | Our Right To Gaze: Black Film Identities | Two Of Us | Farewell Amor | Marighella | You Will Die at Twenty | Summertime | Identifying Features | Night of the Kings | Quo Vadis, Aida? |


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) *Sold Out*

(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) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

(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 9, Monday - November 15, Sunday

Objector

Nov 9 - Nov 15 Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTRATION IS CLOSED*

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

Q&A with Director Molly Stuart '15 on Zoom at 8pm ET Saturday, November 14th.

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>>  


January 23, Saturday

Out Stealing Horses

Ut og stjæle hester (original title)

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

(Hans Petter Moland, Norway | Sweden | Denmark, 2020, 2h 2min) Free

In Norwegian and Swedish with English Subtitles

November 1999: 67-year-old Trond (Stellan Skarsgård), lives in self-imposed isolation and looks forward to welcoming in the new millennium alone. As winter arrives he meets one of his few neighbors, Lars (Bjørn Floberg), and realizes he knew him back in the summer of 1948. 1948 – the year Trond turned 15. The summer Trond grew up.

OUT STEALING HORSES is based on the bestselling novel by Norwegian author Per Petterson, which received several important international awards and was included in The New York Times ’10 Best Books of 2007 (Fiction)’. Petterson’s novels have been translated into more than 50 languages.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


January 30, Saturday

True Mothers

Asa ga Kuru (original title)

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

(Naomi Kawase, Japan, 2020, 2h 20min) Free

In Japanese and English with English Subtitles

Japan's Official Submission to the Academy Awards

After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman claiming to be Asato’s biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family.

Weaving together multiple timelines and genres with a contemplative pacing and keen sense of place, hallmarks of Kawase’s work, TRUE MOTHERS is “is a deeply touching celebration of women who assume duties of love, support and compassion” (Awards Watch).

Read about this film on IMDB>>


February 6, Saturday

Another Round

Druk (original title)

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

(Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark | Sweden | Netherlands, 2020, 1h 57min) Free

In Danish and Swedish with English Subtitles

Four friends, all teachers at various stages of middle age, are stuck in a rut. Unable to
share their passions either at school or at home, they embark on an audacious experiment
from an obscure philosopher: to see if a constant level of alcohol in their blood will help
them find greater freedom and happiness. At first they each find a new-found zest, but as
the gang pushes their experiment further, issues that have been simmering for years
come to a head and the men are faced with a choice: reckon with their behavior or
continue on the same course.


Underscored by delicate and affecting camerawork, director Thomas Vinterberg's spry
script, co-written with regular collaborator Tobias Lindholm, uses this bold premise to
explore the euphoria and pain of an unbridled life. Playing a once brilliant but now worldweary shell of a man, the ever surprising Mads Mikkelsen delivers a fierce and touching performance.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


February 27, Saturday

Our Right To Gaze: Black Film Identities

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

(Curtis Caesar John (curator), USA, 2021, 1h 22min) Free

Q&A with Directors Antu Yacob and Zora Bikangaga and Curator Curtis Caesar John on Zoom at 8pm ET Saturday, February 27th.

In this collection of six shorts, filmmakers gaze at themselves and their world, attempting to make sense of what they see reflected back. From gripping drama to heart-warming comedy, Our Right to Gaze: Black Film Identities  features timely stories from Black artists that take us outside of the ordinary.

Statement from the Curator: Curtis Caesar John, The Luminal Theater

The “Paradox of Expectation”...it’s the idea that wanting to rid yourself of expectations is a paradox – literally the expectation of no expectation. In these six films from emerging Black filmmakers, what the protagonists experience as the world they woke up to is not the one from which they're now appearing. Are they lying to themselves about who they are, or is the truth just not what they expect, but what they deserve?

Featured shorts (in order):

Love in Submission by Antu Yacob & Lande Yoosuf

Logline: Worlds collide when two different Muslim women meet each other for the first time through a mutual third party.

A Hollywood Party by Toryn Seabrooks

Logline: An aspiring TV host encounters her lifelong idol at a Hollywood party but is mortified after the superstar accidentally spits on her lip mid-conversation.

Nowhere by Lin Que Ayoung

Logline: A middle-aged Latina flees her controlling husband for a night of unadulterated freedom.

The Black Banshee by Kyla Sylvers

Logline: Convinced by her friends and boyfriend to enjoy a night out after losing her job, Yvie begins to question her own mind when the visions she's been having start to have dangerous consequences.

Auntie Zariyah by Zora Bikangaga

Logline: Zach crashes with an auntie he's never met before and soon finds out that Auntie Zariyah is a 12-year-old influencer.

