Sixth season of International Lens series begins Aug. 28

Vanderbilt film series spotlights global perspective on film

International Lens, the ongoing film series at Vanderbilt University, will feature films from around the world during the fall 2010 semester. Most screenings are free and open to the public.

This semester’s lineup opens with a crime thriller from Hong Kong, includes a U.S. documentary about the legalities surrounding music sampling and the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. The university will also be a host for the International Black Film Festival of Nashville Sept. 29-Oct. 2, a ticketed event.

Most of the screenings utilize 35mm prints.

All films are shown in Sarratt Cinema at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

The schedule:

Infernal Affairs

Saturday, Aug. 28

NOTE: screened at midnight in The Commons Multipurpose Room.

Presented by: the VIP Global Discovery Project

Hong Kong (2002) Directors: Wai Keung Lau and Alan Mak

When a corrupt cop (Ming) and an undercover cop (Yan) find themselves under the roof of the same Triad crime boss (Sam), both the Triads and the police can smell moles in their departments, and Ming and Yan are forced to confront one another.

Thai, Cantonese, English with English subtitles. Rated R. 101 mins. Funding provided in part by The Commons. DVD.

The Good the Bad the Weird

Wednesday, Sept. 1

Presented by: Korean Students and Scholars Association

South Korea (2008) Director: Ji-woon Kim

Set in the 1930s Manchurian desert where lawlessness rules, a bounty hunter, a bandit and a train robber fatefully meet. Their chase across Manchuria for a mysterious map escalates, growing as unpredictable as it is good, bad or weird.

Korean with English subtitles. 130 mins. Funding provided in part by the Korean Students and Scholars Association.

Copyright Criminals

Thursday, Sept. 2

Presented by: Jennifer Lena, assistant professor of sociology

USA (2009) Directors: Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod

Is sampling and scratching theft or merely traditional cultural appropriation? That’s the central question of this documentary that focuses on sample-based sound collage in hip-hop, which has become a multibillion-dollar global industry and has sparked lasting, devastating copyfights. There will be a Q & A with director Kembrew McLeod after the screening.

English. Not Rated. 54 mins. Funding provided by the Sociology Department. DVD.

Ward No. 6

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Presented by: Irina Makoveeva, Mellon Assistant Professor of Russian

Russia (2009) Directors: Aleksandr Gornovsky and Karen Shakhnazarov

Russia’s nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2010, Ward No. 6 premiered at the 2009 Moscow International Film Festival. Based on Anton Chekhov’s 1892 novella, the film tells the story of Doctor Ragin, who works at a provincial psychiatric clinic and ultimately ends up among his patients in his own asylum. Set in contemporary Russia, this psychological drama showcases how easy it is to become what we fear most.

Russian with English subtitles. Not Rated. 83 mins. Funding provided in part by the Germanic and Slavic Languages Department.

Bilal’s Stand

Thursday, Sept. 9

Presented by: Leadership Development and Intercultural Affairs

USA (2010) Director: Sultan Sharrief

The phrase “it takes a village” is no overstatement when it comes to writer-director Sharrief’s community-coordinated feature debut set in contemporary Detroit. Based on his personal experience, Bilal’s Stand is bursting with heart. When Bilal, a high school senior in Detroit, wins a scholarship to college, he is forced to decide whether he will continue in his family’s long-owned taxi stand, or take a chance at social mobility.

English. Not Rated. 99 mins. Funding provided by the Office of Leadership Development & Intercultural Affairs. DVD. There will be a Q & A with the film director Sultan Sharrief after the screening.

Ingeborg Holm

Wednesday, Sept. 15

Presented by: Paul Young, associate professor of English, director of Film Studies Program

Sweden (1913) Director: Victor Sjöström

A tale exalting maternal suffering in a merciless social system, the titular heroine (Hilda Borgström) is put through a wringer of disease, bankruptcy, workhouse toiling and the loss of her children. For its age, the film shows remarkable sophistication and depth of characterization, as well as skillful photography and editing. Any rawness in style only heightens the gripping and heart-rending drama in this historical and cinematic classic.

Silent. Not Rated. 72 mins. Funding provided by Film Studies Program. DVD.

