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Middlebury College Language Schools International Film Festival to run through Aug. 6

June 15, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-There are eight films remaining in the Middlebury College Language Schools International Film Festival, which will feature one major film in each of the following languages taught at the schools-Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese,  Russian and Spanish.  On June 11, a Portuguese film, "Testamento," kicked off the festival, which runs through Aug. 6.

The films will be shown at Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125).  Showings are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays.  The films, which are all in color, are subtitled in English, free and open to the public.  Some of the films may be inappropriate for children.  A schedule of the film festival is available on the College's Web site at

Filmgoers from the community are invited to participate in a discussion after the 7 p.m. screening each week.  The discussions will be conducted in English and will be closed to the language schools' students because of the Language Pledge, a formal commitment to speak the language of study and no other for the entire summer session.

The films are selected to provide a wide variety of genres and themes that will appeal to a diverse audience.  This year's choices include the story of a young Japanese librarian who survived Hiroshima in 1945, as well as a film about two young Russian brothers who discover that their father has returned after a 12-year absence.

For more information, contact the Middlebury College Language Schools at 802-443-5510.

Middlebury College Language Schools

Friday, June 10, marked the beginning of the Middlebury College Language Schools summer sessions.  This year, approximately 1,250 students will come to Middlebury throughout the summer to participate in the schools.  During the course of the schools' 91-year history, more than 39,000 students-including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders-have attended one or more of the language programs. 

International Film Festival schedule:

Saturday, June 18: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Destiny" (al-Massir) 
France/Egypt, 1997
Directed by Youssef Chahine
French and Arabic with English subtitles. 135 min.  Color.

"Destiny" is an action adventure spectacular about the 12th century Spanish-Arabian philosopher Averroles and his fight for free speech, literacy and rationalism in medieval Spain. Featuring raging battle scenes, philosophical discourses, rousing gypsy songs and dance, and stunning medieval architecture, "Destiny" is a genre-bending historical epic with a contemporary message about the excesses of religious fundamentalism.

Saturday, June 25: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Together" (He ni zai yi qi)
China, 2002 
Directed by Chen Kaige
Mandarin with English subtitles. 116 minutes.  Color.

Thirteen-year-old violinist Xiaochun and his father move from their small, provincial town into Beijing so Xiaochun can get the training he needs to audition for a prestigious music academy. Once he arrives, he finds that his talent and dreams of success are set off course by the corrupting power of money and misguided friendship. 

Saturday, July 2: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Look at Me" (Comme une image)
France/Italy, 2004
Directed by Agnés Jaoui
French with English subtitles.  110 min.  Color.

This is the story of Lolita Cassard, a 20-year-old girl who is angry at the whole world because she does not look like the girls in magazines or like her stepmother. She would love to be beautiful, at least in the eyes of her father, or even to have him look at her at all.

Saturday, July 9: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Face of Jizo" (Chichi to Kuraseba)
Japan, 2004
Directed by Kuroki Kazuo
In Japanese with English subtitles.  99 minutes.  Color.

On the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima, this deeply moving film tells the story of a young Japanese librarian who survived the bombing in 1945 and continues to have a close and complex relationship with her father, who died in the attack.

Saturday, July 16: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Head-On" (Gegen die Wand)
Germany/Turkey, 2004
Directed by Fatih Akin
German, Turkish and English with English subtitles. 121 min.  Color.

A marriage of convenience in Hamburg between two troubled Turks changes both their lives in this fine, gritty, contemporary love story.  Director Fatih Akin dives deep into Turkish culture and explores the slippery slope of identity and cultural pride faced by Turks who either move to or are born in Germany. Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Saturday, July 23: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"The Keys to the House" (Le chiavi di casa)
Italy/France/Germany, 2004
Directed by Gianni Amelio
Italian with English subtitles. 105 min.  Color.

After his mother dies giving birth to him, Paolo is sent by his father to live with an aunt and uncle. He is handicapped, and at 15 he is reunited with his father for the first time when he needs to go to a hospital in Berlin for treatment.

Saturday, July 30: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Motorcycle Diaries" (Diarios de motocicleta)
United States/Germany/United Kingdom/Argentina/Chile/Peru/France, 2004
Directed by Walter Salles
In Spanish with English subtitles.  128 min.  Color.
Based on Che Guevara's journal, this film follows his and his best friend Alberto Granado's  motorcycle journey across South America in the early 1950s.  This trip profoundly affects the adventurous duo and eventually inspires Guevara to become the leader of the Cuban revolution.

Saturday, August 6: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"The Return" (Vozvrashcheniye)
Russia, 2003
Directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev
In Russian with English subtitles. 105 min.  Color.

Two young brothers have become deeply attached to each other to make up for their fatherless childhood. Running home after a fight with neighborhood kids, the boys are shocked to discover that their father has returned after a 12-year absence. With their mother's uneasy blessing, they set out on what they believe will be a fishing vacation with their taciturn father.