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Films by Language

The Global Lens Collection includes films in 33 different languages from around the world.

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BUFFALO BOY
Director: Nguyen-Vô Nghiem-Minh
Vietnam   |   2004   |   102 minutes
Vietnamese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Vietnam’s official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards

Synopsis Set in the lowlands of southern Vietnam, this powerful coming of age tale is a richly textured and stunningly visual reflection of the rhythms of daily life and culture determined by water. The flooded landscape serves to tell the story of the relationship between a father and son, the cycles of life, and the inescapable flow of all things. When young Kim, out of necessity, joins the nomadic life of the buffalo herders he is exposed to a complex, brutal way of existence. He must find his own way and sense of self in this male world of endurance, betrayal, and uncertainty, which can also offer friendship and independence. Minh Nguyen-Vo presents this mythic tale with indelible images of the majestic and sacred buffalos charging through flood waters contrasted with the solitary rower gliding through the waters, each representing opposite phases of the spiritual and moving journey.

About the Director Nguyen-Vô Nghiem-Minh grew up in a small town in Vietnam during the war. To escape the fighting and atrocities all around, he spent a great deal of time in his youth in the town's one-room movie theater. He studied in France and the U.S., graduating with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from UCLA. After years of doing research in optics, he decided to concentrate on filmmaking. Buffalo Boy, his first feature, was in Official Competition and won the special prize from the Youth Jury at the 2004 Locarno International Film Festival. 

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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ADRIFT (Choi Voi)
Director: Bui Thac Chuyen
Vietnam   |   2009   |   110 minutes
Vietnamese, with subtitles in English
$24.99
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Synopsis Soon after her wedding, newlywed Duyen’s excitement begins to fade as she realizes her young husband is not only sexually naïve, but overly occupied by his job and doting mother. As her marriage goes unconsummated and her emotional isolation grows, she reaches out to her closest girlfriend, Cam, who secretly desires her, but pushes her into the arms of a dangerous and provocative suitor. The resulting sexual awakening and infidelity puts Duyen in a precarious love triangle, challenging her notions of conventional relationships and also the stability of her new family. Saturated with erotic tension, director Bui Thac Chuyen’s sensuous and absorbing second feature traces the emotional and psychological landscapes of lust and desire, weaving an atmospheric tale of love and life in modern Hanoi.

About the Director Bui Thac Chuyen was born in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1968. He began his film career in 1991 with the short film Eternal Sadness, which won the Golden Swift Wing Prize at the 1st National Viet Nam Festival of Short Movies. His debut feature film, Living in Fear was awarded the Asian New Talent Prize for Best Film in the 2006 Shanghai International Film Festival. Adrift is his second feature film.

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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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TOLL BOOTH (Gise Memuru)
Director: Tolga Karaçelik
Turkey   |   2010   |   96 minutes
Turkish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A taciturn tollbooth attendant shuffles between a suffocating home life with his ailing father and the monotony of the box where he works. Desperate to resist his father’s attempt to marry him off while determined to prove his worth by fixing his family’s broken-down car, he drives himself toward a nervous breakdown. After a reassignment to a desolate country road, he begins a flirtatious relationship with a woman who drives by each day. But is this salvation for the aging bachelor, or the further unraveling of his mind? An expert cast and keen art direction contribute to this wry, heartbreaking ode to lost dreams in a sleepwalking world.


About the Director Tolga Karaçelik was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1981. After receiving his law degree from Marmara University, he studied film at New York Film Academy. His short film, Rapunzel, received the Audience Award for short films at the SOHO International Film Festival in 2010. He also wrote and directed the music video for Çelik Çomak by the Turkish band Gevende. Toll Booth is his first feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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WHAT'S A HUMAN ANYWAY?
Director: Reha Erdem
Turkey   |   2004   |   124 minutes
Turkish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in an urban apartment building where neighbors, friends, and family are living in close quarters, the film focuses on male protagonists through whom the three phases of stepping into manhood in Turkish society are explored. Ali, suffering from temporary amnesia, is the main focus for the narrative twists in this circus-like environment. But, there is also a little boy who refuses to be circumcised, a young man who refuses to do his military service, and a 30-year-old man refusing to leave home. the nicely paced film with well-written characters is treated to director Reha Erdem's light touch and slyly amusing style without missing the opportunity to illuminate some serious points in a strictly patriarchal society.


