INTERNATIONAL LENS, a film series with a global perspective, provides a forum to promote conversation among Vanderbilt’s diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. International Lens endeavors to transcend geographic, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and political boundaries by encouraging conversation and greater cross- cultural understanding through cinema. The series is coordinated by the Program in Cinema & Media Arts in collaboration with the College of Arts and Science, Dean of Students offices, and other departments, centers, and programs across the University.
There is no charge for admission.
Films are screened in Sarratt Cinema at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Fall 2019 Schedule of Films
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Thursday, September 12
USA (2019) Dir: Joe Talbot
Jimmie Fails and his best friend Mont try to reclaim a Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco, launching them on a wistfully poignant odyssey connecting them to their past, and testing their friendship and sense of belonging in the place they call home. English. 121 min.
A special iLens engagement sponsored by A24 Films
Thursday, September 19
Presented by Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German and Cinema & Media Arts
Germany (2018) Dir: Wolfgang Fischer
An ER doctor from Europe embarks on a one-woman solo sailing trip to Ascension Island in the Atlantic. When she comes across a sinking ship of refugees, she is quickly torn out of her contented and idealized world and must make a momentous decision. It is an astute modern-day parable of Western indifference in the face of marginalized suffering. English/German. 94 min.
Thursday, September 26
Presented by Celina Callahan-Kapoor, Senior Lecturer of Medicine, Health, and Society
USA (2016) Dir: Paul Haggis, Dan Krauss
An inspirational story of everyday heroes, nurses and caregivers who built Ward 5B in 1983 at San Francisco General Hospital as the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States and volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being during a time of great uncertainty. English. 94 min.
Thursday, October 3
Presented by Tara McKay, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
Swaziland (2017) Dir: Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp
A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers from kidnapping, and overcomes various challenges along the way. This animated tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who collaborate to tell an original story of perseverance, drawn from their darkest traumatic memories and their brightest dreams. English. 77 min.
Thursday, October 10
Presented by Alex Dubilet, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Political Science
Belgium (2008) Dir: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Lorna, a young Albanian woman living in Belgium, has to collaborate with a low-life cab driver to marry a local junkie, Claudy, to secure legal residency. Soon after, they discover a high-profile Russian mobster willing to pay a hefty sum to marry Lorna for his own legal entry into Belgium, but in order for it to be possible they will have to eliminate Claudy. French/Albanian/Russian with English subtitles. 105 min.
Thursday, October 17
Presented by We Jung Yi, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies; and Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English, Cinema & Media Arts, Asian Studies
South Korea (2018) Dir: Lee Chang-dong
Jong-su is an alienated introvert whose life is complicated by the appearance of Hae-mi, a spirited woman who offers romantic possibility, and Ben, a wealthy and sophisticated young man with whom she returns from a trip. When Jong-su learns of Ben’s mysterious hobby and Hae-mi suddenly disappears, his confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale. Korean/English with English subtitles. 148 min.
Train to Busan
Thursday, October 31
Presented by Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English, Cinema & Media Arts, Asian Studies
South Korea (2016) Dir: Yeon Sang-ho
As a mysterious viral outbreak sweeps the country and pushes Korea into a state of emergency, a father and his estranged daughter become trapped with a group of other terrified passengers on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan in an attempt to reach the only city that is reportedly still safe. Korean with English subtitles. 118 min.
Through the Repellant Fence
Thursday, November 7
Presented by Ken MacLeish, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
USA (2017) Dir: Sam Wainwright Douglas
Repellent Fence is an outdoor artwork straddling the U.S.-Mexico border a mile in each direction to symbolize a suture stitching back together cultures that have inhabited the land long before borders were drawn. This film is an adventure in the artistic process, exploring how land art can generate community interaction and perceptual shifts in how we interpret, engage and draw inspiration from our natural world. English. 74 min.
Thursday, November 14
Presented by Jennifer Fay, Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and English; and Anand Taneja, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Saudi Arabia (2012) Dir: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Set in the Riyadh suburbs, where women’s mobility is limited and bike riding is considered a threat to a girl’s virtue, 10-year-old Wadjda desperately wants a beautiful green bicycle and decides to raise the money to buy it herself by winning a Koran-recitation competition at school that has a cash prize. This groundbreaking film is both the first ever by a female Saudi filmmaker and the first feature to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. Arabic with English subtitles. 98 mins
Thursday, December 5
Presented by Jennifer Fay, Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and English; and Iggy Cortez, Mellon Assistant Professor in Cinema & Media Arts
USA (2017) Dir: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Connie embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate – and dangerous – attempt to get his brother Nick out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalized night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem, racing against the clock to save him. English. 101 min.