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Spring 2010

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Yacoubian BuildingYacoubian Building

Wednesday, January 20
Presented by: Claire Sisco King, Assistant Professor,
Communication Studies
Egypt (2006) Dir: Marwan Hamed.
This epic tale of the troubled lives and secret loves of the Egyptian upperclass portrays this luxury apartment building and its inhabitants as having seen better days. Yet they still desperately attempt to hold on to their elegant reputations. Arabic, French, English with English subtitles. Not rated. 161 minutes. Funding provided in part by the Department of Communication Studies.

Harvest TimeHarvest Time

Wednesday, January 27
Presented by: Irina Makoveeva, Mellon Assistant Professor, Germanic & Slavic Languages Department
Russia (2004) Dir: Marina Razbezhkina.
Set in 1950s Russia, this meditation on family unity uses nostalgia to explore a dark period in Soviet history. The film’s intimate portrait of the daily life of a hardship-wracked collective farming family depicts the destruction of rural life and beliefs by an implacable state system. Russian with English subtitles. Not rated. 67 minutes. Funding provided in part by the Germanic & Slavic Languages Department.

A World Without ThievesA World Without Thieves

Thursday, January 28
Presented by: Vanderbilt Undergraduate
Chinese Association
China, Hong Kong (2004) Dir: Xiaogang Feng.
A young Chinese “Bonnie and Clyde” meet up and swindle their way across the mainland. They run into a wide-eyed innocent who believes he inhabits a world without thieves. As he becomes a pawn in their games, will they teach him a lesson or protect his naïveté? Mandarin with English subtitles. Not rated. 113 minutes. DVD.

Three MonkeysThree Monkeys

Tuesday, February 2
Presented by: Turkish Students Association
Turkey, France, Italy (2008) Dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
A politician in a hit-and-run accident convinces his driver to take the fall in this gorgeous but pulpy melodrama. Complications ensue as the driver, his wife and son, and the politician struggle to prevail in the atmosphere of class antagonism and sexual cruelty. Winner of the 2008 award for directing at Cannes. Turkish with English subtitles. Not rated. 109 minutes.

24 City24 City

Wednesday, February 3
Presented by: Ling Hon Lam, Assistant Professor,
Asian Studies Program
Hong Kong, China, Japan (2008) Dir: Jia Zhang-ke.
Once Chinese workers were treated as heroes, now they’re expendable assets. This film traces the transformations that have occurred over three generations in the city of Chengdu by merging fiction and documentary to present testimonies from former factory workers and citizens. Mandarin and Shanghainese with English subtitles. Not rated. 112 minutes. Funding provided by Asian Studies Program.

Sam Cooke: LegendSam Cooke: Legend

Wednesday, February 10
Presented by: Peter Guralnick, Writer in Residence, English Department
USA (2003) Writer: Peter Guralnick.
Written by award-winning author and Vanderbilt professor Peter Guralnick, this is a stirring look at a singular talent who was not only one of the originators of soul music but whose song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” has been an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement ever since its first release. This Grammy-winning documentary includes vintage performance and interview clips with Cooke, along with first-person recollections from many of the great gospel and R&B pioneers. English. Not rated. 70 minutes. DVD.

Southern Arts Federation Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers*

Trimpin: The Sound of InventionTrimpin: The Sound of Invention

Thursday, February 11
The director will introduce the film and lead a Q&A following the screening.
USA (2009) Dir: Peter Esmonde.
This documentary explores the outrageous work and agile mind of a wildly creative artist/inventor/composer/engineer. Recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award and many other accolades, Trimpin (who uses only his last name) combines music-making machines and kinetic sculpture with homegrown computer technology. The film is an amusing, kinetic exploration of a creative genius in perpetual motion. English. 79 minutes. DVD.

Mr. and Mrs. IyerMr. and Mrs. Iyer

Tuesday, February 16
Presented by: Suhas Ketkar, Professor, Economics Department
India (2002) Dir: Aparna Sen.
This socio-political drama explores human relationships in life-threatening circumstances. A Muslim man accepts responsibility for a Hindu woman traveling alone with her infant son. When Hindu extremists stop the bus to search for and kill Muslims, will she accept the danger that comes with posing as a married Hindu couple? English, Tamil, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu with English subtitles. Not rated. 120 minutes. DVD.

Investigation of a Citizen Above SuspicionInvestigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Wednesday, February 17
Presented by: Andrea Mirabile, Assistant Professor of Italian, French & Italian Department
Italy (1970) Dir: Elio Petri.
A Fascist police inspector slits his mistress’s throat, plants incriminating evidence, and reports the crime, but the police ignore the clues because of his high standing on the force. A jarring satire of Italian police techniques and a scathing meditation on the relationship between class and guilt. Winner of the 1970 Best Foreign Film Academy Award, features a score by Ennio Morricone. Dubbed in English. Not rated.112 minutes. 16mm.

