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War and Conflict

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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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THE KITE (Le Cerf-Volant)
Director: Randa Chahal Sabbag
Lebanon   |   2003   |   80 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Lebanon’s official submission to the 2003 Academy Awards

Synopsis In director Randa Chahal Sabbag's fairytale for troubled times, sixteen-year old Lamia must cross a border checkpoint between Lebanon and Israel to marry a man she has never met. Neither she nor her betrothed are eager to consummate a marriage to a stranger matter further complicated by Lamia's surprising admission that she is in love with the Israeli soldier guarding the border. Sabbag's enchanting drama about marriage and tradition is underscored by delicate symbolism and artful references to politics of Lebanon's territories that have been annexed.

About the Director Randa Chahal Sabbag was born in Tripoli, Lebanon. She studied film at the University of Vincennes and the School of Louis Lumiére in France. She directed numerous documentaries, short films, and television programs before her first feature film, Sand Screens (1991). Her second feature film, A Civilized People (1998), a black comedy about the Lebanese Civil War, was censored in Lebanon. She refused to make edits to her film that the Ministry of Interior's military censors proposed, which resulted in her being vilified in the press and her family receiving death threats. In 2004, she was awarded with the nation's highest honor, a Chevalier of the Order of the Cedar, for her contributions to Lebanon. The Kite is her third feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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THE NIGHT OF TRUTH (La Nuit de la Verite)
Director: Fanta Régina Nacro
Burkina Faso   |   2004   |   100 minutes
French, Mooré and Dioula, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Mirroring the political strife and genocide in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, this film opens as preparations are being made to end a decade of civil war in a fictitious country. A peace agreement is about to be signed and celebrated in a night of reconciliation with a laying down of arms. As the powerful drumming begins, both rebels and government forces gather, bringing with them years of rage, grief, hope, suspicion, and bitterness. In this first feature film, Fanta Régina Nacro boldly presents the sometimes unintentional but inhuman behavior inherent in all people.

About the Director Fanta Régina Nacro studied at INAFEC, the national film school of Burkina Faso, and earned master’s degrees in film and audiovisual studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was the first woman in Burkina Faso to direct a film, the short Un Certain Matin (1992). Among her 17 short films are Puk Nini (1995), Le Truk de Konaté (1998), and Bintou (2001). The Night of Truth is her first feature film, and it won the Best Screenplay at the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2004.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.

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LET THE WIND BLOW (Hava Aney Dey)
Director: Partho Sen-Gupta
India   |   2004   |   93 minutes
Hindi and English, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopisis At the height of nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, Arjun and his best friend, Chabia, weigh their options for the future against the reality of life on the streets of Mumbai. Enticed by the promise of wealth and opportunity in the Persian Gulf, Chabia is eager to leave his job as a mechanic. But for Arjun, who must finish college and care for his mother, the decision is not so easy in director Partho Sen-Gupta's gritty, apocalyptic interpretation of Krishna's counsel to Arjuna, from the Bhagavad Gita.

About the Director Partho Sen-Gupta was born in Bombay, India in 1965. He started his career as an art department apprentice in the studios of ‘Bollywood’ in 1982. He is an award-winning production designer and art director, and has worked on numerous Indian and foreign films, television programs and theater productions. In 1993, he was awarded a scholarship to study film direction at La FEMIS, in Paris. He has directed several award-winning short films, which have been official selections at film festivals throughout Europe. In 2005, he was invited by the Cinefondation of the Cannes Film Festival to attend the festival as part of a group of promising young filmmakers. Later that year, he directed the documentary, Shakti Timeless, about the Indo-Western fusion group, Shakti, tracing its history from the '70s to the present. Let the Wind Blow is his first feature film.

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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.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 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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ALL FOR FREE (Sve Džaba)
Director: Antonio Nuic
Croatia   |   2006   |   94 minutes
Bosnian-Croatian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis After his friends are killed in a bizarre, bar room argument, Goran devises an unusual plan to deal with the loss: he will sell his house, buy a mobile tavern and travel from town to town, giving away free drinks to everyone he meets. But for everyone except Goran, the idea is strangely suspicious, and a bit absurd, in director Antonio Nuic's darkly humorous tale of loss and reconciliation, told as a metaphor for Bosnia's gradual rediscovery of its shared humanity, lost during the war.

About the Director Antonio Nui? was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1977. He graduated in Film and TV Directing from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia and is a member of the Croatian Film Directors Society. He has previously directed numerous short films, TV shows, and music and promotional videos. All For Free is his first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.


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SLEEPWALKING LAND (Terra Sonâmbula)
Director: Teresa Prata
Mozambique   |   2007   |   97 minutes
Portuguese, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In the midst of Mozambique's devastating civil war, Muidinga, an orphaned refugee, wanders the countryside in search of his mother. His only companion is an elderly storyteller, and the only guide to finding his mother is a dead man's diary. Together, the storyteller and diary lead him on a magical, and sometimes macabre, journey across war-torn landscapes to find the family he lost. Based on Mia Coutou's acclaimed Portuguese novel of the same name, Teresa Prata's transporting drama underscores the power of imagination in surviving, and ultimately overcoming, the catastrophe of war.

About the Director Teresa Prata was born in Portugal and spent her childhood in Mozambique. She studied biology at the University of Coimbra and holds a degree in Screenwriting and Directing from the German Film and Television School. She began her career working at an art gallery and has made several experimental videos and installations. Sleepwalking Land is her first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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SONG FROM THE SOUTHERN SEAS (Pesn' Juzhnykh Morej)
Director: Marat Sarulu
Kazakhstan   |   2008   |   80 minutes
Russian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi-desolate region of the Great Steppe. But when the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arises between them, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful—and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk-inspired melodies—writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan's epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.


About the Director Marat Sarulu was born in Talas, Soviet Union (now Kyrgyzstan) in 1957. He graduated with a degree in Philology from Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek in 1980 and subsequently studied at the Moscow Cinema Academy. He is co–writer of the internationally successful feature film, Beshkempir and currently works as a writer and director. Song from the Southern Seas is his third feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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ORDINARY PEOPLE
Director: Vladimir Perisic
Serbia   |   2009   |   79 minutes
Serbian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis On a seemingly average day, a busload of young soldiers is sent to a remote location in the countryside and given a macabre task: the execution of a number of civilians. Dzoni, a green recruit, initially objects, but as he moves from one killing to the next, he is swept up by the spectre of military authority, and quickly becomes desensitized by the apparently routine nature of his task. As he nears the end of his assignment, the quiet horror of the day slowly begins to affect him, forcing a painful reconciliation with his actions. Set in an unspecified time of conflict in the Balkans, director Vladimir Perisic’s highly attuned and unsentimental lens captures the psychological toll of war on its participants, and the universal struggle of all soldiers to reconcile morality with action.

About the Director Vladimir Perisic was born in Serbia in 1976. He studied film direction at the Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade and at La Femis, Paris, receiving his diploma from the Directing Department. He has directed several short films including Realitatvirtust and Miloch. His graduation film, Dremano Oko, was selected for Cinefondation at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2003. Ordinary People is his first feature film.

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DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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