SITA SINGS THE BLUES
(USA 82 mins)
Directed by Nina Paley
Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as 'The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.'
REBIRTH OF A NATION
(USA 100 minutes)
Directed by DJ Spooky aka Paul Miller
DJ Spooky spins a revisionist take on D.W. Griffithâ€™s â€œBirth of a Nation.â€ DJ Spooky applies film techniques, an innovative score and an informed narrative to â€œremixâ€ the infamous cinematic milestone to reveal it as racist propaganda. The result is simultaneously thought provoking and entertaining. DJ Spookyâ€™s score is played by the Kronos Quartet.
A WOMAN IN BERLIN (ANONYMA (EINE FRAULINE EN BERLIN)
(Germany 131 mins) German with English subtitles
Directed by Max FÃ¤rberbÃ¶ck
Set in 1945 during the Red Army invasion of Berlin. Women are victims of rape and devastation; one of them is Anonyma (NINA HOSS), who had been a journalist and photographer. In her desperation, she decides to look for an officer who can protect her. She meets a Russian officer Andrej (EVGENY SIDIKHIN) - an encounter which develops into a complex symbiotic relationship that forces them to remain enemies until the bitter end. Based on a true story.
KABEI (OUR MOTHER) (KÃ¢bÃª)
(Japan 133 mins) Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by Yoji Yamada
A fatherâ€™s sudden absence occupies the center of Yoji Yamadaâ€™s intricate family drama, adapted from Teruyo Nogamiâ€™s bestselling memoir. In prewar Tokyo, after Shigeru â€œTobeiâ€ Nogami is imprisoned for espousing progressive political views, his wife, known by his daughters as â€œKabei,â€ is left alone to support their family. Helped by the sweet, bumbling student Yamazaki and some of her more anti-authoritarian neighbors, Kabei ekes out a living for her family and struggles through the consequences of Tobeiâ€™s anti-Imperialist â€œthought crime.â€ Director Yamada, a beloved veteran of Japanese cinema, builds upon the quiet artistry of his recent trilogy of samurai films (The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade, and Love and Honor) and the touching comedy of his epic 48-part Tora San series. Unashamedly emotional without lapsing into sentimentality, Kabeiâ€”Our Mother is lightened by a subtle undercurrent of humor and exceptional performances. The filmâ€™s meditative approach and impeccable formal construction make it a rewarding exploration of a familyâ€™s resilience in the face of distress.
CHERRY BLOSSOMS (KIRSCHBLÃœTEN â€“ HANAMI)
(Germany and Japan 127 mins)
Directed by Doris DÃ¶rrie
Only Trudi knows that her husband Rudi is suffering from a terminal illness. It is up to her to tell him or not. The doctor suggests that they do something together, perhaps something they were long planning to doâ€¦ Trudi decides not to tell her husband about the gravity of his illness and to follow the doctorÂ´s advice. She convinces Rudi to visit their children and grandchildren in Berlin. But once they arrive, they realize that their children are so busy with their own lives that they have no time for them. Then, suddenly, Trudi dies. Rudi is devastated and has no idea what to do next. From his daughterÂ´s girlfriend he learns that TrudiÂ´s love for him had led her to forego the life that she had wanted to live. He begins to see her with new eyes and vows to make up for her lost life. And so he embarks on his last journey - to Tokyo, in the midst of the cherry blossom festival, a celebration of beauty, impermanence and new beginningsâ€¦
LAKE TAHOE (Â¿TE ACUERDA DE LAKE TAHOE?)
(Mexico 89 mins) Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Fernando Eimbke
Teenage Juan crashes his family's car into a telegraph pole on the outskirts of town, and then scours the streets searching for someone to help him fix it. His quest will bring him to Don Heber, an old paranoid mechanic whose only companion is Sica, his almost human boxer dog; to LucÃa, a young mother who is convinced that her real place in life is as a lead singer in a punk band, and to "The One who Knows", a teenage mechanic obsessed with martial arts and Kung Fu philosophy. The absurd and bewildering worlds of these characters drag Juan into a one day journey in which he will come to accept what he was escaping from in the first place--an event both as natural and inexplicable as a loved one's death.
(Uruguay 84 mins) Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Adrian Biniez
Jara is a shy and lonely 35-year-old security guard at a supermarket on the outskirts of Montevideo. He works the night shift, monitoring the surveillance cameras of the entire building. One night Jara discovers Julia, a 25-year-old cleaning woman, through one of the cameras and is immediately attracted to her. Night after night, he watches her on the cameras while she works. Soon he starts following her after work: to the cinema, the beach and even to a date with another man. Jara's life becomes a series of routines and rituals around Julia, but eventually he finds himself at a crossroad and must decide whether to give up his obsession or confront it.
