October 25, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Michael Kimmel speaks to UMass students about ‘Guyland’ -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass football looks for third straight win against Toledo on Saturday -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘Love is Strange’ is beautiful, painful and groundbreaking -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

White supremacy and settler colonialism at UMass -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass hockey hopes first win will propel them past Hockey East rivals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass’ second line playing and succeeding with young talent early in the season. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘The Good Wife’ returns as strong as ever -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Professor receives grant to cover massive election survey panel -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unions rally over recent concession proposals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL Pick’em games return to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass celebrates Campus Sustainability Day -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“Fury” falls just short of greatness -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Minutewomen look to continue their season in weekend game against Saint Bonaventure. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New meal plans receive mixed reviews from students -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ISIS’s magazine is good for the West -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival Preview

SAT MIC FILM, LLC

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of the 20th annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. Sponsored by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies and Curator Catherine Portuges, the festival is held almost entirely on campus making for a superb opportunity to see some of the latest offerings in international cinema.

Each year’s festival revolves around a theme, this time the framework for the collection of pictures is “Continuities.” The idea behind “Continuities” is examining the past through the present while looking at contemporary social issues that are highly relevant today.

The films, which run every Wednesday evening through April 24, address a variety of issues; from institutionalised racism of Romanian Gypsies (“Our School”), disillusioned youths of Spain (“The Wild Ones”) as well as a documentary investigating the impact of the tattooed numbering on Holocaust survivors (“Numbered”).

With such a wide variety of stories on show, the festival is an excellent chance to not only witness a different culture of film making, but also learn about some of the current global social issues at the heart of the performances.

The opening film of the festival was “Elza” (“Le Bonheur d’Elza”), the directorial debut of Smith College alumnus Mariette Monpierre. The semi-autobiographical narrative follows a young Parisian woman on her return to her native home, the Caribbean island Guadeloupe, in order to find and confront her unknown father.

The charming personal tale is draped in the rich, vibrant culture of the Caribbean, and the extensive use of landscape shots of Guadeloupe accentuates the natural beauty of the island, giving an insight into the little known location.

The film’s intention is to match the paradox of the island’s stunning natural beauty with the turmoil and struggles that face the social lives it inhabitants, in this case, Elza’s dysfunctional family. With a strong performance from lead Stana Roumillac as the emotionally conflicted Elza, the film is an enjoyable tale of finding your identity on a personal level but also is a wider examination of society’s issues in the unique setting of Guadeloupe.

This Wednesday’s showing is “Our School,” a ‘documentary portrait of institutionalised racism, poverty and the conflict between tradition and progress’ among the unfairly isolated gypsy, or Roma, community of Transylvania.

The film has been highly regarded by critics at its recent outings as well as being touted by The New York Times for its brutally honest and harrowing portrayal of the treatment of Romania’s largest ethnic minority group.

Director Mona Nicoara will be in attendance for a question and answer session after the screening to further explain the film’s issues and how they are personal to her, adding an extra incentive to witness Wednesday’s showing.

On top of the weekly screenings, there will be a talk on April 25 from Thomas Elsaesser, a historian and professor of film and television studies at the University of Amsterdam, titled “What’s European about European Cinema?” The talk will be focused on the impressive art of European filmmaking especially in contrast to the Hollywood dominated industry.

Based on the opening film, the 20th annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival promises to be a special event for local film fanatics. Admission is free.

From its inception in 1991, the festival has grown in stature and has become a celebrated event that attracts acclaimed filmmakers, including world famous German director Werner Herzog last year.

Among the nine international filmmakers this year, three of them are Five College alums, giving the festival a local vested interest for those in the audience from campus.

The festival was started as a way to add an extra dimension to the Film Studies program to reflect a wider spectrum of film, notably the international market. With Cinemark Cinema at Hampshire Mall dealing mainly in contemporary film and Amherst Cinema only being able to pay host to a limited number of alternative film, the festival provides the perfect opportunity to show a range of international motion pictures that can’t be found anywhere else.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at jnsmi0@student.umass.edu.

 

 

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