Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: June 5, 2003

A scene from "City of God," a film set in the world's most  notorious slum in Rio de Janeiro. The film will be shown Saturday, June 14, as part of the annual  Middlebury College Langauge Schools International Film Festival.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Beginning June 14, the Middlebury College Language Schools will kick off its annual International Film Festival, which will feature one major film in each of the nine languages taught at the Schools-Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and-for the first time-Portuguese. The opening of a ninth language school, the Portuguese School, will take place this summer.

The films will be shown at Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125) from June 14 to Aug. 9. Film showings are at 7 and 9:30 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 a language pledge, a formal commitment to speak the language of study and no other for the entire summer session.

A scene from Academy Award winner "Spirited Away," a Japanese  "anime" or animated adventure that will be shown on Saturday, July 5, as part of the annual Middlebury College Language Schools International Film Festival.

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 an Academy Award-winning animated adventure as well as “Nowhere in Africa,” the unusual true tale of a Jewish family whose members fled the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya.

All of the films have been released in the past five years.

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

Middlebury College Language Schools

The Middlebury College 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 allowed to speak only the language they are learning during the length of the course. The longest course runs nine weeks.

Friday, June 13, marks the beginning of the Middlebury College Language Schools’ summer sessions. This year, approximately 1,200 students will come to Middlebury throughout the summer to participate in the schools. During the course of the schools’ 88-year history, more than 38,000 students from all walks of life-including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders-have attended one or more of the language programs.

To follow is the International Film Festival schedule:

Saturday, June 14: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“City of God”
Brazil/France/U.S.A., 2002, color, 130 minutes
Directed by Fernando Meirelles
In Portuguese with English subtitles

The world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s City of God, is a place where combat photographers fear to tread, where police rarely go, and where residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. Desson Howe of The Washington Post called the film “one of the most startling, grittily brilliant films in recent years.”

Saturday, June 21: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets”
Morocco, 2000, color, 90 minutes
Directed by Nabil Ayouch
In Arabic with English subtitles

Four young friends who are members of a gang rebel against their cruel leader’s oppressive rule and strike out on their own in a memorable and moving portrait of street kids living in Casablanca’s abandoned lots. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called it “an engaging and powerful piece of work.” Brian Miller of the Seattle Weekly said it was “not to be missed.”

Saturday, June 28: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“Postmen in the Mountains”
China, 1998, color, 90 minutes
Directed by Huo Jianqi
In Mandarin with English subtitles

A magnificently photographed and sensitive film about a man handing over his life’s work to his son, “Postmen in the Mountains” was the 1999 winner of China’s Golden Rooster Award for Best Film and the People’s Choice Award at the Montreal World Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Japanese Academy’s 2002 Award for Best Foreign Film.

Saturday, July 5: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“Spirited Away”
U.S.A./Japan, 2001, color, 124 minutes
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
In Japanese with English subtitles

In this Japanese “anime” or animated adventure, 10-year-old Chihiro and her parents wander into a town filled with gods, monsters and witches. When Chihiro’s parents are changed into animals, she must fend for herself. “Spirited Away” was the winner of the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Jeffrey M. Anderson of the San Francisco Examiner called it “an animation landmark as monumental as Disney’s 1937 breakthrough ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’”

Saturday, July 12: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“The Lady and the Duke”
France, 2001, color, 129 minutes
Directed by Eric Rohmer
In French with English subtitles

An astonishing detour in a remarkable career, Eric Rohmer’s “The Lady and the Duke” finds cinema’s greatest chronicler of contemporary romance delving two centuries into the past to tell a story of bloodshed, daring and betrayal. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it “a striking tale of intrigue set during the French Revolution.”

Saturday, July 19: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“Nowhere in Africa”
Germany, 2001, color, 140 minutes
Directed by Caroline Link
In German with English subtitles

A love story spanning two continents, “Nowhere in Africa” is the extraordinary true tale of a Jewish family who fled the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. The film was the winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003, and five Golden Lolas, including Best Film and Best Director.

Saturday, July 26: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“Talk to Her”
Spain, 2002, color and black and white, 112 minutes
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
In Spanish with English subtitles

This critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated film finds the director at his peak with a sexy, hilarious, elegant and compassionate fable about love and friendship. “Talk to Her” won the Academy Award for Best Original

Saturday, August 2: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
“His Secret Life”
France/Italy, 2001, color, 106 minutes
Directed by Ferzan Ozpetek
In Italian and Turkish with English subtitles

Hauntingly photographed in Italy, the film centers on a woman’s efforts to deal with the loss of her husband. As the woman uncovers “his secret life,” she befriends her husband’s secret lover and his friends who become her new family. Chuck Wilson of L.A. Weekly called it “moving and vibrant.”

Saturday, August 9: 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Russia, 2002, color, 99 minutes
Directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin
In Russian, Finnish and Saami with English subtitles

World War II creates the unlikeliest of bonds between three different people from three different cultures, speaking three different languages. Comic and sometimes tragic misunderstandings soon arise, resulting in a passionate and very human three-way relationship.
Fred Thom of called it “hilarious.”