About the Director Reha Erdem began his studies in history at Bogazilfi University in Istanbul. In 1983, he went to Paris 8 University to major in Cinema and Modern Art and completed a graduate degree. He directed his first feature film, A Ay (Oh Moon) in 1989. It received awards at the Nantes Film Festival, and was screened at the Locarno, Moscow, Vancouver and Dunkerque Film Festivals. His second feature, Kalf Para Kalf (A Run for Money, 1999) represented Turkey at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It was featured at the Tokyo, Munich, London, Oslo, Thessaloniki and Seattle Film Festivals. Erdem was invited to direct Hizmetlfiler (The Maids) by Jean Genet for the Istanbul National Theater in 1991. He directed a short film called Deniz Tlirklisu (The Sea Song), inspired by the poem of famous Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyatll. Since 1990, he has directed over a hundred TV commercials. In 1993, he founded Atlantik Film production company with Omer Atay.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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ANGEL ON THE RIGHT (Farishtay Kitfi Rost)
Director: Djamshed Usmonov
Tajikistan   |   2002   |   90 minutes
Tajik, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Hamro, an unrepentant prodigal son straight out of a Russian jail, returns to his hometown to help his mother die with dignity. But his debts are many and long overdue, the townspeople are tough as nails, and he gets more than he expected from the quiet village. In this dark comedy, his third feature, writer-director Djamshed Usmonov casts the town's population as its own persuasive self and his own mother and brother as the fractured yet formidable domestic couple.


About the Director Born in Asht, Tajikistan in 1965, Djamshed Usmonov graduated from the Theater Department at Dushanbe Fine Arts School in Tajikistan. He has been working in the film industry since 1986 as a director, producer, screenwriter, and an editor for fiction, animation and documentary films. He worked predominantly at the Tajikfilm Studio in Dushanbe. Djamshed has also appeared as an actor in 1990's "Yellow Grass Time" (dir. Mariam Yussupova, Tajikistan) and 2000's "The Road" (dir. Darezhan Omirbaev, Kazakhstan). He currently lives between Paris, Moscow and Tajikistan.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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WRETCHED LIVES (Hubog)
Director: Joel Lamangan
Philippines   |   2001   |   102 minutes
Tagalog, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Wretched Lives focuses on Vanessa, a cosmetics consultant who is forced to care for her troubled and mentally challenged sister after the sudden death of their mother. Her hustler boyfriend, Olivier, seems unreliable and Vanessa soon abandons him for Uno, an ostensibly liberal and caring substitute. But Uno isn’t exactly as he seems. In fact, he makes Olivier’s petty crimes look like a choirboy’s indiscretions, underscoring the film’s critical premise: the corruption of the political elite and their exploitation of the poor. Set in the early nineties, during the short-lived and ill-fated reign of Joseph Estrada, the film offers up a society in hellish microcosm. Central to Wretched Lives is its outrage at the manipulation of the poor for purely political purposes. When riots are staged, organizers use the poor as a front and then abandon them, leaving them to distrust even those who actually try to support them. Liberals are only public liberals; when they come home, they follow a completely different agenda. Innocence is a license to be abused.

About the Director Joel Lamangan studied at theatre, film and television schools in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Germany, Cuba and Australia. He acted and directed for stage and television before moving into feature films. His films include the award-winning Pangako ng Kahapon (1994), The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995), Bulaklak ng Maynila (1999), and Muling Umawit ang Puso (1995).

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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THE BET COLLECTOR (Kubrador)
Director: Jeffrey Jeturian
Philippines   |   2006   |   98 minutes
Tagalog, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: Spring/Winter 2013


Synopsis Amy, the family matriarch, makes ends meet by running a small convenience store out of her home. But in a struggling economy customers are scarce, and without the help of her husband or pregnant daughter, she is forced to supplement the family income by collecting bets for an illegal numbers game. In this starkly realistic narrative, director Jeffrey Jeturian presents a captivating portrait of a once-proud woman, haunted by memories of a dead son and hounded by the police, and her fragile and lonely life as a kubrador (bet collector) on the streets of Manila.

