AUSTIN, Texas—Three critically acclaimed and award-winning films from around the world will be featured at 7 p.m., June 9-11, at The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Student Union Theater.
The film festival, free and open to the public, is in conjunction with an annual teachers’ summer institute. The festival is sponsored by Hemispheres, the international outreach consortium in the College of Liberal Arts.
The festival, “Food for Thought,” will showcase films dealing with food, migration and cultural contact from salt traders in Tibet to magical realist cooking in Mexico and the effect of vodka on the best-laid plans of Russian hunters. The festival opens with Nepal’s “Himalaya: L’enfrance d’un chef,” directed by Eric Valli.
A box office hit in Europe, “Himalaya” was filmed over seven months in the forbidding Dolpo region of Nepal. It tells the story of a generational struggle for the leadership of a tiny mountain village between its proud old chief and a headstrong young caravanner. The balance of power shifts uneasily as they make their annual salt trek across the Himalayas. A visually striking and captivating portrait of life in one of the world’s most extraordinary places, “Himalaya” is both intense drama and a tapestry of the fast disappearing traditions of Tibetan life. It is presented in Tibetan with English subtitles.
“Peculiarities of the National Hunt,” from Russia will be presented June 10. A Finn conducting research on Russian hunting traditions and customs comes to Russia to collect materials and is invited to take part in a hunting party. His flamboyant companions include an army general, a police detective, a local forest ranger (and devotee of Zen Buddhism), and some big-city types from St. Petersburg. Inevitably, their interactions soon give way to endless drinking, visits to local farm girls and much more. This movie is in Russian with English subtitles.
In “Like Water for Chocolate,” from Mexico, featured on June 11, Tita and Pedro are passionately in love. But their love is forbidden by an ancient family tradition. To be near Tita, Pedro marries her sister. And Tita, as the family cook, expresses her passion for Pedro through preparing delectable dishes. Now, in Tita’s kitchen, ordinary spices become a recipe for passion. Her creations bring on tears of longing, heated desire or chronic pain. “Like Water for Chocolate” is presented in Spanish 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.