Favela RisingFavela Rising

Wednesday, February 24
Presented by: Emmanuelle Oliveira, Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian
Literature, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Brazil, USA (2005) Dirs: Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist.
Grupo AfroReggae, a small group of idealistic young men, use music, art, and dance to unify and heal the community of Vigario Geral, one of the most violent slum neighborhoods in Rio, offering to its young people a positive alternative to the lethal world of drug lords and duplicitous police. Portugese with English subtitles. Not rated. 80 minutes. DVD. Funding provided by the Center for Latin American Studies.

The Princess and the WarriorThe Princess and the Warrior

Wednesday, March 3
Presented by: Hermann Kappelhoff, Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor, Germanic & Slavic Languages Department
Germany (2000) Dir: Tom Tykwer.
Sissi lives a secluded life, devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Then she meets Bodo, an ex-soldier. In their first encounter, he saves her life. Sissi begins to wonder if he might be the man of her dreams. But Bodo is stuck between a traumatic past and a criminal future. Can the princess save the warrior? German with English subtitles. Rated R. 135 minutes. DVD. Funding provided by the Germanic & Slavic Languages Department.


Thursday, March 4
Presented by: Mark Devlin, PhD. Cosmologist, University of Pennsylvania and BLAST Principal Investigator
USA (2008) Dir: Paul Devlin.
Filmmaker Paul Devlin follows his brother, Mark, as he leads a tenacious team of scientists hoping to figure out how all the galaxies formed by launching a revolutionary new telescope under a NASA high-altitude balloon. This exciting adventure follows the scientists from the Arctic to the Antarctic, revealing their frustrations, inevitable failures, and ultimate triumph. English. Not rated. 78 minutes. DVD. Funding provided in part by the Physics & Astronomy Department.

Goya in BordeauxGoya in Bordeaux

Tuesday, March 16
Presented by: Robert Mode, Associate Professor, History of Art Department
Spain, Italy (2000) Dir: C. Saura.
This eye-poppingly imaginative film forcefully conjures up the spirit of 18th-century Spanish painter Francisco Goya, who died in exile in Bordeaux, by portraying him as an unstoppable bull of a man and an artistic visionary whose greatest work fearlessly locked horns with the darkest human truths. Spanish and French with English subtitles. Rated R. 107 minutes. DVD. Funding provided in part by the History of Art Department.

Vincent Who?Vincent Who?

Wednesday, March 17
Presented by: Asian American Students Association
Facilitator: Curtis Chin, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress
USA (2009) Dirs: Curtis Chin and Tony Lam.
In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments, two Detroit autoworkers murdered Vincent Chin, and Asian Americans mobilized for the first time to create a distinct community and movement. Inspired by the Asian Pacific Americans for Progress town halls commemorating the 25th anniversary of the case, this documentary examines how far Asian Americans have come and how far they have yet to go. English. Not rated. 40 minutes. DVD. Funding provided in part by the Office of Leadership Development and Intercultural Affairs and the Multicultural Leadership Council.

Southern Arts Federation Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers*

God’s ArchitectsGod’s Architects

Thursday, March 18
The director will introduce the film and lead a Q&A following the screening.
USA (2009) Dir: Zachary Godshall.
God’s Architects tells the stories of five visionary builders and their enigmatic creations. With neither funding nor blueprints, these builders, unbeknownst to one another, dedicate their entire lives to creating architectural worlds and realms that for most of us exist only in the wilds of the imagination. English. 88 minutes. DVD.


Wednesday, March 24
Presented by: Alberto Fuguet, Visiting Resource Professor, Center for Latin
American Studies
Chile (2009) Dir: Alberto Fuguet.
Ariel Roth is content with his bike, his small one-room apartment, his laptop, and his solitude. But when Ariel´s best friend and girlfriend decide they don´t want to spend time with him, he discovers he has to start all over again. At least he still has his bike, his laptop, and the streets of Santiago. World premiere screening presented by the director. Spanish with English subtitles. 120 minutes. DVD.

As Old as My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi KidudeAs Old as My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude

Tuesday, March 30
Presented by: Office of Active Citizenship and Service
Tanzania, United Kingdom (2006) Dir: Andy Jones.
This intimate portrait of Bi Kidude, a tireless performer, sharp-witted raconteur, and probably the oldest singer on the world stage today, challenges assumptions about age and the role of women in Islamic societies. English and Swahili with English subtitles. Not Rated. 66 minutes. DVD. Funding provided in part by the Office of Active Citizenship and Service.

California Dreamin’California Dreamin’

Wednesday, March 31
Presented by: Gregg Horowitz, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department
Romania (2007) Dir: Cristian Nemescu.
An American military officer and the marines he commands find themselves stuck in a Romanian backwater called Capalnita. Though they try to force or coax their way out, the locals see their stranding as a major opportunity. This rambunctious, closely observed comedy of cultural collision, levels its satirical gaze at Romania’s foibles and the sometimes lethal absurdities of geopolitics. English, Romanian, Spanish, and Italian with English subtitles. Not Rated. 155 minutes. DVD. Funding provided in part by the Philosophy Department.

