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Films are shown in the Student Center Cinema
Admission by season subscription only.
For our 34th consecutive season we have assembled 14 internationally acclaimed films from thirteen different countries. The selections in the 2015–2016 series have been recognized by critics as some of the best cinema the world has to offer, collecting prizes from international film festivals and award competitions such as the U.S. Academy Awards, Cannes Film Festival, César Awards, Berlin International Film Festival, and the Asian-Pacific Film Festival. This year's program includes all five Oscar finalists for Best Foreign Language Film, including the winner, Ida (Poland, 2013).
As an entertainment value, the UW-Parkside Foreign Film Series remains a bargain that cannot be beat! For less than $2 per film, our patrons have six show time options, including a liberal switching policy; 3 free guest passes; and full-length reviews.
Order your season tickets as soon as possible! Our most popular show times, Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 p.m., and Saturday 5:00 p.m. have sold out for a number of years running.
We encourage you to order your tickets online.
Alternatively, you can fill out the order form on this brochure and mail it to: UW-Parkside Ranger Card Office, P.O. Box 2000, Kenosha, WI 53141-2000; or you can call 262-595-2307.
We will mail your tickets to you, or if you order late, we will hold your tickets at the box office.
See you at the movies!
UW-Parkside Foreign Film Series Committee
Norm Cloutier (FFS Director, Professor of Economics)
Donald Kummings (Emeritus Professor of English)
In a remote ski resort in the French Alps, a Swedish family experiences a "force majeure," an unavoidable accident or, quite simply, an act of God. While the family sits at lunch, an avalanche begins to roll down the side of a nearby mountain.Responding with his first instinct, the father of the group flees the table, leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves. After assessing that no bodily damage has been done, the family tries to goon enjoying their holiday, but it is not long before they are having awkward dinner conversations with strangers and strained interactions about the way they separately perceive how events played out. Östlund couples intelligence with aesthetics,and along with the expert performances by the film's lead actors, presents us with a biting satire of masculinity and one of last year's most impressive European dramas. 2014 National Board of Review,USA: Top Five Foreign Language Films. (Sweden,2014) Director: Ruben Östlund. Swedish, English, French and Norwegian languages. 120 min REVIEW
During the 1990s conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia many people fled the region. However, two Estonian men remained in order to harvest the season's crop of tangerines. While they are going about their business, they get caught in the crossfire between two small bands of rival soldiers. Two of the soldiers survive: Ahmed, a Chechen mercenary on the Abkhazian side, and Niko, a Georgian. Both are badly wounded, but the two Estonians take them in and nurse them back to health. Shot in the western Georgia region of Guria, the film's gorgeous landscapes further underlie the pointlessness of organized human bloodshed in the larger context of nature's bounty. Though the film is about war, and the war never truly dissipates entirely to the background, there is a dry humor to the film. 2015 USA Academy Awards: one of five finalists for Best Foreign Language Film. (Estonia, 2013) Director: Zaza Urushadze. Estonian, Russian and Georgian languages. 87 min REVIEW
Sandra has just returned to work after recovering from a serious bout with depression, only to find that she is about to be let go. After learning that her co-workers will vote to decide her fate on Monday morning, Sandra races against time over the course of the weekend to convince each of her fellow employees to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses so that she may keep her job. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results in this powerful statement on community solidarity. The Dardenne brothers' most accomplished, heart-wrenching work to date, Two Days, One Night is a small miracle of a movie, a drama so purely humane that it makes most attempts at audience uplift look crass and calculated by comparison. 2014 European Film Awards: Best Actress. 2014 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Actress, Best Foreign Language Film. (Belgium, 2014) Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. French, Arabic and English languages. 95 min REVIEW
