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INTERNATIONAL LENS, a film series with a global perspective, provides a forum to promote conversation among Vanderbilt’s diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. International Lens endeavors to transcend geographic, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and political boundaries by encouraging conversation and greater cross- cultural understanding through cinema. The series is a collaboration among Cinema & Media Arts, Dean of Students offices, and other departments, centers, and programs across the University.

There is no charge for admission.

Films are screened in Sarratt Cinema at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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SPRING 2018 Schedule of Films


Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Thursday, January 25

Presented by Jen Gunderman, Assistant Professor of
 Musicology; and Krystal Tsosie, PhD candidate and President
 of NATIVe student organization

USA (2017) Dir: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso
 Maiorana

This powerful documentary tells the story
 of a missing chapter in the history of American music:
 the Indigenous influence. Beginning with the famous
 “Rumble” guitar riff by Link Wray, of Shawnee lineage, the film traces the influence of Native
 Americans in contemporary music history. Featuring music icons: Iggy Pop, Robbie Robertson, Charley Patton, Jimi Hendrix, Mildred Bailey, Steven Tyler, and others, Rumble shows how Native musicians helped shape the soundtrack of our lives. English. 103 min. Presented in collaboration with the Blair School of Music, and Native Americans in Tennessee Interacting at Vanderbilt (NATIVe) student organization

 

Neighboring Sounds

Thursday, February 1

Presented by: Benjamin Legg, Senior Lecturer
 of Portuguese

Brazil (2012) Dir: Kleber Mendonça
 Filho

Although this film may first come
 across as a darkly comic portrayal of 
the growing Brazilian middle class, the
 use of sound and subtle intimations of
 the violence inherent in Brazilian history 
transform Filho’s debut film into a tight story of unsettling suspense. Released
 at the climax of Brazil’s economic boom of the 2000s, the film now feels eerily prescient as the current economic and political crisis forces the nation to confront the injustice and abuse of power that shade this bright portrait of prosperity. Portuguese with English Subtitles. 131 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Center for Latin American Studies

 

I Feel Like Disco

Tuesday, February 6

Presented by Kaleigh Bangor, PhD candidate 
in German Studies; and Kate Schaller, PhD
 candidate in German Studies & CMAP

Germany (2013) Dir: Axel Ranisch, René
 Rimkus

Forced to reconnect through
 shared trauma, a son and father struggle 
to get along when the father is confronted
 with his son’s sexuality. This painfully 
comedic coming-of-age story both lifts 
up LGBTQIA+ youth in a German context, while also addressing the challenges parental figures face when coming to terms with heteronormative predispositions. German with English Subtitles. 98 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies

 

Unrest

Thursday, February 8

Presented by: Claire Sisco King, Associate Professor of
Communication Studies and Cinema & Media Arts

USA (2017) Dir: Jennifer Brea

Jennifer Brea, a
 Harvard PhD student, is about to get married when
 she suddenly becomes severely ill, leaving her
 bedridden. Doctors tell her, “it’s all in your head,”
 so Brea seeks answers by grabbing a camera and 
filming her darkest moments, as she is derailed
 by myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly 
known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Winner of a special jury prize at Sundance in 2017, Unrest offers a journey into the history, culture, and gendering of medicine. English. 97 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of Communication Studies, Cinema & Media Arts, and the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society

 

This Ain’t California

Thursday, February 15

Presented by Emily Greble, Associate Professor of History and German, Russian, and East European Studies

Germany (2012) Dir. Marten Persiel

Over twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this documentary offers up an unexpected view of everyday life growing up under communism in East Germany. The film explores the German Democratic Republic’s skateboarding underground and counter cultural movements through the lens of three young friends and the emergence of one of their most legendary skateboarding icons, “Panik.” German with English subtitles. 100 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies

 

Menashe

Thursday, February 22

Presented by Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein, Campus
 Chabad Chaplain; and Daniel Shaykevich, A&S 
Class of 2018

USA (2017) Dir: Joshua Z Weinstein

Set 
entirely in the orthodox Jewish community 
in Borough Park in Brooklyn, NY, a Hasidic 
father struggles to retain custody of his son 
after the death of his wife when the Rabbi 
rules that Menashe must remarry in order to become a suitable parent. Shot in Yiddish with a cast of non-actors, the film provides a look into a culture not often represented on screen, while centering on a story with emotional turmoil that relates beyond cultural or religious affiliations. Yiddish with English subtitles. 82 min. Presented in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Chabad Jewish Student Center

 

Two Days, One Night

Thursday, March 1

Presented by Jennifer Fay, Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and English; and Alex Dubilet, Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Political Science

Belgium (2014) Dir: Jean-Pierre
 Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

Sandra 
has two days and one night to convince 
her co-workers to sacrifice their bonuses
 so that she will not lose her job. What 
does this local moment of crisis tell us
 about the desperation of the worker? This contemporary morality tale plays out with gripping realism, attuned to the affective economies of labor and social relations. French with English subtitles. 95 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, English, and Cinema & Media Arts

 

