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MCC Daily Tribune Archive

The Spring 2008 Foreign Film Fest Starts Next Week

The ESOL and Foreign Languages Department and the Global Union International Students Association invite students, staff and members of the Rochester community to attend the screening of six foreign language films, as follows:

Tuesday, May 5
“Quinceañera” (Sweet Fifteen) Drama, United States, 2006. 90 minutes. Rated R. In Spanish and English with English subtitles.  This film will be introduced by MCC Professor of Spanish Steve Farrington. Magdalena lives in the Echo Park neighborhood in Los Angeles. She is 14 and is anxiously awaiting her 15th birthday, when she'll have her “quinceañera” party. Her world starts to crumble when she discovers her pregnancy after not being able to fit in the gown for her party. Her father, a stern preacher, reacts badly and she moves to the house of her uncle Tomás, who also lodges his troublemaker gay nephew Carlos in his house. This unlikely trio becomes a true family, helping each other through challenging times. You’ll love the message of tolerance, being non-judgmental, and creating community and family, as you gain an insight into the life of a warm, yet troubled, Mexican-American family.

“The Scent of Green Papaya" (Mui du du xhan)  Drama. Vietnam-France, 1993. 104 minutes. Unrated. In Vietnamese with English subtitles. This film will be introduced by MCC Cross-Cultural Advisor Don Beech. A little girl, Mui, goes to a house as a new servant. The mother still mourns the death of her daughter, who would have been Mui's age. In her mind, she treats Mui as her daughter. Ten years later, Mui, now a young woman, is sent to another family, a young pianist and his wife. The pianist falls in love with the peasant Mui, teaches her literacy and they eventually marry. Visually beautiful and spell-binding.

These two films will be screened in rooms 5-100 and 5-200 in the Brighton Campus.

Wednesday, May 6
“Avenue Montaigne” Comedy, France, 2006. 106 minutes. Rated PG-13. In French with English subtitles.  This film will be introduced by MCC Professor of French Louis Silvers. Jessica, a charming and refreshing girl, comes to Paris and gets a job at a bar across from a performance complex where a play, a concert, and an art auction will occur the same evening. It's a world in flux: the play's star wants off a popular TV soap that's made her rich, and she covets the lead in a film about de Beauvoir and Sartre; the pianist hates the concert circuit, but his wife, who's also his manager, may leave him if he quits; a self-made widower with a girlfriend less than half his age is selling his collection of modern art; his son, a professor, objects to his father's love life. Also, the stage manager at the theatre complex is resigning after 30 years. Jessica befriends them and sets the tone for how it all plays out. 

“The Band’s Visit” Comedy, Israel, 2007. 87 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Arabic, Hebrew and English with English subtitles.  This film will be introduced by MCC Professor of Hebrew Yona Koter. The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel from Egypt and is stranded on their way to play at the opening of an Arab Culture Center. The language barrier causes them to take a bus to a remote town with a name not much different to their planned destination. What follows is a touching story and terrific film-making. So much is communicated with so few words. The band, lead by the repressed Tawfiq Zacharaya, gets help from the worldly store owner, Dina, who offers to put them up for the night. As the band settles in as best it can, each of the members attempts to get along with the natives in their own way. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them. This film offers the beautifully delivered message that regardless of our culture, we all want to be connected to another person. Other than the language we speak, we really aren't so dissimilar.

These two films will be screened at the Warshof Conference Center, Flynn Campus Center (Monroe A and B) in the Brighton Campus.

Thursday, May 7
“Bread & Tulips” (Pane e tulipani) Comedy. Italy/Switzerland, 2000. 114 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Italian with English subtitles.  This film will be introduced by MCC Professor of Italian Edy Zordan. Rosalba is a housewife in Pescara with teenage sons, married since she was 21 to a plumbing supplier whose mistress is her sister-in-law. When a tour bus leaves her behind, and her husband calls to tell her to stay put, she rebels slightly and hitchhikes toward home, deciding on a whim to continue to Venice. She lucks into a room in the apartment of Fernando, a diffident, formal Icelander; befriends Grazia, a holistic masseuse, and gets a job at the flower shop of Fermo, a cranky anarchist. Her husband sends a portly plumber to find her. Will duty and maternal instinct win out, or will Alba stay in Venice, combining Rome's rationality with Venetian imagination to find her true Italian self?

“Re-defining Deaf” Documentary, United States, 2008. 39 minutes. Unrated. In ASL with English subtitles. This film will be introduced by MCC Professor of ASL Rita Straubhaar. 1880... 2008. That's 128 years of advocacy and activism by the Deaf community in the U.S.A. Ever since the National Association of the Deaf was founded, Deaf people fought for the right to "just be." Today we have closed captioning, interpreting agencies, video relay service -- auxiliary services. The fundamental question remains: Are Deaf people respected as human beings? The answers are clear. Deaf people continue to be viewed and treated as second-class citizens or worse in this country and abroad. This film draws on the work of cultural studies theorist Stuart Hall in effort to examine the nature of representation and ideology. The goal is for the Deaf community to understand "how we got here" and what we can do about it by seizing control of the media as a means of putting forth a different representation of what it means to be d/Deaf.

These two films will be screened in rooms 5-200 and 5-331 in the Brighton Campus.

All the films will be introduced to the audience at 6:30 p.m. Two films will be shown concurrently on each of the specified dates. All films have English subtitles. The Foreign Film Fest is free and open to the public.

Louis Silvers
ESOL and Foreign Languages