Seen From Abroad: International Film Critics Look at American Film Today

Date: March 22, 2006 to March 24, 2006
Location: Low Memorial Library and Roone Arledge Auditorium, Alfred Lerner Hall
Friday, March 24, 2006, 6:00 p.m., Low Memorial Library
Seen From Abroad: International Film Critics Look at American Film Today

President Lee C. Bollinger hosts a panel discussion regarding the impact of American films on the world.

Participants:

David Denby, Film Critic

Irene Bignardi, Author and Journalist

José Carlos Avellar, Journalist and Film Critic

Mohamed El-Assyouti, Writer

Pritish Nandy, Editor and Writer

Thursday, March 23, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Roone Arledge Cinema, Alfred Lerner Hall
Muwatin, wa Mukhbir, wa Harami (A Citizen, a Detective, and a Thief)

Dawoud Abdel Sayed, 2001, Egypt, 135 minutes

In the year 1980, a series of events brings an aspiring novelist in contact with a detective and a thief. They begin a relationship of interdependency.

Awiz Amawwit El-H'umar (I Want to Kill the Jackass)
Mohamed El-Assyouti, Egypt, 2005, 20 minutes

Khaled El-Deli' is a kickboxer facing his archenemy Shihta Tarbana in a decisive fight. Head coach and president of the kickboxing federation Hassan Metwalli is sponsoring the game. There is conspiracy and corruption all around, but magic intervention may miraculously tip the balance of fortune.

The film reflects on the nature of self-delusion, the corruption of power, and the inconsequence of victory and loss. The h'umar (jackass or donkey) in the title refers to the well-known Arabic proverb in which the whole existence of individuals and society seems to be in limbo, waiting for the moment of change that will only happen when the h'umar dies. Meanwhile, due to a lifetime of obsessing about the h'umar, the individual internalizes and unconsciously emulates what he most hates: the h'umar. The society ruled by autocratic and military means is formed of individuals who are really soldiers wearing invisible uniforms. This army, made up of the whole population, has but one mission: to serve and sustain the existence of the h'umar, both the symbol and its living representation, which they themselves constitute. Everyone dies except the h'umar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 6:00 p.m.
Roone Arledge Cinema, Alfred Lerner Hall
In un Altro Paese (In Another Country)

Marco Turco, 2005, Italy, 92 minutes

Written by Vania Del Borgo and Marco Turco in collaboration with U.S. journalist and Columbia University San Paolo Professor of International Journalism Alexander Stille, author of the book Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, the documentary examines the battle between the Sicilian mafia and Italian politics. The film follows the tragic story of the maxi-trial in Palermo and two magistrates who made it possible, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 9:00 p.m.
Roone Arledge Cinema, Alfred Lerner Hall
Terra Estrangeira (Foreign Land)

Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, 1995, Brazil, 100 minutes

After the unexpected death of his mother, Paco (Fernando Alves Pinto), an aspiring actor from São Paulo, longs to leave his native Brazil. Tired of living in squalor, he accepts a delivery job from a shady antique dealer and travels to Lisbon carrying a violin filled with uncut diamonds. But when the exchange goes bad, he finds himself on the run from an underworld thug and in the arms of Alex (Fernanda Torres), a beautiful woman caught up in the Portuguese black market.