Under African Skies

Tuesday, March 13

Presented by Keith Weghorst, Assistant Professor of
 Political Science; and Gregory Melchor-Barz, Professor
 of Musicology/Ethnomusicology and Associate Professor 
of Religion

USA/South Africa (2012) Dir: Joe Berlinger

For
 the 25th anniversary of the release of Graceland, Paul Simon returns to South Africa
 to commemorate and reunite the former band of
 musicians who created the 1987 album of the year. As Paul Simon defied the U.N. cultural boycott to work in South Africa during apartheid, the eruption of political controversy that once ensued is retold in this enlightening documentary that instead celebrates it for the cultural exchange and hopeful expression that ruptured the otherwise induced state of isolation. English. 108 min. Presented in collaboration with the Blair School of Music, Department of Political Science, and the “Africa at a Crossroads” TIPs Project

 

Darwin’s Nightmare  CANCELED

Thursday, March 15

Presented by Jonathan Waters, Senior Lecturer of Cinema & Media Arts

Austria/Belgium/France/Tanzania (2004) Dir: Hubert Sauper

This deeply unsettling, Oscar-nominated documentary illustrates the devastating effects of a non-native, predatory species on African waters and land. In the 1960s, the Nile perch was introduced into Lake Victoria as an experiment by European colonists, and it proceeded to devour everything in the lake. Disastrous for local communities, it was a bonanza for the multinational factories that process and ship tons of perch filets abroad each year. Utilizing a cinema vérité style and an intimate proximity to its subjects, the film showcases the socio-ecological threads of global capitalism at its most grotesque. Swahili/Russian/English. 107 min. Presented in collaboration with the program in Cinema & Media Arts

 

The Foul King  CANCELED.   replaced by: Ghost in the Shell (1995)   

Thursday, March 22

Presented by Se Young Kim, Mellon Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Asian Studies; and Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English, Cinema & Media Arts, and Asian Studies

South Korea (2000) Dir: Kim Jee-woon

Apathetic to the workplace and constantly falling victim to his
 manager’s headlocks, a bank clerk signs up at a local
 gym, only to find himself deep in the colorful world of 
professional wrestling. The Foul King speaks to the experience of South 
Korea near the turn of the century through its story of a 
downtrodden salaryman trying to pull himself up – quite literally – by his bootstraps. Korean with English subtitles. 116 min. 
Presented in collaboration with the program in Asian Studies and Cinema & Media Arts

 

An evening with filmmaker KEVIN JEROME EVERSON

Thursday, April 5

Presented by Jonathan Rattner, Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Art

Born in working-class Ohio, Everson is an artist whose
 films offer a frank and poetic worldview of life and labor in America, as he explores the daily life and forgotten histories of working class communities. He interweaves vernacular culture, fictional, and documentary modes of storytelling in his films, while primarily filming black Americans, as they work, play, and tell stories. Everson’s work has headlined museums and festivals at the pinnacle of the art world — from the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and the Tate Modern in London, to film festivals at Sundance, Toronto, and Berlin. Presented in collaboration with the program in Cinema & Media Arts

 

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A

Thursday, April 12

Presented by Basil Dababneh, A&S Class of 2018; and Se Young Kim, Mellon Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Asian Studies

Japan (2006) Dir: Takashi Miike

Inside a juvenile detention center in an unknown future, two male prisoners find their fates intertwined as they experience a bond of love and murder. Seamlessly merging abstract minimalism, experimental theatre, detective noir, science fiction, and homoerotic romance, Miike offers a stylish and intricate meditation on space and time, violence and identity, and modern-day Japan. Japanese with English subtitles. 85 min. Presented in collaboration with the program in Cinema & Media Arts

 

Gavagai

Wednesday, April 18   (Preview Screening)

Presented by Scott Juengel, Senior Lecturer/Assistant
Director of Graduate Studies in English

Norway/Canada/Germany (2016) Dir: Rob
 Tregenza

A German businessman travels to
 Norway to finish the impossible translation of
 Norwegian poet Tarjei Vesaas’s poems into
 Chinese, a project of his late wife. The title is 
borrowed from philosopher W.V.O. Quine and 
refers to the attempt to make sense of a word in a foreign language. Gavagai is a drama of two stories of shared purpose and forged intimacy—and of love and loss. English. 90 min. Presented in collaboration with FLiCX and the office of Dean of Students

 

Graduation

Monday, April 23

Presented by Jennifer Fay, Associate Professor of Cinema
 & Media Arts and English; and Alex Dubilet, Senior Lecturer,
Department of English and Political Science

Romania/France/Belgium (2016) Dir: Cristian Mungiu

One of the great auteurs of contemporary Romanian
 cinema offers us a dark satire about the stresses of
high school exams and the pressure parents place
 on their children to succeed in the ways that they and
their country may have failed. Through a series of twists, Graduation turns what may count as success on its head. As one critic notes, this is a story about the “moral costs of survival” and the possibility of freedom in a corrupt national system. Romanian with English subtitles. 128 min. Presented in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, English, and Cinema & Media Arts

 

Films are screened in Sarratt Cinema at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.