Foreign Film Series

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The Foreign Film Series provides the Cedarville community an opportunity to view interesting and challenging films from around the world. The series allows viewers to peer into often unfamiliar cultures through the eyes of the cultures themselves.

The Song of Sparrows

The Song of Sparrows

Iran/Drama
Thursday, January 23, 2014 — 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. — BTS 104

» View IMDB Entry (7.8 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (98% fresh)

Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi (Children of Heaven) directs this drama that earned its lead actor, Reza Naji, the award for best actor at the Berlin Film Festival. After losing his job at a rural ostrich farm, Karim (Naji) takes his motorcycle into the city of Tehran. A case of mistaken identity leads the out-of-work family man to start earning money as a motorcycle taxi driver, but his wife and daughters dislike the man the city has turned him into.

Mohammad Amir Naji, Maryam Akbari, Kamram Dehghan
Director: Majid Majidi

Trailer

At times funny, sad, poignant and suspenseful, Sparrows is a showcase for Majidi's masterful storytelling—and Naji's superb acting.
Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
The images in The Song of Sparrows have a poetic grace that's to be desired in storytelling.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
It's Majidi's impeccable eye that lifts the movie's everyday-people parable above the norm; wedded to such visual poetry, even its minor tragedies and smaller victories seem positively profound.
David Fear, Time Out New York
[A]stonishes with me its simplicity, its uncomplicated wisdom, its visual salience...
MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
A parable of corruption, catastrophe and eventual redemption. Mr. Majidi's tale wasn't meant to be timely, of course, but the shoe fits, and the film wears it well.
Joe Mortgenstern, Wall Street Journal
[A] greatly satisfying parable of happenstance.
Chris Barsanti, Filmcritic.com
People of faith will see divinity in The Song of Sparrows, and the rest of us the presence of something greater than ourselves, a perfection that can only be understood in observation of another person's life.
Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
With this simple story of real-life comedy and drama, plus those small moral decisions we face every day, Majidi gives us a warmly involving and entertaining look at the earthy humanity of life in Iran
Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
In a Better World

In a Better World

Denmark, Sudan/Drama
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — 7:00 and 9:45 p.m. — BTS 104

» View IMDB Entry (7.6 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (77% fresh)

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness.

Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death

Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy.

Mikael Persbrandt, William Jøhnk Nielsen, Markus Rygaard, Trine Dyrholm
Director: Susanne Bier

Trailer

Simply put, this would be a better world if there were more films like In a Better World.
Tom Long, Detroit News
An ethically ambitious, morally thoughtful - and deeply vexing - drama about the fragility of civil order and the menace of the lawless.
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
Director Bier and her regular screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen construct a believable series of events where notions of Western civilisation as opposed to Third World moral disarray are put to the test.
Tim Evans, Sky Movies
Asks worthwhile questions about how fathers can best lead their sons, about the expectations placed on men by society and about their struggles with their inner violent impulses, which can lay so dormant and unnoticed, then, in a frightening rush, explode.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
A most deserving Oscar winner and a film that could provoke discussion anywhere it is shown, anywhere people of any age are being bullied.
Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
The microcosm of the children's world is exceptionally well drawn.
Amber Wilkinson
A thought-provoking, powerfully acted and resonant exploration of rough justice in the modern world...
Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express
Hitler’s Children

Hitler’s Children

Japan/Drama
Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. – BTS 104

» View IMDB Entry (7.2 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (80% fresh)

Hitler had no children, but what about Goering, Himmler, Hoess, and Frank? Hitler’s Children introduces us to the descendants of these infamous men. Niklas Frank, son of Hans Frank and godson of Hitler, has spent his adult life speaking out against his father and the Nazi regime. Bettina Goering, grandniece of Hitler’s second in command, Herman Goering, lives in voluntary exile in Santa Fe. These and many others, discuss how they have coped with the fact that their last names are equated with terror and genocide. They discuss the delicate balance they have reached as they negotiate between the natural admiration that children have toward their parents and their innate revulsion of their parents’ crimes.

Bettina Goering, Katrin Himmler, Monika Goeth, Rainer Hoess, Niklas Frank
Director: Chanoch Zeevi

Trailer

A film whose core is a haunting question: When parents are monstrous, where does filial love begin and end?
Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
The sins of the fathers have seldom weighed so heavy as in the odd, intriguing and ultimately moving Hitler's Children.
John Anderson, Variety
As fascinating as it is provocative about aspects of evil, guilt, denial, heredity and repentance, this Israeli/German co-production offers much to think about.
Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
Haunting documentary about the descendants of top Nazi leaders struggling to endure their horrific legacy.
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
[A] chilling, unsettling documentary.
Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
How these men and women have chosen to face this inherited burden directly or flee from it creates a fascinating spectrum the film explores via quietly intimate interviews.
Alison Willmore, AV Club
Hitler's Children explores the themes of guilt, memory, family ties and identity with a profound simplicity that quickly gets very raw, at times overwhelmingly so.
Simon Foster, sbs.com au