January 23, 2008

International Film Series kicks off Jan. 27

by Eric Welch

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Attention movie buffs – start freeing up Sunday nights for an entirely exotic cinematic experience. Four movies from around the world that range in style from artistic dramas to shocking documentaries will show this semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as part of the University Honors Program's International Film Series.

Each showing will be in Davis Auditorium, Wham Building 105 at 7 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.

The films include:

• Jan. 27 – "Chronicle of a Disappearance": This documentary on Palestinian life in the Holy Land is split into two sections, which director Elia Suleiman describes as his "Nazareth Personal Diary" and "Jerusalem Political Diary." Through a blend of comedic and serious scenes, this passive film looks at ordinary people who have lost their identity.

• Feb. 17 – "Darwin's Nightmare": Just as an introduced species of perch has consumed the other fish in Lake Victoria, foreign economies eat away at the people who live around the once serene lake in Tanzania. With vivid pictures of hunger, contamination and AIDS, Hubert Sauper evokes an emotional critique of the effects of globalization.

• March 23 – "The Second Circle": An impoverished Siberian man must keep his father's corpse over the weekend until the undertaker can come the following week. Emotion subtly creeps to the surface more through the characters' actions than words in this dark tragedy by Aleksandr Sokurov.

• April 20 – "The Great Water": In the flashbacks of a communist politician, images of orphans suffering under Stalin dominate the screen. The story of injustice, betrayal and hurting children will grip any viewer.

Lori Merrill-Fink, assistant director of the University Honors Program, said the International Film Series gives the University and the community exposure to important, thought-provoking and entertaining films from around the globe. She added that she hopes the films will help cultivate "an awareness and appreciation of the issues and aesthetic of cultures other than our own."