Little Town of Bethlehem

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Presented by: Allison Schachter, assistant professor of Jewish Studies

Israel, Palestine (2010) Director: Jim Hannon

This riveting documentary film follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s path of non-violent struggle in lockstep with Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. For them courage is found not in taking up arms, but setting them down once and for all and extending a hand in peace. Unscripted and unrehearsed, discover the humanity lurking behind an ancient cycle of violence.

Arabic, English. PG-13. 75 mins. Funding provided by Jewish Studies. DVD.

Looking for Cheyenne

Thursday, Sept. 23

Presented by: Office of LGBTQI Life

France (2005) Director: Valérie Minetto

Cheyenne, a young unemployed journalist whose welfare payments are about to be cut off, decides to leave Paris to live a marginal life in the country. She leaves behind Sonia, the woman she loves. Sonia tries her best to forget Cheyenne, but it’s not easy. How do you reconcile what you want with what you can have?  Who you love with what you spurn? In her exploration of other lovers, Sonia finds herself incapable of living with and without Cheyenne.

French with English subtitles. Rated R. 86 mins. Following the screening a panel of students, faculty and staff will moderate a discussion about how the issues highlighted in the film affect our lives.

The Ring

Saturday, Sept. 25 NOTE: screened at midnight in Commons MPR

Presented by: The VIP Global Discovery Project

Japan (1998) Director: Hideo Nakata

Following the death of her niece under mysterious conditions Reiko, a journalist, decides to investigate an urban legend that says a person will die exactly one week after having watched a supposedly “cursed” video cassette. Based on the novel “Ringu” and generated a sequel, prequel and an American remake “The Ring.”

Japanese with English subtitles. Not Rated. 96 mins. Funding provided in part by The Commons. DVD.

The Horse Boy

Tuesday, Sept. 28

Presented by: ITVS Community Cinema–Nashville Public Television, Nashville Public Library, Hands On Nashville and Nashville Film Festival

Society of Middle Tennessee, Saddle Up! and Center for Understanding

USA (2009) Director: Michel Orion Scott

A deeply moving story of a family willing to go to the ends of the earth to help their son’s autism, and of a boy learning to connect with the world for the first time.

93 mins. DVD. A panel discussion will follow.

International Black Film Festival of Nashville

Hosted in part at Vanderbilt University by the Bishop Johnson Black Cultural Center, Film Studies Program and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Wednesday, Sept. 29 – Saturday, Oct. 2, times and locations vary

NOTE: This is a ticketed event; for ticket prices, all venues and schedule, visit the website.

The International Black Film Festival of Nashville (IBFFN), established in 2006, showcases the work of emerging and skilled independent filmmakers, actors, composers, screenwriters, directors and other film industry professionals. IBFF strives to insure culturally accurate depictions in film with special emphasis on providing a forum for unheard, unseen and unknown viewpoints, and to showcase the rich creativity and diversity found in communities of color locally, nationally and internationally.

A Town Called Panic

Saturday, Oct. 2

NOTE: This family matinee will be screened at 2 p.m. Join us before the film for a special children’s art activity from 1 to 2 p.m. in Sarratt lobby.

France (2009) Directors: Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar

Expanding upon a cult TV series, this 75-minute joyride combines deadpan slapstick and surrealist Belgian stop-motion animation. The main characters are plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse, who improbably live together in a town called Panic. Various bizarre and surrealistic adventures await them, as the utterly silly but meticulously worked-out plot of “A Town Called Panic” gets under way.

French with English subtitles. Not Rated. 75 mins.

The Class

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Presented by: Derek Bruff, assistant director, Center for Teaching

France (2008) Director: Laurent Cantet

The center doesn’t hold at Francoise Dolto Junior High, a Paris public school in the troubled 20th arrondissement. The school’s chaos unravels unglossed and unalloyed, through a cast of real students and teachers, and puts the question of why we learn, what we learn and from whom we learn under siege.

French with English subtitles. PG-13. 128 mins.

Il Decameron

Wednesday Oct. 6

Presented by: Andrea Mirabile, assistant professor of Italian

Italy (1971) Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini

This adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio’s Decameron renders the tales of lecherous clerics, scheming merchants and errant lovers in an era of budding industrial capitalism, sexual repression and moral hypocrisy.

Italian, German with English subtitles. Not Rated. 112 mins. Funding provided in part by the Department of French and Italian.