The Pandemic Chronicles by Ya’Ke Smith

Logline: A three-part anthology series about love, loss, and grief during quarantine

Content Advisory:

The Pandemic Chronicles includes nudity and mature content

Nowhere includes sexual situations and relationship abuse

The Black Banshee includes police violence

Read more about this film at Full Spectrum Features 


March 6th, Saturday

Two Of Us

Deux (original title)

Sponsored by The Department Of French and Francophone Studies

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

(Filippo Meneghetti, France | Luxembourg | Belgium, 2021, 1h 39min) Free

In French with English Subtitles

Two retired women, Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier), have
been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they
are simply neighbors, sharing the top floor of their building. They come and go between
their two apartments, enjoying the affection and pleasures of daily life together, until an
unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine’s daughter to
gradually unravel the truth about them.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


March 13th, Saturday

Farewell Amor

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

(Ekwa Msangi, USA, 2020, 1h 35min) Free

Q&A with Director Ekwa Msangi and Producer Josh Penn on Zoom at 8pm ET Saturday, March 13th.

After 17 years apart, Angolan immigrant Walter is joined in the U.S. by his wife and teen daughter. Now absolute strangers sharing a one bedroom Brooklyn apartment, they struggle to overcome the emotional distance between them. Walter is trying to let go of a previous relationship while his wife Esther struggles with a new country, culture and a husband who seems distant. Their daughter Sylvia is a dancer just like her father, and while she also finds her new life difficult, she bravely starts to explore the city and show herself through dance. The film is both a universal immigrant story and the unique perspective of three characters bound together by history and hope. It is an intimate and deeply personal look at an inter-generational tale that has defined America since its inception.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


March 20th, Saturday

Marighella

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

(Wagner Moura, Brazil, 2021, 2h 35min) Free

In Portuguese with English Subtitles

1969. Marighella, Brazil’s number one enemy, has no time for fear. On the one hand, a violent military dictatorship, with its heinous crimes of torture and infamous censorship. On the other, an intimidated people.


Alongside guerrilleros 30 years younger than him and willing to fight, the revolutionary leader opts for action – all the while trying to a keep the promise of reuniting with his son, who he distanced himself from in order to protect.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


March 27th, Saturday

You Will Die at Twenty

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

(Amjad Abu Alala, Sudan | France | Egypt | Germany | Norway | Qatar, 2021, 1h 43min) Free

In Arabic with English Subtitles

Sudan, province of Aljazira, nowadays - When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicts that he will die when he is 20 years old. Muzamil’s father cannot stand the doom and travels away from home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son with over protection.
One day, Muzamil turns 19...

Read about this film on IMDB>>


April 3rd, Saturday

Summertime

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

(Carlos López Estrada, USA, 2021, 1h 35min) Free

This slam poetry musical is set in Los Angeles during a heatwave and follows the lives of 25 young Angelinos as they intersect over the course of a single day. It was developed with 27 young poets, all of whom served as co-writers

Read about this film on IMDB>>


April 10th, Saturday

Identifying Features

Sin señas particulares (original title)

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

(Fernanda Valadez, Mexico | Spain, 2021, 1h 35min) Free

In Spanish, North American Indian, and English with English Subtitles

Official Selection for New Directors/New Films 2020

Sundance Film Festival 2020 - Winner for World Cinema Dramatic

Identifying Features tells the story of Magdalena, a mother who embarks on a journey in search of her son who disappeared en route to the US border. Traveling through the foreboding towns and landscapes of northern Mexico, she meets Miguel, a young man recently deported from the United States who is making his way home. The two accompany one another: Magdalena looking for her son, and Miguel eager to see his mother again in a territory where victims and aggressors ramble together. The poignant drama, set in the current Mexican humanitarian crisis, spotlights the country’s failed war against drug cartels, disappearances of migrants bound for the US and the dangerous odyssey of those looking for missing family members.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


April 17th, Saturday

Night Of The Kings

La nuit des rois (original title)

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

(Philippe Lacôte, France | Côte d'Ivoire | Canada | Senegal, 2021, 1h 33min) Free

In French and Dyula with English Subtitles

African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) 2021 Award Winner - Best Foreign Film

A young man is sent to “La Maca,” a prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest ruled by its inmates. As tradition goes with the rising of the red moon, he is designated by the Boss to be the new “Roman” and must tell a story to the other prisoners. Learning what fate awaits him, he begins to narrate the mystical life of the legendary outlaw named “Zama King” and has no choice but to make his story last until dawn.

Read about this film on IMDB>>


April 24th, Saturday

Quo Vadis, Aida?

6:00 PM, Online (Virtual Cinema) *REGISTER HERE ONE WEEK PRIOR TO SCREENING*

(Jasmila Zbanic, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Austria | Romania | Netherlands | Germany | Poland | France | Norway | Turkey, 2021, 1h 41min) Free

In Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, English, Dutch, and Serbian with English Subtitles

2021 Academy Award Nominee for Best International Feature Film

Aida is a translator for the UN in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the town, her family is among the thousands of citizens looking for shelter in the UN camp.

Read 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