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. 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. Space may be limited.


June 22 - School of Russian


Russia, 2008

Color, 130 minutes

Director: Valery Todorovsky

Synopsis: Hipsters is a candy colored musical set in Moscow 1955 at the height of the Cold War. Stalin has been dead two years and a revolt against the crushing conformity of Russian life is taking place among a small segment of the country’s youth who follow and emulate American jazz culture, its music and fashions, albeit in an exaggerated manner. Mels, a member of the Communist youth group Kmsomol, falls in love with Polly who is part of the Hipsters (Stilyagi) crowd and he soon becomes immersed in the Hipster scene of swing dancing, smoky nightclubs, hot jazz, pompadours and poodle skirts. Hipsters received the following awards: Nika (Russian Oscar) for Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Costume, and Best Sound. --Leisure Time Features



June 29 - Chinese School

A Simple Life

China, 2011

Color, 118 minutes

Director: Ann Hui

Synopsis: Since her teenage years, Chung Chun-Tao has worked as an amah (a servant) for the Leung family. Known as Ah Tao, she witnessed every aspect of the family's life. Now, after 60 years of service, she is looking after Roger, who works in the film industry and is the only member of the family still resident in Hong Kong. One day Roger comes home from work to find that Ah Tao has suffered a stroke. He rushes her to hospital, where she announces that she wants to quit her job and move into a nursing home. Roger researches the possibilities and finds her a room in an establishment run by an old friend. Ah Tao moves in and begins acquainting herself with a new 'family': the brisk but fundamentally kindly supervisor Ms Choi and a motley crew of elderly residents. Giving ever more time and attention to Ah Tao's needs and pleasures, Roger comes to realize how much she means to him. -- (C) China Lion


July 6 - Portuguese School

Capitães da Areia

Brazil, 2011

Color, 96 minutes

Director: Cecília Amado

Synopsis: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, alive with the charm of the 1950s. A gang of street kids known as "Capitães da Areia" (Captains of the Sands) are hunted like common criminals. As we draw closer, we see that they are just children, almost a hundred of them, completely abandoned, but they won't be children for long. By the end of this odyssey, many will have become men. Experience a year in the lives of these boys, in which they have incredible adventures, the most wonderful dreams, visit hell, discover sex, death, and freedom! Based on the novel by Jorge Amado


July 13th - Italian School

We Have a Pope/Habemus Papam

Italy, 2011

Color, 102 minutes

Director: Nanni Moretti

Synopsis: At the Vatican, following the demise of the Pope, the conclave to elect his successor settles on Cardinal Melville. But the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square wait in vain for the new Pope to step out on the balcony. What is going on? Behind the thick walls of the Vatican panic has set in. After uttering a terrible howl of fear, the Cardinal refuses the office. The officials do everything to try to reason with Melville, including a psychoanalyst, appointed by the Vatican... Do we really have a Pope? Written by Guy Bellinger



July 20 - French School

Monsieur Lazhar

Canada, 2011

Color, 94 minutes

Director/Writer:  Philippe Falardeau

Synopsis: Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful former life; nor that he is at risk of being deported at any moment. Adapted from Evelyne de la Cheneliere's play, Bachir Lazhar depicts the encounter between two distant worlds and the power of self-expression. Using great sensitivity and humor, Philippe Falardeau follows a humble man who is ready to transcend his own loss in order to accompany children beyond the silence and taboo of death. Written by micro_scope 



July 27 - German School


Germany, 2012

Color, 105 minutes

Director: Christian Petzold

Synopsis: In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good-natured clinic head, Andre. Instead, Barbara snatches moments with her lover as she secretly prepares to defect one day. Despite her plans, Barbara learns more about her life that puts her desires and the people around her in a new light. With her changing perspective, Barbara finds herself facing a painful moral dilemma that forces her to choose what she values. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)



August 3 - Spanish School


Spain, 2012

Color, 104 minutes

Director:  Pablo Berger

Synopsis:  Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by her evil stepmother. One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarves, and became a legend. Set in southern Spain in 1920s, Blancanieves is a tribute to silent films. (c) Cohen Media Group



August 10 - School of Hebrew

Fill the Void/ "Lemale et ha'halal"

Israel, 2012

Color, 90 minutes

Director/Writer: Rama Burstein

Synopsis: A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute. Written by Sundance Film Festival