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Women’s Studies

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WOMEN'S PRISON (Zendan-e zanan)
Director: Manijeh Hekmat
Iran   |   2002   |   106 minutes
Farsi, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis This taboo-breaking film is based on Manijeh Hekmat's long fieldwork among women prisoners in Iran. She depicts the lives of Iran's lost generation in the two decades since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, using the claustrophobic life of women behind bars as a metaphor for the entire society. Her protagonist, Mitra, is in prison for killing her violent stepfather. On the eve of a prison riot she confronts Tahereh, the new warden, whose dogmatic views she challenges fearlessly. Over the course of the next 20 years, Tahereh's attitude toward her prisoners changes and softens, which reflects the country's shifting political stance. Eventually, Mitra, aged and exhausted, is finally released, but Tahereh left behind, is now more like a prisoner herself.

About the Director Born in 1962 in Arak, Iran, Manijeh Hekmat is a prolific figure in Iranian cinema. She was initially involved in the film industry as a script girl, and then as an assistant director for 11 feature films. In the last decade, she has produced five notable feature films including the award winning, The Girl in the Sneakers, and, Bunch of Grass, a German production in Iranian Kurdistan. Women’s Prison is Ms. Hekmat’s feature film directorial debut. It is based on her long studies and fieldwork with Iranian, female prisoners.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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RACHIDA
Director: Yamina Bachir-Chouikh
Algeria   |   2002   |   100 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Algeria’s official submission to the 2002 Academy Awards

Synopsis The first-full length feature film bu Yaminda Bachir-Choikh evokes memories of the worst atrocities of the terror in Algeria. The forces of violence and ignorance erode but don't conquer decency and enlightenment in Rachida, the story of a vivacious young schoolteacher who refuses to buckle under intimidation, despite her anguish at living under the constant threat of terror in unexpected places. The film also highlights the corruption of an education system that has become the breeding ground of a culture of hatred.

About the director Yamina Bachir-Chouikh was born in 1954 in Algiers, and entered the film industry as an editor and scriptwriter. Her feature debut is Rachida.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.

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STOLEN LIFE
Director: Li Shaohong
China   |   2005   |   90 minutes
Madarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A young girl is taken to live with her aunt and grandmother in Beijing. As an adolescent, Yanni is withdrawn and reclusive, believing that she has been abandoned by her parents, and that she has no control over either her life or her fate. The fact that her “family” doesn’t have much hope for her future only compounds her depression. Surprising everyone in her hostile household, Yanni is accepted to college. As she prepares to begin her new life, an encounter with a delivery boy triggers a series of unexpected events. Director Li Shaohong takes us, as viewers, on a walk through a discovery of not only life under the city, but also a realistic perspective on the human experience.


About the Director Li Shaohong was born in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China in 1955. As a teenager she served in the military, working in a hospital. She graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and is regarded as a member of the “fifth generation” of filmmakers in China. As one of the most innovative and best-known contemporary women in this generation, Li co-founded Beijing Rosat Film & TV Production Company. Her feature films include Bloody Morning (1990), Family Portrait (1992), Blush (1994), The Red Suit (2000), and Baober in Love (2004). Stolen Life won the Best Narrative Feature at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 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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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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OPERA JAWA
Director: Garin Nugroho
Indonesia   |   2006   |   120 minutes
Indonesian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Setyo and Siti live a peaceful life as husband and wife, selling earthenware in their village. But when Setyo is called away on business, a flirtatious butcher, Ludiro, takes advantage of Siti's loneliness to seduce her. Tempted by song and dance, Siti initially refuses his advances but acquiesces in a moment of weakness, setting the stage for an epic battle between the two men. Located in lush forests and on pristine beaches of Java, director Garin Nugroho bases his deeply imagistic and dazzling visual narrative on the The Abduction of Sita, from the Hindu epic, The Ramayana.

About the Director Garin Nugroho was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 1961. He studied filmmaking at the Institut Kesenian Jakarta, where he later taught filmmaking and was the Dean Assistant of Film Faculty & TV. He has directed numerous award-wining documentaries, short films and music videos. He has also worked as a film critic for Indonesian newspapers, as a Media Coalition Coordinator at the 2004 election, and is currently the director of SET Film Workshop. His feature film Of Love and Eggs (2004) was selected for Global Lens 2007. His other previous feature films include Birdman Tale (2002), And the Moon Dances (1995), Leaf on a Pillow (1998), Letter for an Angel (1994), and Love on a Slice of Bread (1991). Opera Jawa is his seventh 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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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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I AM FROM TITOV VELES (Jas Sum Od Titov Veles)
Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Macedonia   |   2007   |   102 minutes
Macedonian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Macedonia’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards

Synopsis Set in the quaint but scarred town of Veles, three sisters long to escape the suffocating environment of their dying community. Burdened by memories of their late father, each chooses a different path: Sapho struggles to secure a visa to Greece, Slavica desperately searches for a rich husband, and Afrodita harbors hopes for love and children. In this contemporary story of urban decay, director Teona Strugar Mitevska blends stark realism with memorable performances to create a vivid landscape of life and longing in post-communist Macedonia.

About the Director Teona Strugar Mitevska was born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1974. As a child she acted in television, commercials, theater and radio dramas; she later trained as a painter and obtained her BA in Graphic Design. In 1998, she enrolled in the MFA film program at New York University's Tisch School of Arts. Her first feature film, How I Killed A Saint, screened successfully at festivals around the world. I Am From Titov Veles is her second feature film.

Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.



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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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THE PHOTOGRAPH
Director: Nan Achnas
Indonesia   |   2007   |   98 minutes
Indonesian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Sita is a spirited young woman working to support her family as a singer and prostitute in a local brothel. Always short of funds and bullied by her pimp, she convinces an elderly portrait photographer, Mr. Johan, to rent her a room; in failing health, Mr. Johan is desperate to find an apprentice to carry on his work before he dies. The unlikely bond that develops between Sita and Mr. Johan is the basis of writer-director Nan Achnas's visually brilliant and poignant human drama about the profound effect one life can have on another.

About the Director Nan Achnas was born in Singapore in 1963. She holds a masters degree in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia, UK. As a documentary filmmaker, her work has screened at festivals worldwide, and her narrative work includes the FIPRESCI award–winning Whispering Sands and The Flag. She currently teaches Cinema Studies and Directing at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts. The Photograph is her fourth feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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SHIRLEY ADAMS
Director: Oliver Hermanus
South Africa   |   2009   |   92 minutes
English and Afrikaans, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In this deeply affecting portrait of ordinary courage in present-day South Africa, a single mother—Shirley Adams—struggles to care for her paraplegic teenage son, Donovan, in a depressed district on the outskirts of Cape Town. Wearied but resolute, she desperately clings to him as he withdraws from the world following a suicide attempt, and is hopeful when his spirits are momentarily lifted by the appearance of Tamsin, a pretty but overeager social worker. But when the relationship between Donovan and Tamsin sours, his fragile emotional health declines, and Shirley's faith and perseverance are put to the ultimate test. First-time director Oliver Hermanus's observant camera holds close to its subjects, capturing the claustrophobia, intimacy and hushed anguish surrounding the tender daily routines of a mother and her child.

About the Director Oliver Hermanus was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1983. He began his professional career as a press photographer, covering international events such as the Glastonbury Music Festival and the G-8 Summit. He holds a BA in Film Media and Visual Studies from the University of Cape Town where, as a student, he directed a number of short films and documentaries. Shirley Adams is his first feature film.

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DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011.

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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