Another Great Foreign Film Festival

Jean de Florette:
A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell. This film is a PG-rated drama, written in 1986, with a running time of 120 minutes.

Mostly Martha:
Martha is the chef at a small gourmet restaurant in Hamburg who creates mini-masterpieces in every dish. She devotes every waking hour to her work and her shyness keeps her from breaking out of her monotonous routine or meeting new people. When her sister dies in an accident, however, she is compelled to adopt Lina, her 8-year-old niece. Martha’s life changes in an instant: Not only is she faced with adjusting to her new parental role, but she must also find inspired ways to deal with Lina’s grief over the loss of her mother. Surprisingly, help comes from Mario, Martha’s new Italian sous-chef, who begins to visit Martha and Lina, doing all that he can to cheer them up with jokes and elaborate meals. Just as the trio returns to a stage of normalcy in their lives, Lina’s long missing father arrives, announcing that he wants to take Lina back to Italy with him. Having grown to love Lina and her own role as the girl’s protector, Martha is faced with a difficult dilemma. This film is a PG-rated romantic comedy, written in 2001, with a running time of 106 minutes.

The King of Masks:
In a true story, Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Masks for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art. His wife left him with an infant son over 30 years ago. The son died from illness at age 10. This left Wang a melancholy loner aching for a male descendant to learn his rare and dying art. A famous master performer of the Sichuan Opera offers to bring him into his act, thus giving Wang fame and possible fortune, but Wang opts for staying the simple street performer. Then, one night after a performance he is sold a young boy by a slave trader posing as the boy’s parent. “Grandpa” finds new joy in life as he plans to teach “Doggie” (an affectionate term often used for young children in China) his art. All is well until Doggie is found out to really be a girl. This film is a PG-rated drama, written in 1997, with a running time of 91 minutes.

Tangerines:
Set in 1992, during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, this compassionate tale focuses on two Estonian immigrant farmers who decide to remain in Georgia long enough to harvest their tangerine crop. When the war comes to their doorsteps, Ivo (played by legendary Estonian actor Lembit Ulfsak) takes in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides. The fighters vow to kill each other when they recover, but their extended period of recovery has a humanizing effect that might transcend ethnic divides. Set against a beautiful landscape defiled by war, this poetic film makes an eloquent statement for peace. This film is an R-rated drama, written in 2015, with a running time of 87 minutes.

(facilitated by SPICE committee)
Wednesdays, 9/5; 10/3; 11/7; 12/5 10:00 a.m.

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