AUSTIN, Texas—Four critically acclaimed and award-winning films from around the world will be featured at 7 p.m., June 3-6, at The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Student Union Theatre.
The film festival, free and open to the public, is in conjunction with an annual teachers’ summer institute. It is sponsored by Hemispheres, the international outreach consortium in the College of Liberal Arts.
The festival, "On War and Peace: Films about World Conflict," will showcase films dealing with world conflict from China, Senegal, Russia and Iran. The festival opens on June 3 with China’s "Not One Less" from the celebrated director of "Ju Dou" and "Raise the Red Lantern."
This comic fable is about a 13-year-old girl who is chosen to serve as a substitute teacher when the village’s elder schoolmaster is away. Her troubles teaching the children are nothing compared to the trouble she finds in the city when she travels to find a missing student. The movie is presented in Mandarin with English subtitles.
"Guelwaar," from Senegal will be presented on June 4. Pierre Henri Thioune — called Guelwaar or Noble One — by his family and friends, has died under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind his grieving wife, their daughter, who toils as a prostitute in Dakar, and their two sons. The funeral is delayed by the disappearance of Guelwaar’s corpse from the morgue. When a policeman goes in search of the missing body, he finds himself in the midst of a bitter dispute between local Christians and Muslims. It is presented in French and Wolof with English subtitles.
On June 5, "Prisoner of the Mountains," from Russia will be shown. A drama of love and war, Sergei Bodrov’s Academy Award-nominated film is based on Tolstoy’s classic tale and set in the Caucasus mountains. Sacha, a dashing soldier, and the young recruit, Vania, are captured by a Chechen father who holds them hostage in his village home. As the two Russians await their fate, a love gradually develops between Vania and their captor’s daughter. It is presented in Russian with English subtitles.
The festival concludes on June 6 with "Kandahar" from Iran. Nafas is an Afghan-born journalist living in Canada, who fled her country as a teen-ager. She receives a letter from her sister about her intentions to end her life.
Despondent over her hopeless situation in Taliban-controlled Kandahar, her sister vows to kill herself during the last eclipse of the century, only three days away. Nafas sets out on a perilous journey into a land where it is illegal for women to travel alone. Covered by a burqa, her faceless character meets others along the way who reveal a different but real facet of life as experienced by the people of Afghanistan. It is presented in English, Pashtu and Farsi with English subtitles.
Hemispheres is a joint project of the Center for Asian Studies, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Additional support for the festival comes from the Center for African and African American Studies.
For further information contact: : Natalie Arsenault (512) 471-5551.