The IslandThe Island

Wednesday, April 7
Presented by: Konstantin Kustanovich, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Germanic & Slavic
Languages Department
Russia (2006) Dir: Pavel Lungin.
After the Nazis force Anatoly to shoot his superior, they set him adrift in a boat and he washes up on an island in Russia’s icy White Sea. Thirty-five years later, he is still there, begging Jesus for forgiveness while advising the island’s inhabitants on how to overcome their difficulties. When a person from his past appears, Anatoly must confront his deed to overcome his spiritual crisis. Russian and German with English subtitles. Not rated. 112 minutes.

Southern Arts Federation Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers*

Between FloorsBetween Floors

Thursday, April 8
The director will introduce the film and lead a Q&A following the screening.
USA (2009) Dir: Jen White.
The human condition is examined through a uniquely claustrophobic lens, intercutting between five stuck elevators and the people trapped inside them. Each elevator becomes an existential purgatory, forcing its occupants to not only confront their isolation, but themselves and each other in varied and unexpected ways. English. 87 minutes. DVD.

RR [Railroad]

Saturday, April 11

Presented by: Marilyn Murphy, Professor of Art
USA  (2007) Dir. James Benning
“No current filmmaker exemplifies this hybridization better than James Benning. His work simply confounds any easy categorization. Avant-garde? Documentary? Landscape study? At this point, it’s better simply to call him one of America’s greatest contemporary filmmakers, hands-down. RR, Benning’s 2007 feature-length study of American railroads, is one of his finest achievements to date. RR, like Benning’s other films of the last 15 or so years, comprises a series of meticulously composed, uninterrupted tripod shots, separated by a brief passage of black leader. In the case of RR, the length of time it takes the given train to enter and completely exit the frame determines the duration of each shot. A mere description of Benning’s process, however, utterly fails to convey the sensuousness and endless variety of his film.” [Michael Sicinski–Nashville Scene] 111 minutes. 16mm. Funding provided by the Film Studies Program.

The BelieversThe Believers

Wednesday, April 14
Presented by: Office of LGBTQI Life
USA (2006) Dir: Todd Holland.
This documentary shatters assumptions about faith, gender, and religion in its focus on the world’s first transgender gospel choir. The film takes us from the group’s shaky beginnings through their transformation into an award-winning choir to examine members’ attempts to reconcile their gender identity with the belief that changing one’s gender goes against the word of God. English. Not rated. 80 minutes. DVD. Funding provided by the Office of LGBTQI Life.

4th Annual Vanderbilt Student Film Festival

Sunday, April 18
This competitive festival, sponsored by Film Studies Program and the Office of the Dean of Students, showcases the best student media works in all genres (experimental, nonfiction, fiction) by Vanderbilt students. For information on submission deadlines and the schedule of film screenings visit Film Studies at

Jesus of MontrealJesus of Montreal

Tuesday, April 20
Presented by: Susan Kevra, Senior Lecturer, French & Italian Department
Canada (1989) Dir: Denys Arcand.
When attendance at a church’s annual Passion Play wanes, a troupe of young actors stages a modern interpretation of Jesus’ teachings. Their version brings the house down, but also brings down the condemnation of the church’s hierarchy, creating a strange parallel between the actors, now persecuted believers, and their play. Winner of the 1989 Cannes Grand Jury Prize. French, English, and Italian with English subtitles.
Rated R. 118 minutes. DVD.

Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part HarmonyAmandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony

Wednesday, April 21
Presented by: Greg Barz, Associate Professor of Musicology, Blair School of Music and Faculty Head of House, North Hall, The Commons
South Africa (2003) Dir: Lee Hirsch.
Does song have the power to communicate, motivate, console, unite and, ultimately, beget change? This documentary of black South African freedom music reveals the central role it played in the battle against apartheid. Archival footage, interviews, musical numbers, and reenactments celebrate the resilience of the human spirit throughout this decades-long struggle for civil rights. English and Zulu with English subtitles. Rated PG-13. 108 minutes. Funding provided in part by North Hall, The Commons.

The International Lens film series is coordinated by the Office of Arts & Creative Engagement and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.

Schedule is subject to change. All films in 35mm unless otherwise noted

“Not rated” films may contain material suitable for mature audiences only.

Sarratt Cinema is located on the first floor of the Sarratt Student Center at Vanderbilt University. The Multipurpose Room is on the second floor of The Commons Center on Vanderbilt’s Peabody Campus, just north of the intersection of 18th Avenue South, and Horton Avenue.

Parking for Nashville community members for International Lens screenings is available at no charge in Zone 2 lot 2 on West End Avenue. Please avoid parking in spaces that are reserved. If the lot is full, metered parking spaces are also available on West End (Note: There is no charge for parking at the West End meters after 6 pm , campus parking meters may still have a charge).

For parking maps and additional information click here or call 322-6400.

*Southern Arts Federation Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

International Lens is proud to be a 2009–10 recipient of a SAF Southern Circuit grant that sup- ports the nation’s only regional tour of independent filmmakers, providing communities with an interactive way of experiencing independent film. The tour connects audience members with independent filmmakers and encourages dialogue about the films and their meanings.
Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from the Southern Arts Federation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.