From May 9–20, the Walker Art Center presents the latest edition of
Global Lens: Films from the Global Film Initiative
. Challenged by economic hardships, emerging filmmakers from developing countries have found consistent support from the Global Film Initiative (GFI) through grants and distribution. A nationally touring program of GFI-funded projects, the Global Lens series showcases films that address such issues as the fight against patriarchy, class conflicts, and political struggles as well as universal concerns that help to provide cross-cultural understanding. The series features evening, weekend matinee, and special morning screenings for students, including both dramas and comedies with engaging characters telling stories of life in unsettled times.
Global Lens features films from places as far-reaching as Burkino Faso, Israel, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, and India, among others. Acclaimed films in the series include Li Shaohong’s Stolen Life (Sheng Si Jie), which won Best Narrative Feature at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival (May 9, 9:30 am, and May 13, 2 pm); Kambozia Partovi’s Border Café (Café Transit), which won Best Screenplay and Best Actress at the Fajr International Film Festival in Iran (May 10, 9:30 am, and May 13, 7:30 pm); and Lúcia Murat’s Almost Brothers (Quase dois irmãos), which won Best Ibero-American Film at the 2004 Mar del Plata Film Festival (May 14, 3 pm). The Target Free Thursday Nights screening at 7:30 pm on May 11 of Fanta Régina Narco’s The Night of Truth (La Nuit de la vérité) will be introduced by Victoria Coifman from the University of Minnesota’s Department of History.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are presented in the Walker Cinema. Tickets are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Free Global Lens screenings for students are offered to help provide deeper student engagement with contemporary films, cultural perspectives, and world events. For more information or to schedule a teacher preview, call 612.375.7614. See listings below for descriptions or visit globalfilm.org/education.htm. These screenings are open to the public for $8 ($6).
Tuesday, May 9, 9:30 am
Stolen Life (Sheng Si Jie), directed by Li Shaohong
Wednesday, May 10, 9:30 am
Border Café (Café Transit), directed by Kambozia Partovi
Tuesday, May 16, 9:30 am
Max and Mona, directed by Teddy Mattera
School and Tour Programs are made possible by generous support from the Ted and Roberta Mann Foundation and Blythe Brenden. Additional support is provided by the Star Tribune Foundation.
Thursday, May 11, 7:30 pm FREE
The Night of Truth (La Nuit de la vérité)
Directed by Fanta Régina Narco
Introduced by Victoria Coifman, University of Minnesota
Tickets available from 6:30 pm at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk
In her debut feature film, the first by a woman from Burkina Faso, Fanta Régina Narco crafts a satirical and remarkably funny look at the capacity for forgiveness despite years of abuse. After a decade of genocidal civil war, two factions attempt a truce one evening. “Narco has a fine eye for intimate drama and for finding the universal in the particular” (Variety). 2004, Burkina Faso/France, color, 35mm, in French/Mooré/Dioula with English subtitles, 100 minutes.
Repeat screening: Wednesday, May 17, 9 pm
Friday, May 12, 7:30 pm
Directed by Tawfik Abu Wael
The devastating effects of power and patriarchy resonate in Abu Wael’s visually stunning first feature, shot with a Palestinian cast and an Israeli crew. A father maroons his family in the desert after he feels his daughter has shamed them, yet his punishment strains them as they yearn for water, acceptance, and vindication. “Abu Wael is arguably the most exciting Arab filmmaker to have emerged in more than a decade” (Sight and Sound). 2004, Israel, color, 35mm, in Arabic with English subtitles, 100 minutes.
Repeat screening: Sunday, May 14, 12 noon
Saturday, May 13, 2 pm
Stolen Life (Sheng Si Jie)
Directed by Li Shaohong
Yanni, a brooding teenager sent to live with her resentful aunt and grandmother in Beijing, astounds them by being the first in their family to be accepted to a university. A chance encounter with a delivery truck driver leads her to question her future. Should she let her head or her heart determine her fate? Winner of Best Narrative Feature at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. 2005, China, color, 35mm, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
Saturday, May 13, 7:30 pm
Border Café (Café Transit)
Directed by Kambozia Partovi
A young Iranian woman with two small daughters faces a difficult choice when her husband dies. She could follow local traditions and accept marriage and support from her brother-in-law, or defiantly reopen her late husband’s café to support her family independently. Winner of Best Screenplay and Best Actress at the Fajr International Film Festival in Iran. 2005, Iran, color, 35mm, in Farsi/Turkish/Greek with English subtitles, 105 minutes.
Sunday, May 14, 3 pm
Almost Brothers (Quase dois irmãos)
Directed by Lúcia Murat
The film follows two friends—one a powerful politician and the other a drug lord—from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to their time in prison in the turbulent 1970s to their new stations. While class restrictions should have made them enemies, their mutual love of music and quest for justice unites them. 2004, Brazil, color, 35mm, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 102 minutes.
Repeat screening: Friday, May 19, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, May 16, 7:30 pm
Max and Mona
Directed by Teddy Mattera
The desire to uphold traditions is key to this breezy comedy of errors. Local mythology in Max’s village says that the souls of the dead cannot join the ancestors unless mourners truly cry before the burial. Though a gifted professional mourner, Max dreams of becoming a doctor. On a trip to Johannesburg, he is forced to uphold the expectations of his hometown against the temptations of the big city. 2004, South Africa, color, 35mm, in Tswana/Afrikaans/Zulu/English with English subtitles, 98 minutes.
Wednesday, May 17, 7 pm
Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (Cinema, aspirinas e urubus)
Directed by Marcelos Gomes
Two dreamers, one a German escaping conscription into the army, the other seeking refuge from drought that has devastated his village, become unusual travel partners as they hit the back roads of provincial Brazil in 1942, selling aspirin and projecting movies out of their mobile cinema.
2004, Brazil, color, 35mm, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 99 minutes.
Repeat screening: Saturday, May 20
Saturday, May 20
Global Shorts, 3 pm
This selection of shorts showcases emerging filmmakers who present human stories that defy nationalism.
More Than the World (Más quell mundo)
Directed by Laurtaro Núñez de Arco
Marito, a reclusive hunter from the Argentinean plains, works up the courage to ask his crush to dance. 2004, Argentina, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 12 minutes.
Elephants Never Forget (Los elefantes nunca olvidan)
Directed by Lorenzo Vigas Castes
Tension mounts as two teenagers confront their abusive father who abandoned them. 2004, Mexico, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 13 minutes.
Directed by Ashvin Kumar
A Pakistani boy is surprised by the care he receives from the perceived enemy when he is stranded across the border in India. 2004, India/UK, color, 35mm, in Hindi with English subtitles, 15 minutes.
Harvest Time (Dao Shou)
Directed by Zheng Zheng
A recent college graduate returns to his village to find that his former high school classmates are better off than he is. 2004, China, color, 35mm, in Chinese with English subtitles, 36 minutes.
Source of History (Source d’historie)
Directed by Adama Roamba
The cycles of revenge continue as a boy takes up arms when his parents are killed. 2003, Burkina Faso/France, color, 35mm, in French with English subtitles, 22 minutes.