Passionate about Cinema
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We will meet Wednesday, May 2 at 10 am to watch A United Kingdom, a 2017 biographical drama about the courtship and marriage of an African prince (about to become king) of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and a British woman in the 1940s. The political fallout reverberated not only in Britain and Bechuanaland, but infuriated politicians in South Africa, which was about to implement apartheid. The couple’s son was President of Botswana from 2008 until his retirement in March, 2018.
Finding Vincent, 2017. Animated film based on Van Gogh's paintings.
Maudie, 2016. Biographical drama about the life of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Dowley
Marshall, 2017. Biographical legal drama about Thurgood Marshall.
Summer Hours, 2009. French drama about the decisions made by adult siblings after the death of their mother.
Desert Flower, 2009. German drama based on the autobiography of Waris Dirie, Somalia-born American supermodel and activist against female genital mutilation.
A Briliant Young Mind, 2015. British documentary about teen math prodigy with autism.
Volver, 2006. Light drama directed by Pedro Almodovar.
About Elly, 2009. Iranian drama that shows how one well-intentioned lies leads to another.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, 2003. South Korean film about the life of a Buddhist monk as he passes through the seasons of his life.
All the President's Men, 1976. Drama based on the investigation by Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward into the 1972 Watergate break-in. Forty-four years later, the movie remains a significant and impactful documentation of U.S. history, well worth watching today.
Advise and Consent, 1962. Drama based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 1959 novel by Allen Drury. The movie depicts the Senate investigation into the President’s newly nominated Secretary of State.
He Named Me Malala, 2015. Documentary about Malala Yousafzai who was shot at age 15 by the Taliban and was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her brave work in speaking out to the public about the Taliban.
Merchants of Doubt, 2014. Documentary based on 2010 book of the same name that explored the tactics used by public relations firms to cultivate scientists who will cast doubt on accepted scientific results.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, 2015. Documentary based closely on a 2013 book by Lawrence Wright.
Tocar Y Lucar, 2006. Title translates to “To Play and To Fight,” is a 2006 documentary which tells the story of the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra System.
WATER, 2005. The third movie in a trilogy by director Deepa Mehta, WATER is the story of a 7 year old widow sent to live in an ashram with other widows in 1938 India. Nominated in 2007 for Best Foreign Language Film.
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962. Based on Harper Lee’s novel, and starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
CHILDREN OF HEAVEN, 1997. An Iranian family drama about a brother and sister who share a pair of shoes. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998.
Four Minutes, 2006. German drama about a piano teacher who meets an accomplished pianist in a women’s prison and then encourages her to resume her music.
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER, 2013. Documentary about Chicago nanny whose work was critically acclaimed. Tens of thousands of negatives and undeveloped film were found after her death.
October 2014, No meeting
Omar, 2013. Palestinian drama about a baker who faces a moral dilemma while living juggling problems created by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Lunchbox, 2013. Indian drama about two lonely strangers who correspond by leaving notes for one another in a lunchbox mistakenly delivered to a stranger instead of the homemaker’s spouse. Based on Mumbai’s famous lunchbox delivery system.
Hava Nagila: The Movie, 2013. Documentary about the Jewish music staple.
A Royal Affair, 2012. Danish historical drama set in 18 century court of mentally ill King of Denmark, detailing romance between his wife and the royal physician.
May 2014, No meeting
The Well-Digger’s Daughter, 2012. French drama starring, directed by and written by Daniel Auteuil. Father despairs about unmarried daughter’s pregnancy. A clash between love and honor.
March 2014, No meeting
February 2014, No meeting
Indochine, 1992. French film set in French Indochina during the 1930s to 50s, it was a 1992 winner for Best Foreign Language Film. The story is about a female French plantation owner and her adopted Vietnamese daughter. The Vietnamese nationalist movement is a prominent part of the daughter’s life.
The Scent of Green Papaya, 1993. Set in Vietnam between 1950 and the early 1960s, it was a 1993 nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. The beautiful photography includes lingering shots of nature: a drop of water slowly moving down a leaf, a bevy of busy ants, a green papaya hanging from a tree. Add that to the music (both classical and Vietnamese) and the loving presentations of food, and the film becomes a visual poem.
Bad Education, 2004. Pedro Almodovar. A film director is given a script of a short story by a childhood friend and lover who describes his molestation at the hands of their Catholic school teacher. The script is turned into a movie and the director discovers a web of deceit and revenge.
Talk to Her, 2002. Pedro Almodovar again. One of his finest. A female dancer and a female bullfighter, both in comas. A male nurse and a male journalist. Alludes to changing roles of the sexes.