About the Director Jeffrey Jeturian was born in Manila, Philippines in 1959. He studied Broadcast Communication at the University of the Philippines. After college, he held various positions within the film industry for fifteen years before making his first feature film, Enter Love (1998). His second feature film, Fetch A Pail Of Water (1999), about slum dwellers and their struggle for survival, won the NETPAC Jury Award at the 1st CineManila International Film Festival (Philippines) and a Gold Award at the 2000 Worldfest International Film Festival (USA). His third feature film, Larger Than Life (2000), a satirical take on the state of filmmaking in the Philippines, was an official selection for competition in the Cinema Of the Present program of the 2001 Venice International Film Festival (Italy) and won a Gold Award at the 2002 Worldfest International Film Festival (USA). Jeturian's other previous feature films include Bridal Shower (2004), One Moment More (2004), and Bikini Open (2005). The Bet Collector is his seventh feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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LIFE KILLS ME (La Vida Me Mata)
Director: Sebastián Silva
Chile   |   2007   |   92 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Life and death come wrapped in a mutual embrace, both absurd and poignant, in this smart comedy about an unlikely friendship between a grieving cinematographer and a morbidly obsessed drifter. At work on a seriously schlocky, low-budget horror film, Gaspar is still reeling from the untimely death of his beloved older brother when he meets Alvaro at yet another premature funeral. A mildly sociopathic young man with an unyielding curiosity for the dark side, Alvaro soon coaxes Gaspar out of his shell in unexpected ways, in a debut film that pulses with a sure cinematic style as it channels a compassionate vision of frail, formidable, unforgettable lives.


About the Director Sebastián Silva was born in Santiago, Chile in 1979. He studied filmmaking at the Escuela de Cine de Chile in Santiago and English at McGill University in Montreal, while pursuing his career as an artist and musician. His second feature,The Maid, won the World Cinema Jury Prize (Dramatic) at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. His fourth feature,Crystal Fairy, premiered as an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Life Kills Me is his first feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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MY TIME WILL COME (Cuando Me Toque A Mi)
Director: Víctor Arregui
Ecuador   |   2008   |   90 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A predawn murder sets in motion a series of interlocking tragedies that eventually find their way to the city morgue's brooding Dr. Arturo Fernandez. Physically and emotionally isolated from the world around him, Arturo develops an oddly intimate relationship with the personal lives of his cases, gradually forcing him to confront his connection to the living, and the dead. Adapted from the novel De Que Nada Se Sabe, director Víctor Arregui's serpentine tale is a dark but sympathetic portrait of one man's solitude set against a richly textured rendering of Quito, Ecuador's capital city.

About the Director Víctor Arregui was born in Guaranda, Ecuador in 1962. He began his career working as a cameraman and director of photography for television and documentary films; as a photographer, he conducted prize–winning work with UNICEF. In 1999 he made the short film, El Tropezon, as part of the project "Ecuador en Corto (Ecuador in Short Films)." In 2003 his first feature, Offside, screened at more than 30 film festivals around the world. My Time Will Come is his second feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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A USEFUL LIFE (La Vida Útil)
Director: Federico Veiroj
Uruguay   |   2010   |   63 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: Spring/Winter 2013


Uruguay’s official submission to the 2010 Academy Awards


Synopsis After twenty-five years, Cinemateca Uruguaya’s most devoted employee, Jorge (real-life Uruguayan critic Jorge Jellinek), still finds his inspiration in caring for the films and audiences that grace the seats and screen of his beloved arthouse cinema. But when dwindling attendance and diminishing support force the theater to close its doors, Jorge is sent into a world he knows only through the lens of art—and suddenly forced to discover a new passion that transcends his once-celluloid reality. Stylishly framed in black-and-white with brilliantly understated performances, Federico Veiroj’s sly and loving homage to the soul of cinema is a universally appealing gem and knowing charmer about life after the movies.


About the Director Federico Veiroj was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1976. He received a degree in Social Communication from the Catholic University of Uruguay and began making short films in 1996. His first feature film, Acne, was awarded the Films in Progress TVE Award at the 2007 San Sebastián International Film Festival, premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and went on to receive the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 AFI Festival in Los Angeles. A Useful Life is his second feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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Items 1 to 10 of 96 total

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