(Hong Kong-Taiwan-Germany 115 mins) English subtitles
Directed by Kenneth Bi
In the East, the drum is the king of all musical instruments. The intense sound of the drum can penetrate a man's body. The solemn beat of the drum can open a man's heart. The powerful vibration of the drum can awaken a man's soul.
Sid, the rebellious son of Kwan, a controlling and savage triad boss in Hong Kong, has to flee to Taiwan upon enraging his father's adversary, a powerful tycoon and underground business leader. Hiding out in the mountains, Sid encounters a group of Zen drummers whose mesmerizing art, rigorous physical training, and austere way of life pique this hostile urban young man's interest and he requests to join the group. Although Sid despises his father, he is turning out to be a younger version of him: wild and defiant. Immersing in the world of the Zen drummers eventually converts him into a firm and focused young man. Sid's independence from the triad life and his father is profoundly challenged, however, when a twist of fate awaits him back home in Hong Kong and forces him to choose between loyalty to his family and his new found faith in himself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYJU-KoNZME
(Argentina, Spain 85 mins) Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Carlos Sorin
It is a significant day for 80 year old Antonio. After an absence of many years, his estranged son is coming to visit. All must be perfect. There will be a toast with a very special champagne; an embrace; warm words that may finally bridge the gap between themâ€¦ But before, Antonio must wait. Bedridden, he looks out his window at the Patagonian landscape and sees light and life, the past and the present, while sensing the future. He decides to secretly leave the house, unseen by his faithful caretakers, to take what might be a last walk in his fields, breathing the air, treading the earth, inhaling the scent of the land that had been his life. What could otherwise seem like insignificant memories or moments in one's life, take a special, beautiful meaning and weight in this poetic, humanistic film.
Distinguished Argentine filmmaker Carlos SorÃn ('BombÃ³n, El Perro', 'Historias Minimas') once again trains his camera on the small stories written by life, on the humanity behind human beings. By casting the great Uruguayan writer and scriptwriter Antonio Larreta in the lead role, Sorin establishes a link between fiction and reality that makes the protagonist's fears, hopes and wishes even more palpable.
(Pakistan 105 mins)
Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
â€œRamchand Pakistaniâ€ is derived from a true story concerning the accidental crossing of the Pakistan-Indian border during a period of extreme, war-like tension between the two countries by two members of a Pakistani Hindu family belonging to the 'untouchable' caste and the consequences of that action.
The singular theme of the film is how a child from Pakistan aged eight years learns to cope with the trauma of forced separation from his mother while being held prisoner, along with his father in the jail of a country i.e. India, which is hostile to his own, while on the other side of the border, the wife-mother, devastated by their sudden disappearance builds a new chapter of her life, by her solitary struggle for sheer survival.
THE PERFECT WOMAN
(USA 116 mins)
Directed by Marvel Gima
Nisha, a young energetic, upbeat professional, with a fun loving, free and honest attitude comes across Suraj. Suraj is traditional, conservatively stylish, musically minded software professional. Their friendship grows into a romance. Nisha is torn between her love for Suraj and his structured views on marriage which do not appeal to her. Her blooming romance suddenly takes a turn when she goes through a horrifying experience. Her life, as she knows has changed suddenly.
Nisha is torn between Suraj's expectation and the harsh reality she faces. How should she handle it? How would she deal with it? How does she handle it?
GOOD OLâ€™ GIRLS
(USA 116 mins)
Good Ol' Girls is a rowdy romp. It's been called 'an estrogen high.' This stage musical is based on the stories of Southern novelists Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle and features the music of Nashville songwriters Marshall Chapman and Matraca Berg. Recorded at Cape Fear Regional Theatre in 2008. Funny and poignant, it holds up a mirror for women who were raised in the South.
MORNING SONG WAY
(USA 106 mins)
Directed by Charles Howard Thomas
Ten year old Katy Sage (played by Jennifer Redbird) witnesses a murder committed by her mother's boyfriend. She is then placed with her great uncle (Played by Elvus Kishketon, Jr.), an oldtime Native American medicine man in the Appalachian Mountains. Katy begins to learn the medicine road of the Morning Song Way teachings and in the process helps to revitalize a small Native American community. Then the bad guy gets out of jail and comes after her.
Dramatic Appalachian Features