Global Lens 2013
Published on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 11:11am
We are pleased to offer four selections from the Global Lens 2013 film festival for our June Film Series. The Global Lens is funded by the Global Film Initiative, which promotes cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema. The Global Film Initiative believes that stories are important to world affairs and that storytelling builds trust between conflicting cultures. Moreover, the Global Film Initiative thinks cinema is perhaps the most effective means of breaking down the barriers that divide people and places.
Films from the Global Lens 2013 were made in developing countries where funding for film-making is limited. In fact, the Global Film Initiative funds and promotes these films. The films are shown in thirty-five cities across the United States and Canada. We hope you enjoy the Global Lens 2013's visit to Washington, D.C.! All screenings are free and open to the public. The films start at 6 p.m. in the large lower-level meeting room.
June 4 -- Beijing Flickers (2012, China)
Rated NR, 96 minutes
San Bao is a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment and the woman he loves (who’s left him for a richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has run away from him. Lovelorn, self-destructive and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city with other soulful, cash-poor dreamers and misfits. Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequality and unfeeling ambition. (Mandarin with English subtitles)
June 11 -- Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights (2012, India)
Rated NR, 65 minutes
An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is on a mission to get his neighborhood streetlights turned off after sunrise after he notices they stay on all day as well. Shyamal Uncle finds his sense of propriety upset by this wasteful expense of electricity. But finding someone to take him seriously proves a battle against an indifferent bureaucracy and a complacent status quo (and is just maybe a welcome distraction from his otherwise dull routine). Suman Ghosh’s vérité-style film is alive with the sights, sounds and personalities of this old Kolkata neighborhood, as his unlikely protagonist pursues a quest that adds up to a wry, revealing, highly original tour of modern India. (Bengali with English subtitles)
June 18 -- The Fantastic World of Juan Orol (2012, Mexico)
Rated NR, 90 minutes
Move over Ed Wood! Mexico’s half-forgotten B-movie master, “involuntary surrealist” Juan Orol, receives a pitch-perfect tribute in this irresistible love letter to a self-made man of showbiz, whose career spanned nearly sixty films. In a glorious black-and-white flashback mingling movie-tainted memories of his Galician childhood, forced exile to Cuba and arrival in Mexico, intrepid “Juanito“ pursues failed careers as baseball player, boxer, bullfighter and gangster before landing in the movies—where failure kind of works for him. As Orol, Roberto Sosa exudes droll underdog charm, anchoring a fast-moving comedy where every frame is an infectious homage to a golden age of cinema, the wile of memory and the art of fantasy. (Spanish with English subtitles)
June 25 -- Southwest (2011, Brazil)
Rated NR, 128 minutes
In this gorgeously dreamlike and mysterious tale, a young woman named Clarice gives birth on her deathbed to a baby girl also christened Clarice by the bruxa (or witch) attending the nearly simultaneous moments of death and birth. Spirited away to a remote lakeside village, baby Clarice lives her whole life in the span of twenty-four hours, and yet (as the film’s vast, black-and-white panoramas suggest) even so compressed a lifetime remains impossible to fully grasp or contain. In Eduardo Nunes’s assured debut feature, precious strands of memory, identity and desire add up to a palpable fairytale affirming our place in the ineffable stream of life. (Portuguese with English subtitles)