Thursday, Oct. 7

Lecture and Film Presented by: Michael Sims, editor of Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories

USA (1931) Director: George Melford

Vampire folklore and scary stories have long fascinated readers. In his presentation, “Don’t Wake the Dead,” Michael Sims shares amazing (and hilarious) stories about why so many people once believed in the undead returning from their graves to prey upon the living, and about how such peasant folklore inspired stories, novels, plays and finally movies. Sims follows vampires’ outrageous rise to celebrity that culminated in the first great vampires movies—F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and two simultaneous versions of Dracula. To accompany the lecture, International Lens will screen the Spanish-language version of Drácula that was filmed on the same sets and at the same time as the English-language, Bela Lugosi version. The English version was filmed during the day and the Spanish version at night. Although this version was shot in Spanish, it became a mixture of dialects because the cast came from Mexico, Spain and Central and South America.

Spanish, Hungarian with English subtitles. Not Rated. 104 mins. DVD. Held in conjunction with The Southern Festival of Books.

The Wedding Song

Tuesday, Oct. 12

Presented by: Lisa Weiss, lecturer in French

France, Tunisia (2008) Director: Karin Albou

A seductively fluid and tactile drama explores love and identity in the intense friendship of two 16-year-old girls, both preparing for marriage in Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942. Against a background of marching jackboots and falling bombs, the girls’ bond becomes a compelling love story that will be tested not only by personal grudges but also by cultural differences.

French with English subtitles. Not Rated. 100 mins.

I’ve Loved You So Long

Tuesday, Oct. 19

Presented by: Virginia Scott, associate professor of French

France (2008) Director: Philippe Claudel

After 15 years in prison, 40-something Juliette is given a second chance at life when her sister (Lea) takes her in to her home. Working through family tensions and reintegration with society, Juliette learns she’s still very much a prisoner within herself.

French with English subtitles. PG-13. 117 mins.

Saviors in the Night

Wednesday, Oct. 20

Presented by: Jay Geller, associate professor of modern Jewish culture

Germany, France (2009) Director: Ludi Boeken.

Based on memoirs of Marga Spiegel, courageous farmers in Westphalia, Germany, hide the Spiegel family from Nazis throughout the end of WWII, saving them from deportation and extermination camps in the east.

German, French with English subtitles. Not Rated.  95 mins. Funding provided by the Holocaust Lecture Series.


Tuesday, Oct. 26

Presented by: Esfandiar Zafar, senior director, Information Technology Services

France, Germany (2007) Directors: Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi

Adapted from two best-selling autobiographical graphic novels, this animated work tells the comic yet harrowing story of a girl coming into her own under the political upheaval in Iran. The society she thought she lived in has disappeared, and she finds little relief bouncing through European cultures.

French, German, Persian, English with English subtitles. PG-13. 96 mins.

When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan

Wednesday, Oct. 27

Presented by: Gregory Barz, associate professor of ethnomusicology; faculty head of house, North Hall, The Commons

USA (2007) Director: Jasmine Dellal

This concert film/cultural documentary follows the 2001 U.S. “Gypsy Caravan” tour, which showcased five bands from four countries: Macedonia, Romania, India and Spain. The film captures electrifying performances and takes us behind-the-scenes where the groups, divided by language and musical interest, find inspiration through a common passion for music.

English, Spanish, Romany, Romanian, Macedonian, Hindi with English subtitles. Not Rated. 110 mins. Funding provided in part by North House, The Commons.

A Night of Experimental Film

Saturday, Oct. 30

Presented by: Film Studies Program and Office of the Chancellor

With special guest P. Adams Sitney, professor of visual art, Princeton University and author of Visionary Film, the definitive account of American avant-garde film.

The Agronomist

Tuesday, Nov. 2

Presented by: Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities

USA (2003) Director: Jonathan Demme

Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist Jean Dominique is captured in a rightly affectionate and illuminating profile which draws from footage of Haiti’s vivid and tumultuous past under the Duvalier dictatorship, prior to Dominique’s assassination in 2000.

English. PG-13. 90 mins. Funding provided in part by the History Department. DVD. Presented as part of Memory, Cinema, Archive: Focus on Haiti by The Public Archive. The series expands the work of The Public Archive by considering how film addresses questions of historical memory, political redress and the economy of archive and representation.


