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Films by Topic

The Global Lens Film Series features unique perspectives on a wide range of topics and studies. Specially-focused film sets are available to educational institutions and libraries through our Educational Affiliates program.

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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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ANOTHER MAN'S GARDEN (O Jardim do Outro Homem)
Director: João Luis Sol de Carvalho
Mozambique, Portugal & France   |   2006   |   80 minutes
Portuguese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis For a young girl who wants to study medicine in Mozambique, the obstacles extend far beyond the distractions of her boyfriend and her family. A moment of weakness or an error in judgment can cost her a place at the university, an irretrievable loss in a country with so few opportunities for women. Sol de Carvalho dedicates this film to the courage of young women who continue to strive against the odds, proving that educating a girl is not a waste of time in a land where it is perceived that "sending a girl to school is like watering another man's garden."

About the Director João Luis Sol de Carvalho was born in Beira, Mozambique in 1953. He studied at the Conservatório Nacional de Cinema in Lisbon, and worked as a journalist, editor and photographer as well as producing numerous documentaries and television programs. Sol de Carvalho is the founder and general manager of Promarte Production Company in Maputo. O Jardim do Outro Homem is his first feature film.Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.

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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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DAUGHTER OF KELTOUM (La Fille de Keltoum)
Director: Mehdi Charef
Algeria   |   2001   |   106 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A young woman, Rallia, raised in Switzerland, travels to an isolated and barren Berber settlement located in the rocky Atlas Mountains of Algeria. Rallia's journey is one of multi-tiered discovery in terms of her relationship to her extended family, traditional Berber culture, and her desperate need to locate her biological mother. Through her eyes, the viewer is immersed in a world virtually untouched by contemporary society, one that still clings to tribal mores and strict religious codes of conduct. Mehdi Charef skillfully captures the windswept vistas of a faraway mountain range with wide camera angles that frame the harsh environs and the desperate daily search for water, the responsibility of the resilient women of the Berber tribe.

About the Director Mehdi Charef was born in 1952 in Maghnia, Algeria, where he lived until his family left in the early 1960s to live in France, where he was trained as a mechanic and worked in a factory. In 1983, his first novel Le Thé au Harem d'Archimíde ("Tea in the Harem") was published. The book was soon optioned by filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras and made into a film, winning a Cesar, the Jean Vigo and SOS Racisme prizes, the Silver Hugo in Chicago, and the Special Jury Prize at the Madrid International Film Festival. Charef's films, La Maison d'Alexina (1999) and Pigeon vole (1996), were adapted from his novels of the same name. Medhi Charef currently lives in France and continues his work as a novelist and filmmaker.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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ENOUGH! (Barakat!)
Director: Djamila Sahraoui
Algeria, France   |   2006   |   94 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in war-torn Algeria in the 1990s, Enough! follows two women on the dangerous search for the younger woman's husband, a journalist whose writings resulted in his disappearance. Both women represent anachronisms in Islamist Algeria: the younger woman is a doctor, the older a nurse with vivid memories of Algeria's fight for independence. Ignoring curfews and the constant threat of ambush by armed militias, the two women challenge the men they encounter to accept them and help them with their search. Their journey leads them across the picturesque landscapes of Algeria, to a deeper understanding of how their lives were shaped by their country's history.

About the Director Djamila Sahraoui was born in Algeria in 1950, and has lived in France since 1975. After studying literature in Algeria, she studied filmmaking at l'IDHEC in Paris. Her early short films include Houria (1980), Avoir 2000 ans dans les Aurès (1990), and Prénom Marianne (1992). Sahraoui's documentaries, La Moitié du ciel d'Allah (1995), Algérie, la vie quand même (1998) and Algérie, la vie toujours (2001), explore conditions in Algeria during the decade of civil war. She was awarded the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs prize in 1997. Enough! is her first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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FINE DEAD GIRLS (Fine Mertve Djevojke)
Director: Dalibor Matanic
Croatia   |   2002   |   77 minutes
Croatian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Croatia’s official submission to the 2002 Academy Awards

Synopsis A report of a kidnapped child triggers an investigation that uncovers nightmarish conditions in a seedy apartment building in Zagreb: none of the residents are as they seem and when they learn the truth about each other, the pervasive climate of mistrust in the building explodes into violence. The hostility and misery of the characters' lives project vivid echoes of Croatia's recent past, as the country slowly emerges from years of ethnic violence during the Balkans war.About the Director Dalibor Matanic was born in Zagreb in 1975 and studied filmmaking at the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has made videos, commercials and documentaries before completing his first film, The Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside (2000). Fine Dead Girls is his second feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.

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FUSE (Gori Vatra)
Director: Pjer Zalica
Bosnia and Herzegovina   |   2003   |   105 minutes
Bosian/Serbo-Croatian with Subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis This brilliantly controlled debut feature opens with a jolt symbolic of the dangers buried beneath the surface of a small rustic village in Bosnia. Two years after the civil war has officially ended, Serbs and Muslims are trying to live and work together. A dryly humorous tone contrasted with a shrewd sense of reality, even in the tragic legacy of post-war Bosnia, balances this beautifully wrought political satire. Times are tough indeed, and everyone has to make his or her living in some sort of illegal way. It's an unflinchingly honest and darkly funny depiction of a poor, corrupt community struggling to hide its unlawful activities, unhappy alliances, amidst an attempt to establish some sort of democracy. Pjer Zalica combines techniques from 1960s East European comedies and his background in documentaries to generate a steady stream of sparks, built around a single, quasi-political event (Clinton is planning a visit).

