June 4, 2002

Contact: Travis Fahey
Posted: May 31, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT.-Beginning June 22, the Middlebury College Language Schools will kick off its annual international film festival, which will feature one major film in each of the languages taught at the Schools-Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

The films will be shown at Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125) from June 22 to Aug. 10. Film showings are at 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturdays. All films are subtitled in English and are 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 film 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 comedies, as in the case of the French film "Amelie," and a Japanese animation feature (also known as an anime) called "Metropolis."

All of the films have been released in the past four years, with the exception of the 1995 Tunisian film, "A Summer in La Goulette," which follows three women (a Catholic, a Muslim and a Jew) in 1960s Tunisia.
For more information, contact Robert Keren at 802-443-2095.


Middlebury College Language Schools

The Language Schools were created to offer total immersion language education in which students from all walks of life, including academia and the United States government, are only allowed to speak the language they are learning during the length of the course. The longest course runs nine weeks.
Friday, June 8, marks the beginning of the Language Schools' summer sessions. This year, approximately 1,175 students will come to Middlebury throughout the summer to participate in the schools. During the course of the schools' 87-year history, more than 37,000 students from all walks of life-including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders-have attended one or more of the language programs.


International Film Festival Schedule, June 22-Aug. 10

Saturday, June 22: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"A Summer in La Goulette" (Un Ete a la Goulette)
Tunisia, 1995, color, 100 minutes
Directed by Férid Boughedir
In Arabic with English subtitles

"A Summer in La Goulette" is a story about three fathers of three daughters who are each of a different religion: Muslim, Christian and Jewish. The fathers struggle to maintain their daughters' virginity. Set in a small Tunisian coastal town in the sixties, the film builds on an erotic tone, especially when an old rich man falls in love with one of the daughters.

Saturday, June 29: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"Beijing Bicycle" (Shiqi Sui De Dan Che)
China, 2001, color, 113 minutes
Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang
In Chinese with English subtitles

Inspired by the classic Italian film "Bicycle Thief," "Beijing Bicycle" is a story of two teenagers who covet a stolen bicycle as a means of securing their places in society. One teen needs the bicycle to earn his living; the other needs it to earn social recognition at school. The film offers the viewer a window into the region's socioeconomic tragedies.

Saturday, July 6: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"Metropolis" (Metoroporisu)
Japan, 2001, color, 107 minutes
Directed by Tarô Rin
In Japanese with English subtitles

In a futuristic city called Metropolis, a celebration is occurring: A celebration of the Ziggurat. The Ziggurat is a huge building that will house the leader of the world once it is complete. As the celebrations take place, a private eye and his nephew, Kenichi, must race to solve a mystery that threatens to destroy the entire city and all the human life within it.

Saturday, July 13: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"Amelie" (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain)
France, 2001, color, 122 minutes
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
In French with English subtitles

Amelie is looking for love, and the meaning of life in general. As a waitress in central Paris, she interacts curiously with her neighbors and customers, as well as a mysterious Photomaton-image collector and one of his even more mysterious photo subjects. Little by little, Amelie realizes that the way to happiness requires her to take her own initiative and reach out to others.

Saturday, July 20: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"The Devil's Backbone" (El Espinazo del Diablo)
Mexico/Spain, 2001, color, 106 minutes
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
In Spanish with English subtitles

It is 1939. The end of three years of bloody civil war in Spain is near, and General Franco's right-wing Nationalists are poised to defeat the left-wing Republican forces. A ten-year-old boy named Carlos, the son of a fallen Republican war hero, is left by his tutor in an orphanage in the middle of nowhere. The viewer follows the boy through supernatural, violent and treacherous plot twists that culminate with a shocking ending.

Saturday July 27: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"The Farewell" (Abschied - Brechts Letzter Sommer)
Germany, 2000, color
Directed by Jan Schütte
In German with English subtitles

"The Farewell" is an intimate portrait of Bertolt Brecht's final days, set around tranquil surroundings that stand in contrast with the passionate emotions of the film's characters.

Saturday, August 3: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"The Wedding" (Svadba)
Russia, 2000, color, 114 minutes
Directed by Pavel Lungin
In Russian with English subtitles

The beautiful Tanya returns to her small mining town after supposedly working as a model in Moscow. She decides to marry her shy school sweetheart Mishka, who works in the mine. The miners finally receive some pay, but Mishka still ends up with no money to buy his bride a gift. Mishka's poor working-class family all help to put on a fine wedding with copious amounts of vodka, even though they are suspicious of Tanya's occupation in Moscow, and of her connection with her Mafia ex-boyfriend Borodin.

Saturday, August 10: 7 and 9:15 p.m.
"The Way We Laughed" (Cosi Ridevano)
Italy, 1998, color, 124 minutes
Directed by Gianni Amelio
In Italian with English subtitles

Two brothers have emigrated to Turin from Sicily. The older brother works very hard to let his sibling study and free himself from poverty through culture. The boy, however, is not keen on school and would like to begin to work. When he gets his degree, things take a violent and dramatic turn.