INTERNATIONAL LENS, a film series with a global perspective, provides a forum to promote conversation among Vanderbilt’s diverse students, faculty, staff, and the greater Nashville community. International Lens endeavors to transcend geographic, linguistic, ethnic, religious, 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.
Spring 2020 Schedule of Films
Alone in the Game
Wednesday, January 22, 7:00pm*
Presented by: Andrew Maraniss, Visiting Author – Vanderbilt Athletics
*Producer/Co-writer David McFarland in attendance
USA (2018) Dir: Natalie Metzger & Michael Rohrbaugh
Despite the growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, sports continue to be an unsettling environment for many LGBTQ people on and off the field. This powerful film follows a group of elite athletes and iconic figures from the biggest stages in sport to explore the ongoing struggles LGBTQ athletes face at the professional, collegiate, and Olympic levels. English. 95 min.
*A special iLens event beginning at 7:00pm
I Am Not a Witch
Thursday, January 23
Presented by Tara McKay, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
ArtUK/France/Germany/Zambia (2017) Dir: Rungano Nyoni
In a remote Zambian village, an 8-year-old orphan is accused of being a witch and is given a stark choice: accept her supernatural branding and live a tethered life as a sorceress, or to cut her ties with local tradition and risk being transformed into a goat that may be killed and eaten. She is banished to a rural “witch camp” that operates as an enslaved tourist attraction, where women many decades older than her perform menial labor while tethered to long white ribbons. English/Nyanja/Bemba/Tonga. 93 min.
2019 Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour
Thursday, January 30
Presented by Jonathan Rattner, Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Art
Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. The 57th Festival Tour presents remarkable cinematic experiences by film artists exploring experimental, documentary, animation, narrative, and hybrid forms. 100 mins.
Thursday, February 6
Presented by Nathan Dize, PhD Candidate in the Department of French and Italian
France/Haiti/USA/Belgium (2013) Dir: Raoul Peck
This potently persuasive and quietly furious documentary examines how international aid agencies failed Haiti after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. The film dives headlong into the complexity of the reconstruction process and the failed practices of worldwide disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and economic development initiatives, offering a devastating indictment of the international community’s post-disaster idealism. French/English. 100 min.
Thursday, February 13
Presented by Gerald Figal, Professor of Asian Studies and History
Japan (2018) Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda
A ragtag family of outsiders, united by fierce loyalty and a penchant for petty theft in order to survive, provide an affectionate home for an abused little girl they find out in the cold. But their tenuous, below-the-radar existence is upended when the young son is arrested and their secrets are exposed, testing the bonds that unite them. Japanese w/ English subtitles. 121 min.
No Man’s Land
Thursday, February 20
Presented by Emily Greble, Associate Professor of History and East European Studies; and Bradley Gorski, Assistant Professor of Russian and East European Studies
Bosnia & Herzegovina (2001) Dir: Danis Tanovic
A Bosnian and a Serbian soldier find themselves stranded together in No Man’s Land – a trench between enemy lines during the Bosnian war. Already in a stalemate, with no way to escape without getting shot, a presumed dead soldier lying on top of a landmine wakes up, intensifying the tense standoff in which the UN’s toothless “peacekeeping forces” declare themselves powerless to intervene. Bosnian/French/English. 98 min.
Carmen Miranda: Bananas is my Business
Tuesday, February 25
Presented by Benjamin Legg, Senior Lecturer of Portuguese
UK/Brazil (1995) Dir: Helena Solber-Ladd
This film explores the life of Brazilian samba sensation Carmen Miranda. After gaining fame in Rio de Janeiro, Miranda was imported to Broadway in the late 1930s and later to Hollywood, where she became the epitome of the exotic Latina. But with her banana-topped turban and sultry dance moves, the singer became a source of controversy in South America, where many questioned the nature of her crowd-pleasing act. English/Portuguese. 91 min.
