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Spring 2019

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.

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Spring 2019 Schedule of Films

4 Little Girls

Thursday, January 24

USA (1997)  Dir: Spike Lee

On September 15, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan placed bombs at the 16th Street Baptist Church, which resulted in the death of four black girls ages 11-14 years old and provoked a national outrage. This Academy award nominated documentary details the lives of these four girls and the pivotal changes that took place in the civil rights movement after their deaths. English. 102 min.


Enter the Dragon

Thursday, January 31

Presented by  Se Young Kim, Mellon Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Asian Studies

Hong Kong/U.S.A. (1973) Dir: Robert Clouse

Regretfully both the peak and the final film of Bruce Lee’s career, Enter the Dragon is one of the most popular martial arts films ever made. Lee plays a martial-arts expert determined to help capture the narcotics dealer whose gang was responsible for his sister’s death. In a jaw-dropping display of action/fighting skills, Lee enters a martial arts competition in an attempt to fight his way to the dealer’s headquarters.  English/Cantonese with English subtitles. 110 min.

Post-screening discussion led by Matthew Polly, author of the definitive biography: Bruce Lee: A Life (2018).


The Wailing

Thursday, February 7

Presented by Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English, Cinema & Media Arts, Asian Studies

South Korea (2016)  Dir: Na Hong-jin

Suspicion leads to hysteria when rural villagers link a series of brutal murders and a mysterious sickness to the arrival of an enigmatic stranger. A policeman, personally drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his infected daughter in this tense genre-bending horror film. Korean/Japanese with English subtitles. 156 min.



Finding Fela

Thursday, February 14

Presented by Keith Weghorst, Assistant Professor of Political Science; and Gregory Melchor-Barz, Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Associate Professor of Religion, and Dean of the Ingram Commons

USA (2014)  Dir: Alex Gibney

This documentary details the life, music, social, and political importance of Afrobeat music pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who used this new musical movement as a forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s/80s. Fela Kuti’s influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world.  English. 120 min.


120 BPM (Beats per Minute)

Thursday, February 21

Presented by Alex Dubilet, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Political Science

France (2017)  Dir: Robin Campillo

In the early 1990s, a group of ACT UP activists in Paris goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies with bold, invasive actions. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.   French with English subtitles. 144 min.


El Aula Vacía

Thursday, February 28

Presented by Carolyn Heinrich, Professor of Public Policy and Education, and Professor of Economics

Argentina/Brazil/Colombia/El Salvador/Mexico/Peru/United States/Uruguay (2015)

Winner of the UNICEF Childhood and Adolescence Award, this captivating anthology of both narrative and documentary short films brings together eleven award-winning filmmakers from seven different countries to examine the educational crisis in Latin America, and explore the underlying reasons why nearly half of all young people there never finish high school.  Spanish with English subtitles. 112 min.


Good Manners

Thursday, March 14

Presented by Benjamin Legg, Senior Lecturer of Portuguese, and Karen Amorim de Melo, PhD candidate in Spanish and Portuguese

Brazil/France/Germany (2017)  Dir: Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra

The enigmatic and wealthy Ana hires a lonely nurse named Clara from the outskirts of São Paulo as a nanny for her unborn child. The two women develop an unlikely bond, but Ana’s odd nocturnal behaviors put pressure on both of them – until the fateful night when Ana finally gives birth, and Clara makes it her mission to care for and protect the child from others.  Portuguese with English subtitles. 135 min.


Middle of Nowhere  CANCELED! (replacement film below)

Thursday, March 21

USA (2012)  Dir: Ava DuVernay

Ruby, a promising medical school student, puts a halt on her career in order to focus on her husband’s well-being after he is sentenced to eight years in prison. However, through a chance encounter and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to the core, she is soon propelled in new and shocking directions of self-discovery – caught between two worlds and two men in the search for herself.  English. 99 min.


Medicine for Melancholy

Thursday, March 21

USA (2008) Dir: Barry Jenkins

Waking from a one-night stand that neither remembers, Micah and Joanne find themselves wandering the streets of San Francisco sharing coffee and conversation, while searching for a deeper connection. This debut feature film from Academy Award winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) is both political and fun, touching upon themes of race, class, and gentrification.


95 And 6 To Go

Thursday, March 28

Presented by Jonathan Rattner, Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Art

USA (2016)  Dir: Kimi Takesue

A hard-working Japanese-American in Hawai’i discovers his filmmaking aspirations in his nineties, as he unexpectedly collaborates with his granddaughter on her stalled romantic screenplay, inspiring him to reflect on his life of love, loss, and perseverance. Humorous and poignant, this intimate meditation on absence and family expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.  English. 86 mins


In the Fade

Thursday, April 4

Presented by Kate Schaller and Abigail Trozenski, PhD candidates in German Studies

Germany/France (2016)  Dir: Fatih Akin

Katja’s life falls apart when neo-Nazis kill her husband and 6-year-old son in a bomb attack. After a period of mourning, her mind-numbing search for reasons for the attack and the quest for justice soon pushes her to the edge, as the two suspects stand trial for murder. There is simply no alternative for her: she wants justice and seeks the ultimate revenge.  German with English subtitles. 106 min.


Rang De Basanti     CANCELED!!

(No Replacement film)

Thursday, April 11

Presented by Heeryoon Shin, Mellon Assistant Professor of Asian Art

India (2006)  Dir: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

A British filmmaker comes to Delhi to shoot a film about Indian freedom fighters under British rule & casts a group of five friends to play the revolutionaries. Although the friends are largely apolitical & indifferent to the past, their perceptions change after the tragic death of another friend & Indian Air Force pilot is attributed to local government corruption, suddenly awakening their patriotism. Hindi/Punjabi/English with English subtitles. 157 min.


19th Annual Animation Show of Shows

Thursday, April 18

Belgium/Canada/France/Germany/Sweden/Switzerland/UK/USA  (2017)

At a time of increasing social instability and global anxiety about a range of issues, the works in the 19th Annual Show have a special resonance, presenting compelling ideas about our place in society and how we fit into the world. Funny, engaging, inspiring, and thought-provoking, these 16 animated short films from eight different countries are a remarkable and insightful microcosm of our world.  93 min.




Films are screened in Sarratt Cinema at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.