Sing Your Song, 2011. Documentary about Harry Belafonte and “…his true passion for social change. The film outlines some highlights of his entertainment career, but is more focused on how he helped change the world in other ways: marching with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil-rights era; working against apartheid in South Africa; fighting hunger through his instrumental work with USA for Africa; and, most recently, working to combat gang violence through programs with inner-city youth.” Quote from Wikipedia.
August 2013. No meeting
July 2013, No meeting
Au revoir les enfants, 1987. Written and directed by Louis Malle, this French film is based on Malle’s experience as an 11 year old. Three Jewish students and a teacher hiding in a Catholic boarding school are apprehended by the Nazis. Nominations for Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay.
Exit Through the Gift Shop, 2010. Documentary about street art and it most famous practitioner Banksy, whose art sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. , Banksy’s real identity is unknown. Nominee for Best Documentary Feature in 2011.
City of God, 2002. Brazilian crime drama about organized crime in Rio from the late 60s to the early 89s. , Received 4 Academy Award Nominations in 2004.
The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz, 2011. Documentary about an American treasure hunter and a brilliant, self-taught Mexican artist and how they transform a dying Mexican village into a home ofworld renowned ceramicists.
Totsi, 2005. Adaptation of Athol Fugard novel. Set in slums of Johannesburg, a young thug steals a car with a baby in the back. 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, 1954. Starring and directed by Jacques Tati, this comedy is about lovable Hulot’s misadventures on vacation. Reminiscent of Chaplin movies.
The Concert, 2009. A French “feel good” movie about a conductor fired 30 years ago for hiring Jewish musicians. His dream is to perform once again; he puts together an orchestra of his former musicians.
A Separation, 2011. Iranian drama depicting the difficult choices a married couple face. Husband wants to stay in Iran to care for a parent with Alzheimer’s. Wife wants to leave Iran to make better life for young daughter. Winner of Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, the first Iranian film to do so.
Of Gods and Men, 2010. French drama based on true story about 9 Trappist monks in Algeria living in harmony with Muslims until they are kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War.
Central Station, 1998. Brazilian film about embittered former teacher who befriends a homeless boy and changes her attitudes. Nominations for Best Actress and Best Foreign Film.
Get Low, 2010. Robert Duvall stars in a film loosely based on the 1938 story of a disliked hermit who plans his own “funeral party”. After revealing past secrets, he is prepared to “get low” (die in peace).
Nora’s Will, 2010, Mexico. When a controlling Jewish divorcee commits suicide just before Passover, her family learn she has meticulously planned for the days after her death, including filling her refrigerator with food and directions for preparing the Passover meal.
June 2012, No meeting
Together, 2002, China. A violin prodigy and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son's success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.
The First Grader, 2010. Based on the true story of an 84 year old Kenyan villager who goes to school after Kenya makes elementary education free and universal in 2003.
The Third Man, 1949, British. It is often ranked among the greatest films of all time. In this Cold War spy classic, Holly Martins, a third-rate American pulp novelist, arrives in postwar Vienna, where he has been promised a job by his old friend Harry Lime. Also known for its zither music.
Citizen Kane, 1941. Frequently ranked the greatest film of all time. Received 9 Academy Award nominations but won only for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
The Magdalene Sisters, 2002, Ireland. Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.
The Singing Revolution, Documentary, 2007. Estonia took a non-violent path to free itself from Soviet occupation. Between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs.
Incendies, 2010, Canada., Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film. Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes.
Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train; Documentary, 2004
In a Better World, 2010, Denmark. Winner, Best Foreign Language Film. The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait. Directed by Suzanne Bier.
After the Wedding, 2006, Denmark. Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film. A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret. Directed by Suzanne Bier.
All About My Mother, 1999, Spain. Winner, Best Foreign Language Film. Pedro Almodóvar directed this story of a woman and her circle of friends who find themselves suffering a variety of emotional crises.
Chop Shop, 2007. A street-smart orphan determined to make a better life for himself and his sixteen year-old sister spends his days working in an auto body repair shop.
The Art of the Steal, Documentary, 2009. Struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art.
Frozen River, 2008. Nominee, Best Actress, Melissa Leo. Two working-class women smuggle illegal immigrants in the trunk of a car from Canada to the United States in order to make ends meet.
Winter’s Bone, 2010. An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.
The White Ribbon, 2010, Germany. Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film. Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
The Secret in Their Eyes, 2009, Argentina. Winner, Best Foreign Language Film. A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittoria, Documentary, 2006, Italy. International musicians and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Wordplay, Documentary, 2006. An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base.