Wednesday, Nov. 3

Presented by: Vanderbilt Undergraduate Chinese Association

Facilitated by: Peter Lorge, senior lecturer in history

China (2006) Director: Ronny Yu

Based on the life of Chinese martial arts fighter, Huo Yuanjia, who learns through personal tragedy and social alienation, the difference between pride and self-worth, of sportsmanship and brutality. Through his radical self-discovery, he transforms the sport of martial arts and becomes an unforgotten hero in China.

Japanese, Mandarin, English with English subtitles. PG-13. 103 mins.  Funded in part by the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Chinese Association.

The Man by the Shore

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Presented by: Peter James Hudson, assistant professor of history

France, Canada (1993) Director: Raoul Peck.

When an 8-year-old girl witnesses the torture practices of Haiti’s corrupt government leader Janvier, a story of trauma and terror unravels through the eyes of one coming to understand the threats and savageness that surrounds her.

Haitian Kreyol with English subtitles. Not Rated. 106 mins. Funding provided in part by the History Department. Presented as part of Memory, Cinema, Archive: Focus on Haiti by The Public Archive.


Wednesday, Nov.10

Presented by: Frank Wcislo, dean of The Commons, associate professor of history

Poland (2007) Director: Andrzej Wajda

The film by Andrzej Wajda—a renowned veteran of Polish cinema and a recipient of the 1999 honorary Oscar—tells a long-silenced story of the Katyn massacre following the near-simultaneous Soviet and German invasions of Poland in 1939. Approximately 20,000 Polish officers, who represented the country’s intellectual elite and therefore constituted a potential threat to Poland’s sovietization, were captured, imprisoned and murdered under Stalin’s order. Officially, this tragic event was a forbidden topic in Poland and the source of continual distrust between the Poles and the Soviets.

Polish, Russian, German with English subtitles. 121 mins. DVD. Funding provided in part by the Germanic & Slavic Languages Department.

Aristide and the Endless Revolution

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Presented by: Peter James Hudson, assistant professor of history

USA, Switzerland (2005) Director: Nicolas Rossier

Mystery still surrounds the abrupt 2004 departure of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Did he resign or was he forced into exile? This documentary reveals the web of hope, deceit and political violence that has brought the world’s first black republic to its knees.

English. Not Rated. 84 mins. DVD. Funding provided by the Center for Latin American Studies as part of the year-long program on Liberation Theology and the History Department. Presented as part of Memory, Cinema, Archive: Focus on Haiti by The Public Archive.

The Hurt Locker

Wednesday, Nov. 17

Presented by: Katherine Carroll, assistant professor of political science, director of Public Policy Studies, and Paul Young, associate professor of English, Director of Film Studies Program

USA (2008) Director: Kathryn Bigelow

In the chaos of Iraqi urban warfare, an elite Army bomb diffuser becomes addicted to war. It is about war as a drug and a soldier as reckless as he is comfortable in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.

English, Arabic, Turkish with English subtitles. Rated R. 131 mins.


Wednesday, Dec. 1

Presented by: William Fowler, associate professor of anthropology

USA (1989) Director: John Duigan

Romero is the true story of the Catholic priest Archbishop Romero who lived in El Salvador during the political unrest in the 1980s. Despite persecution, Romero continues to speak out against the atrocities the government is committing against the people of El Salvador, until his public assassination in 1980.

English. PG-13. 102 mins. DVD. Funding provided by the Center for Latin American Studies.

Sarratt Cinema is located on the first floor of the Sarratt Student Center. The Multipurpose Room is on the second floor of The Commons on Vanderbilt’s Peabody Campus.

The International Lens film series is coordinated by the Office of Arts and Creative Engagement and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in collaboration with Vanderbilt University academic departments, centers and programs.

Parking for Nashville community members for International Lens screenings in Sarratt Cinema is available at no charge in Zone 2 lot 2 on West End Avenue. Please avoid parking in spaces that are reserved. If the lot is full, metered parking spaces are also available on West End.

There is no charge after 6 p.m. for parking at meters along West End Avenue.  All other parking meters on campus are enforced around the clock so do not park at these meters.

Free parking for films at The Commons is available in Zone 1 lot 77 located on Horton Avenue at 18th Avenue South.

For parking maps and additional information visit or call 322-6400.