About the Director Pjer Zalica was born in Sarajevo in 1964. He graduated from the Department of Directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo. He then went on to complete a course in film screenplay writing and film production at the Gronjan International Film School. Author of several screenplays for film and TV, Zalica has also co-written a screenplay for the first post-war feature film from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Perfect Circle. Pjer is currently a Professor in the Department of Directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo. His most recent film, Days and Hours (2004), recently was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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HOLLOW CITY (Na Cidade Vazia)
Director: Maria Joao Ganga
Angola   |   2004   |   88 minutes
Portuguese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in the aftermath of the Angolan revolution and the devastating results, this film chronicles the impact on even the most innocent. Orphaned at age 11, Ndala arrives in Luanda on a military transport plane filled with other children in the same situation. During the confusion of arrival, he runs away and begins his journey through the unfamiliar and un-welcoming city. Ndala meets Z, an older boy who shares the epic story of a young warrior. Z and his friends, who drift amongst the Luanda homeless, fascinate Ndala and he is tragically pulled into their existence of survival. Maria Joo Ganga presents contrasting visual styles that reflect Ndalas journey. His discovery of the seaside is bathed in brilliant blues and yellows reflecting the purity of sea and sky, in contrast with his connection to Z, bringing him into a clandestine world of interiors with dilapidated apartments and smoky, ramshackle bars redolent of perpetual night.

About the Director Maria João Ganga was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1964. She studied filmmaking at L'école Superieure Libre d'etudes Cinematographiques (ESEC) in Paris. She has served as an assistant director on several documentaries, including Rostov-Luanda by Abderrahmane Sissako, and has also written and directed for theater. Hollow City is her first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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KEPT AND DREAMLESS (Las Mantenidas Sin Sueos)
Director: Vera Fogwill and Martn Desalvo
Argentina   |   2005   |   94 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis During Argentina's economic crisis of the '90s, nine year-old Eugenia and her mother, Florencia, live a seemingly colorful life surrounded by eclectic neighbors and an offbeat collection of family. But for Eugenia, who must deal with her mother's dysfunctional and drug-addled lifestyle, life is anything but pleasant in this darkly inspiring story of expectation, acceptance and nontraditional family, led by standout performances from director Vera Fogwill and young actress Luca Snieg.

About the Director Vera Fogwill was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1972. She has worked in theater as an actress since the age of fourteen, and won the Best Ibero-American Drama Actress award at the Autumn International Festival for her performance in The Toymaker, which resulted in the Secretary of Culture of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires distinguishing her with an Honorary Diploma and a Distinction to Talent and Effort. The Argentine Cinematographic Critic Association awarded her with a Silver Condor prize in the Feminine Revelation category for her performance in Buenos Aires Vice Versa (1996). She has also been a playwright since the age of fifteen and has written numerous plays, including The Fierce Ones, which won the First Prize and Best Theater Play by La Nacion, an Argentine daily newspaper. In 2003, she was selected from over 3,000 young talents worldwide to attend the “First Global Meeting of Young Moviemaking” hosted by the Berlinale Talent Campus of the Berlin International Film Festival. Kept & Dreamless is her first feature film.

Martín Desalvo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1973. He studied Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires, and later studied Cinematography at the Universidad del Cine and the Video and Cinema Investigation and Experimentation Center (CIEVYC). While a student, he produced several short films including, Another One, which was awarded Best Short Film and Best Photography by CIEVYC. From 1998 to 2003, he worked for the production company Pol-ka Producciones. He is the author of the cinematographic book, El Yogui (2003), and the documentary script, The Whore at the Cemetery (2001). Kept & Dreamless is his first feature film.Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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KILOMETRE ZERO
Director: Hiner Saleem
Iraqi Kurdistan and France   |   2005   |   96 minutes
Arabic, French and Kurdish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A story of ethnic conflict between Kurds and Iraqis in the context of the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s. The central story of the film is set at a time when Kurds were conscripted to serve in the Iraqi army, where they were brutally abused, as a despised minority in Saddam Hussein's military. Kilometre Zero pairs a Kurdish soldier, under orders to return the body of a dead soldier to his family, with an Iraqi taxi driver who will drive them cross-country to the dead soldier's home. Scenes between the men, in the close quarters of their truck, are interwoven with scenes of often comic incompetence of Iraqi soldiers and officers.

About the Director Hiner Saleem was born in Acna, Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1954. He fled to Italy by way of Syria in 1971, to escape the oppression of Saddam Hussein, and has lived in Paris for the past ten years. He is a fervent advocate for the rights of the Kurdish people, and regards April 9, 2003, the day of the fall of Saddam Hussein, as the most beautiful day of his life. Saleem was honored as Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the government of France in 2005. His films include Beyond Our Dreams (2000), and Vodka Lemon (2003), for which he won the Contro Corrente Grand Prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. His Long Live the Bride...and the Liberation of Kurdistan (1997) won the prize for best script at the Angers Film Festival. Kilometre Zero (2005) was selected for competition at the Festival Cannes 2005.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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Items 1 to 10 of 48 total

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