The Keeper (Trautmann)
Thursday, February 27
Presented by Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German and Cinema & Media Arts; John Sloop, Associate Provost for Ed. Development and Technologies; and Abby Trozenski, PhD Candidate in German Studies
UK/Germany (2018) Dir: Marcus H. Rosenmuller
This film tells the incredible true story of Bert Trautmann, a German soldier and prisoner of war who, against a backdrop of British post-war protest and prejudice, secures the position of Goalkeeper at Manchester City, and in doing so becomes a footballing icon. Struggling for acceptance by those who dismiss him as the enemy, his love for an Englishwoman carries him through and he wins over even his harshest opponents by securing the 1956 FA Cup Final while playing with a broken neck. English/German. 120 min.
Stories of Intersex & Faith
Thursday, March 12
Presented by Stephanie Budway, Luce Dean’s Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor of the History and Practice of Christian Worship and the Arts
*Filmmakers Megan DeFranza and Lianne Simone in attendance
USA (2019) Dir: Megan DeFranza, Lianne Simone, Paul Van Ness
Five intersex people come out of the shadows to shine light on the medical scandal harming children for decades. These stories illuminate a unique perspective on what it feels like to be invisible in our culture and subject to abuse and shame for being born differently, and it helps to develop constructive conversations on one of the most divisive issues facing communities of faith. English. 80 min.
Saint Cloud Hill
Thursday, March 19
Presented by Allison Inman, Education and Engagement Director at the Belcourt Theatre
*Filmmakers Jace Freeman and Sean Clark in attendance
USA (2019) Dir: Jace Freeman and Sean Clark
Captain Chris Scott rallies a colony of tent residents to defend their provisional homes against the forces of gentrification in Nashville, TN. Evolving from a docuseries about the underbelly of the city’s growing prosperity, the film dives deep into the tragic personal experiences of a displaced community losing its last remnant of stability. English. 79 min.
Elite Squad (Tropa De Elite)
Thursday, March 26
Presented by Marzia Milazzo, Assistant Professor of English
Brazil/USA/Argentina (2007) Dir: José Padilha
In preparation for the pope’s arrival, Captain Nascimento of BOPE squad is assigned to eliminate the risks of drug dealers in a dangerous slum in Rio de Janeiro, while also training two rookie cops to replace him upon retirement. This socially-conscious drama carries viewers inside of BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion) for a scathing indictment of the cycle of violence that permeates Brazilian society. Portuguese with English subtitles. 115 min.
Thursday, April 2
Presented by Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English, Cinema & Media Arts, Asian Studies
South Korea (2019) Dir: Bong Joon-Ho
Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family: rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together, with the Kim children ingratiating themselves into the Park’s lives. Soon a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families until greed and class discrimination jeopardizes what the Kim’s have cleverly banked on and a battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. Korean with English subtitles. 132 min.
Thursday, April 9
Presented by Bradley Gorski, Assistant Professor of Russian and East European Studies
Russia/France (2018) Dir: Krill Serebrennikov
Set in the time just before the dawn of Perestroika, a love triangle emerges around a rock ‘n’ roll musician, his protégé and his wife in 1980s Russia. The film is a fond tribute to the early years of Russian rock and the young people in the underground scene in Leningrad who were immersed in the music coming from the West, but stuck living in the strictures of Soviet Russia. Russian with English subtitles. 126 min.
Thursday, April 16
Presented by Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German, Cinema & Media Arts
Germany (2018) Dir: Markus Goller
Two estranged brothers reunite at their father’s funeral and spontaneously decide to fulfill their childhood dream of traveling across Germany on their vintage motorbikes. So begins a journey from the Black Forrest to the Baltic Sea – never faster than 25 Km/h, but always full of sex, drugs & Ping Pong. From exciting highs to comically dramatic lows, their incredible adventures allow the brothers to reconnect and give them the opportunity to rediscover themselves. German with English subtitles. 116 min.