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.
Thursday, August 27, 2015—7:30 and 9:30 p.m. BTS 104
» View IMDB Entry (8.5 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (97% fresh)
It is post-war Japan, just weeks before the American occupation. In the city of Kobe, a boy lies dying in a train station. Beside his body lies a small candy container. A janitor, unsure what to make of its ashy contents, pitches it into the night. As fireflies float softly around it, the ghostly images of the boy and his little sister appear.
Flashback to a short time earlier. Orphaned and homeless from a fire-bomb attack on their city, 14-year-old Seita and his 4-year-old sister, Setsuko, set out to survive in the face of a society that is no longer able to protect them. Forced to live in an abandoned bomb shelter in the Japanese countryside, they slowly come to realize that they can never escape the hardships of war, or even find enough food to survive...
Director: Isao Takahata
The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty.
Philip French, Observer (UK)
There are magical moments of natural beauty and childish delight, too - which only make the tragedy even more harrowing.
Steve Rose, Guardian
The idea that "War is Hell" has almost become something of a climatic cliché, but Takahata's film explores this well-worn slogan from new, exciting and harrowing angles.
David Jenkins, Little White Lies
The ephemeral fireflies, which fascinate the children and accompany them everywhere, become a potent and lyrical symbol of the fragility, brevity and beauty of life.
Freda Freiberg, Senses of Cinema
[A] beautiful lament and a moving tribute to the people we rarely consider when we think about World War 2: those Japanese who suffered for the crimes of their leaders.
Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
[Evokes] the experiences of childhood grief, small moments of ordinary life and happiness amid tragedy and fear, and the overwhelming confusion of adult responsibilities falling on teenaged shoulders as powerfully as in any film I've seen.
Steven D Greydanus, Decent Film Guides
Ranks among the greatest of anime.
Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
The Most Human Cartoon You'll Ever See.
Brian McKay, eFilmCritic.com
An emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Monday, September 21, 2015—7:30 and 10:00 p.m. BTS 104
» View IMDB Entry (8.2 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (99% fresh)
From the creators of the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. As enthralling for adults as it is for children young and old, Song of the Sea is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic.
Director: Tomm Moore
It seems unlikely that a more beautiful film will be released this year.
Donald Clarke, Irish Times
This is a bold and unusual film, which takes material that will be unfamiliar to most viewers and interprets it with more inventiveness than they will be used to.
Alex Dudok de Wit, Sight and Sound
Moore imbues a warm sensibility and honesty to this fantasy adventure that doesn't shy away from its serious themes.
Katherine McLaughlin, SciFiNow
The first frame of the exquisite hand-drawn Irish animation Song of the Sea is so unexpectedly gorgeous, it made me shiver involuntarily.
Wendy Ide, Times (UK)
Song of the Sea blends Celtic legends, bravura design and animation, and intelligent storytelling that understands but never patronises young viewers, to create an exquisite and rewarding work.
Leslie Felperin, Observer (UK)
Folkloric storytelling on a lavish canvas, it boasts some of the most astonishing animation in recent memory - every frame could be framed.
John Nugent, The Skinny
"Song of the Sea" creates a magical world, one that pulls you in and leaves you, when it's over, feeling changed by the journey.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
You'll leave the film knowing more than you might have imagined about Irish culture, but never once feeling subjected to anything Very Special or Good for You.
Suzanne Condie Lambert, Arizona Republic
Put simply, a tale worth telling set in a world worth looking at.
Matthew Lickona, San Diego Reader
Monday, November 9, 2015—7:30 and 10:00 p.m. BTS 104
» View IMDB Entry (7.7 stars)
» Rotten Tomatoes (96% fresh)
From Oscar nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Red Army is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union.
Red Army is an inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians.
Director: Gabe Polsky
Fascinating, funny, heroic, moving and may even make hockey fans out of nonbelievers.
John Anderson, Chicago Sun-Times
It's a mark of Polsky's ambition and canniness that he braids hockey not just with geopolitics but also with personal history and human drama.
Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
It's a story of global consequences and historic proportions, and of astounding athleticism and synchronicity - and filmmaker Polsky ices it.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
Wittily edited and beautifully scored, "Red Army" is not just a terrific film but an important one - even if you don't give two hoots about ice hockey.
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
Sports, and hockey in particular, were a propaganda tool for the communist system, which is richly illustrated here in archival footage and poster art.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post Dispatch
From its zippy opening to the hilariously unexpected finale, "Red Army" never misses a beat. It's a miracle on ice all its own.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
An easy-to-digest history lesson that still reverberates on today's geopolitical landscape.
David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
Audiences knowing nothing about hockey will still be able to appreciate this movie as a somewhat jaunty take on the cold war and its aftermath - and resurgence.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
“Red Army” is a thoughtful and cheer-worthy examination of how sports can shape cultures, redraw borders and change history .
Inkoo Kang, The Wrap