In this collection of six darkly comic shorts, revenge is served both cold and hot, but always deliciously. Each of the tales sees the preyed-upon become predator, and when these worms turn, they bite, hard. The film is a mix of Buñuel-ian absurdism and violent black comedy, subtly raising issues of sexual and national politics, bureaucracy, and class. Each story builds from a simple everyday event—a man helping a woman stow a suitcase on a plane, for example, or a man's car being towed—to an unexpected and shocking ending. Szifron's Argentina is a place where corruption rules over a land of bureaucracy and money can buy you anything, except perhaps the ability to be more cunning than the next man. While the threat of violence is everywhere, the film keeps the emphasis on humor rather than horror. The result is unflagging and ferociously funny. 2015 USA Academy Awards: one of five finalists for Best Foreign Language Film. (Argentina, 2014) Director: Damián Szifrón. Spanish language. 122 min REVIEW
October 29-November 1
Kolia lives in a coastal village running an auto-repair shop from the garage of his childhood home, shared with young wife Lilya and his teenage son. The family's world is under threat: the imperious town mayor has slapped a compulsory acquisition order on Kolia's land, marking the site for a development of undetermined but dubious funding. Kolia enlists the help of ex-army friend Dmitri, now a hotshot lawyer from Moscow. Dmitri has uncovered some highly incriminating evidence that he believes will force the mayor to back down. Soon tempers and passions are inflamed, events spiral out of control, and lives are placed at stake. The film throughout stays absolutely gripping, right up to the O. Henry twist that slams the film shut. 2015 USA Academy Awards: one of five finalists for Best Foreign Language Film; 2014 Cannes Film Festival: Best Screenplay. (Russia, 2014) Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Russian language. 140 min REVIEW
When middle-aged English teacher and die-hard Beatlemaniac Antonio learns that John Lennon is in Spain for a film shoot, he makes it his mission to meet the man himself. Shortly after hitting the road, his solo drive becomes an excursion shared by teenage runaway Juanjo and pretty young outcast Belen. Director Trueba takes elements of a true story to craft his—a schoolteacher who uses Beatles lyrics to help his students learn English, and John Lennon's 1966 visit to Spain to act in a film. The way the characters see the songs that waft in through foreign radio as hope for change captures the way the music of the 1960s ushered in a necessary chord of progress. Antonio's quest to meet John Lennon offers an uplifting tale of how the pursuit of a dream inspires one to inspire others, and even something as simple as meeting a rock star can give one enough confidence to stand up to adversity. 2014 Goya Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director (Spain, 2013) Director: David Trueba. Spanish language. 108 min REVIEW
This is a film centered on a proud aboriginal man fighting off the cultural and social infection of white European society. We first meet Charlie in a reservation somewhere near Darwin. He seems happy enough until the authorities start to impose the letter of the law on his lifestyle. Charlie's kin seem more interested in going along with things than doing anything about it, so Charlie takes off to live the old way. The dullness of the reservation gives way to breathtaking natural photography when Charlie retreats into the freedom of the bush. He fits so well into this environment he may as well have grown from the very soil itself. This land belongs to Charlie, and Charlie belongs to this land. Finely shot, skillfully edited and packed with colorful side characters, this film provides viewers a deep personal look at the plight of Australian aboriginal people. 2014 Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor. (Australia, 2013) Director: Rolf de Heer. English language. 108 min REVIEW
After fleeing Poland as a child during WWII, Jacob Kaplan built a quiet life in Uruguay. Now 76 and retired, Jacob feels like he's barely achieved anything with his life and is at a loss about what to do with his time. Things start to turn around when he hears talk of an 80-something German man who runs a beachfront cafe, then catches a news report about someone finding an 85-year-old war criminal in Argentina whom the authorities are extraditing to Israel to face trial. He becomes convinced that the elderly cafe owner must be a former Nazi. With plans to kidnap him and secretly take him to Israel to stand trial, Kaplan enlists the help of his new chauffeur (a retired police officer), launching into research, investigation and a nearly botched secret mission. This is a humorous, colorful, well-crafted comedy with an end result you might not be expecting. (Uruguay, 2014) Director: Álvaro Brechner. Spanish language. 98 min REVIEW
Timbuktu is for most Westerners little more than a metaphor for a remote place. The actual place, an impoverished town of about 54,000, was once a center of Islamic learning that is still known for its heritage sites. In 2012, Islamic jihadi groups overran northern Mali, attempting to impose strict sharia laws on the local populace. Much to the horror of the local cleric, the Islamic zealots are banning innocent pleasures and punishing offenders with lashings and stonings. Mali's new theocratic state must now rule on practical matters and its crass insensitivity and immaturity as a system of government is horribly exposed. Passionate, visually stunning, and offering moments of humor, this film is a cry from the heart, a fable expressed with grace and care. 2015 USA Academy Awards: one of five finalists for Best Foreign Language Film; 2014 Cannes Film Festival: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. (Mauritania, 2014) Director: Abderrahmane Sissako. French, Arabic, Bambara, English and Songhay languages. 97 min REVIEW
