MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Beginning Saturday, June 17, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 12, the Middlebury College Language Schools International Film Festival will feature one major film in each of the following languages taught at the schools - Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
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 http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/ls/resources/film/.
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 closed to the Language Schools' students because of their 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 selections include the story of two young Palestinian suicide bombers just hours before their mission in Tel Aviv; an intricate French mystery of voyeurism and intrigue; a lighthearted film about the daily loves, friendships and dreams of the twenty-somethings who live and work in Beijing; and a Brazilian film in which suspicious minds and autumnal romance cross paths for a lonely old woman who witnesses a murder.
For more information, contact the Middlebury College Language Schools at 802-443-5510.
Middlebury College Language Schools
Friday, June 16, marks the beginning of the Middlebury College Language Schools summer sessions. This year, approximately 1,300 students will come to Middlebury throughout the summer to participate in the schools. During the course of the schools' 91-year history, more than 40,000 students - including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders - have attended the language programs.
International Film Festival schedule:
Saturday, June 17: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Color. 90 min. Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
Khaled and Said are two young Palestinian men who are just hours away from becoming suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. After a final night with their families, the two are moved to the border with bombs strapped to their bodies. When something goes wrong, the two men lose each other and must make the choice for themselves whether to complete their mission. The film was shot on location in Palestine and Israel and won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2006 Golden Globes.
Saturday, June 24: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Grave of the Fireflies" (Hotaru no haka)
Directed by Isao Takahata
Color. 88 min. Japanese with English subtitles
In the aftermath of a Second World War bombing, two orphaned children struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside. This tragic masterpiece from Studio Ghibli, the producer of "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke," is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, winner of the Naoki Award for literature.
Saturday, July 1: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"The World" (Shijie)
Directed by Jia Zhangke
Color. 139 min. Mandarin with English subtitles
Acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke casts a compassionate eye on the daily loves, friendships and desperate dreams of a group of twenty-somethings from China's remote Provinces who come to live and work at Beijing's World Park.
Saturday, July 8: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Directed by Michael Haneke
Color. 117 min. French with English subtitles
Georges and his wife Anna are living the perfect life when their idyll is disrupted in the form of a mysterious videotape that appears on their doorstep. A hidden camera is filming them from across the street. As more tapes arrive containing images that are disturbingly intimate and increasingly personal, Georges launches into an investigation to find out who is behind it. The film was a multiple award-winner at Cannes 2005, including Best Director.
Saturday, July 15: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Go for Zucker!" (Alles auf Zucker!)
Directed by Dany Levy
Color. 90 min. German with English subtitles
From the producers of "Run Lola Run" and "Goodbye Lenin!" comes this German box office smash about a comically dysfunctional Jewish family. Starring Henry Hübchen and Udo Samel as two estranged brothers who are awkwardly reunited when they learn that in order to share their mother's inheritance they will need to reconcile before burying her, according to Jewish custom in her native East Germany.
Saturday, July 22: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"Good Morning, Night" (Buongiorno, notte)
Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Color. 106 min. Italian with English subtitles
Marco Bellocchio presents a superb portrait of a woman living in an extreme set of circumstances and struggling to decide whether the choices she is making are truly justified. She moves into a new apartment with her boyfriend and appears to live a routine existence. Her life, however, is a carefully constructed act, concealing her actual role as a member of the extreme Italian terrorist group, Red Brigade. She is part of a cell that is meticulously planning the kidnapping and execution of a prominent politician.
Saturday, July 29: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"The Holy Girl" (La Niña santa)
Directed by Lucrecia Martel
Color. 106 min. Spanish with English subtitles
"The Holy Girl" is set in a crumbling hotel in Argentina during a medical conference. Fourteen-year-old Amalia, whose mother runs the hotel, is prone to gossiping in her religious studies class, but also alert to a higher calling. When one of the visiting doctors deliberately rubs himself against her in a crowd, Amalia makes it her vocation to save his soul, a mission complicated not only by her own sexual curiosity but by the fact that the furtive doctor has also caught the eye of her divorced mother.
Saturday, August 5: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"The Other Side of the Street" (O Outro Lado da Rua)
Directed by Marcos Bernstein
Color. 98 min. Portuguese with English subtitles
Suspicious minds and autumnal romance cross paths in this Brazilian film. Regina is a lonely 65-year-old who works on the neighborhood watch for the police in Copacabana, and believes she has witnessed a murder in the building across the street. She becomes involved with the suspect in a potentially dangerous chain of events that will force her to take stock of her life in a way that she could never have imagined.
Saturday, August 12: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
"You I Love" (Ya lyublyu tebya)
Directed by Olga Stolpovskaja and Dmitry Troitsky
Color. 86 min. Russian with English subtitles
Vera and Tim are young professionals living fast-paced lives in Moscow. Their existence crackles with the capitalist energy of excess, anxiety, consumption and stress - and they are in love. Everything changes one night when Tim accidentally drives his car into Uloomji, a young Kalmyk day worker. The two men are immediately drawn to one another and begin a torrid affair. The film is reminiscent of the work of Pedro Almodovar, particularly in the way it relishes saturated symbolism, obsessive love, and zany, character-driven melodrama.