Middlebury Language Schools


The International Film Festival

All films take place in Dana Auditorium, located in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125). Films begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Admission is free. Some films may not be suitable for children. Films will be subtitled in English. A discussion of the film will follow the screening unless otherwise noted. Space may be limited. *Please note--the schedule is subject to change.

protect today

June 28th - Japanese School

Kyo-o mamoru (Resilience – Protecting Today)

Japan, 2011

Color, 70 minutes

Director: Yuka Kanno

Synopsis:This documentary depicts the lives of people who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and was directed and produced by Ms. Yuka Kan'no, a university student from Rikuzen-takata city in Iwate. Her home was destroyed by the tsunami on March 11, 2011, and she lost three friends who had been her classmates in junior high school. (Yuka was saved since she was in Yamanashi attending her university on that day.) She interviewed people in her home town to document their lives after the earthquake, including her mother, and childhood classmates and their parents. "Resilience-Protecting Today" was presented at the Yamanashi Film Festival in 2011. Yuka spent a month with the Japanese School in 2012 and the English subtitles were produced by learners of Japanese, including students in the Middlebury Japanese School.

Please note: This film will be preceded by a short presentation on the disaster focusing on the region depicted in the film. After the film is screened, we will present a video message from the film director (in English) followed by a Q&A.


July 4 - Portuguese School

Não por Acaso (Not By Chance)*

Brazil, 2007

Color, 90 minutes

Director: Phillipe Barcinski

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS FILM WILL BEGIN AT 8:45 PM. There will not be a discussion after the film.

Synopsis: Their lives forever changed after the car crash that no amount of preparedness could have prevented, two men living in Sao Paulo, Brazil discover that they are at the mercy of a city that never forgives. In the flash of an instant, Enios and Pedro find their lives turned upside down. Now, as they attempt to contend with their profound senses of loss and loneliness, Enios' orphaned daughter returns to her father and Pedro attempts to summon the courage that will finally allow him to let love go. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


July 5 - School of Russian


Russia, 2012

Color, 83 minutes

Director: Dunya Smirnova

Synopsis: In the morning she works at the museum of ethnography, in the evening she watches news on TV. Weekends are for rallies and sex with her ex-husband, a balding mid-level scientific researcher. Lisa is a typical specimen of the herbivore intelligentsia. Victoria is a true predator from the provinces. A vacation in St. Petersburg for her means vodka, sex, drugs, and Cossack songs. At first glance, the two women have nothing in common. However, destiny brings them together. Water and fire, a nun and a harlot, the intelligentsia and the plebs. Lisa and Victoria are two sides of the same coin, and the coin is Russian. -www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/962581/kokoko



July 12 - French School

Joyeux Noel

France, 2005

Color, 116 minutes

Director/Writer:  Christian Carion

Synopsis: In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)


July 19 - German School

Ehre (Honor)

Germany, 2011

Color, 87 minutes

Director: Aysun Bademsoy

Synopsis: Muhamad, a 16-year-old German-Palestinian, Christian, a 15-year-old German and Kevin, a 17-year-old German-Ganaian are taking part in anti-violence training. Every sentence, every false look is a cause for them to defend their reputation and honor. It’s about the mothers, the sisters and the wives. The women’s bodies are always at their disposal. This is the bargaining chip, the foundation of identity and a feeling of self worth for the young men. A search for an identity where one no more exists. In the middle of our community, honor doesn’t play a role anymore. But it’s coming back – from the fringes. Anti-violence training, group-dynamic-exercises in a youth establishment, midnight sports. Places, that Aysun Bademsoy is on the search for trying to find a definition to the concept of honor in Germany that’s coming about in the twenty-first century. -http://deckert-distribution.com/film-catalogue/human-interest-society/ehre-honour/

PLEASE NOTE: Following the screening, the film director, Aysun Bademsoy, will discuss the film in Sunderland 110.


August 2 - School of Hebrew

The Gatekeepers

Israel, 2012

Color, black and white, 101 minutes

Director: Dror Moreh

Synopsis: Charged with overseeing Israel’s war on terror-both Palestinian and Jewish- the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service is present at the crossroad of every decision made. For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution. -http://www.sonyclassics.com/thegatekeepers/site/