It is the summer of 1984; Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike. Pride shares a little-known true story of a small, community-based London gay and lesbian organization that publicly supported the miners in their strike and raised money to help one small Welsh town that was badly impacted by the extended unemployment. Initially, the national miners' union wants nothing to do with them; being gay is still lower on the cultural totem pole than working a nasty, backbreaking job. With a ceaselessly happy, uplifting vibe throughout, Pride is an inspiring, funny and important film about the fight for equality and how strength in numbers amongst multiple marginalized groups has the potential to change a nation's values. 2014 British Independent Film Awards: Best Film, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress. Director: Matthew Warchus. English and Welsh languages. 119 min REVIEW
In post-war Berlin, Nelly Lenz is an Auschwitz survivor who escaped from her concentration camp but in the process suffered catastrophic facial injuries. Nelly seeks out her husband, Johnny, even though there's evidence to suggest that it was he who turned her in to the SS. When she finds him, he notices the resemblance but has completely convinced himself that his wife must be dead. However, he knows Nelly has an unclaimed fortune and proceeds to hatch a scheme to use his newfound lady friend as a way to claim it. Nelly plays along, frightened to reveal the truth and hopeful that this will allow her some semblance of the life she once had, even as she refuses to believe that it is Johnny's betrayal that destroyed her in the first place. A brilliant encapsulation of how people cope (or refuse to cope) with tragedy, especially when it's at least partially of their own making. 2015 Hong Kong International Film Festival: SIGNIS Award. (Germany, 2014) Director: Christian Petzold. German and English languages. 98 min REVIEW
March 31-April 3
Mr. Turner is a loving, unsentimental portrait of the rare creative soul that was the famous early-1800s British artist, J.M.W. Turner. The film explores the last quarter century of the great painter's life up until his death in 1851. He travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular though rather archaic member of the Royal Academy of Arts and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Experiencing the film, we not only see Turner's work as it might have looked in its moment, but also the world as Turner saw it, through painterly eyes. By the end we find that our knowledge of Turner's genius and its place in British history has deepened, and the compass by which we measure our own experience has grown wider. 2014 Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor. (UK, 2014) Director: Mike Leigh. English language. 150 min REVIEW
13-year-old Lili has been sent to stay with her ex-professor father by her academic mother, who is off to Australia for a conference with her new partner. Lili brings with her an unwelcome guest in her big mixed breed Labrador-y pet, Hagen. Her dad is in no mood for such inconvenience. He abandons Hagen on the streets to fend for himself. Lili is distraught and begins to wreck her own life by generally acting up. Meanwhile, Hagen falls into the hands of police forces that sell him to a dog-fighting trainer. But together with the other dogs in the shelter, Hagen manages to run off and plan a great revenge against the human race. Mundruczo achieves moments you would think impossible outside the realm of animation, including the remarkable third act when seemingly every dog in Budapest has his day. 2014 Cannes Film Festival: Palm Dog Award to canine cast. (Hungary, 2014) Director: Kornel Mundruczo. Hungarian and English languages. 121 min REVIEW
April 28-May 1
Anna is young and naive, an orphan raised in a convent. Wanda is middle-aged and cynical, a chain-smoking, hard-drinking judge. These are the two women at the center of this delicate and unforgettable film. Anna is an eighteen-year-old novice about to take her vows to join the religious order that raised her since she was a baby orphaned during the war. Before she does, though, she receives some life-changing information: Anna has an aunt, Wanda, and Anna was born Ida Lebenstein, to Jewish parents. Thus begins a journey in which aunt and niece drive back to the Polish village of Anna's parents in an effort to discover how they died and where they were buried. Riveting, original and breathtakingly accomplished on every level, Ida would be a masterpiece in any era, in any country. 2015 USA Academy Awards: Best Foreign Language Film. (Poland, 2013) Director: Pawel Pawlikowski. Polish, Latin, French languages. 82 min REVIEW