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Global Lens 2005

Global Lens 2005 includes ten award-winning narrative feature films from Algeria, Angola, Argentina, China, Mali, Turkey, Uruguay and Vietnam— click here to view the series trailer, poster and more.  Films from Global Lens 2005 are available for non-theatrical bookings and on DVD—check individual film pages for more information.

10 Item(s)

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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. 

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

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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.

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 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.

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

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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.

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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LILI'S APRON (El Delantal de Lili)
Director: Mariano Galperin
Argentina   |   2004   |   90 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis This is the love story of Ramón and his wife Lili, whose life together is dramatically impacted by Argentina's abrupt economic crisis. When Ramón, a chef in a restaurant, is laid off and all efforts to find alternative income fail, their furniture is reposessed, their family life is disrupted, and Ramón must cope with his wife's nervous breakdown. Out of both a sense of responsibility and panic, he devises a desperate, income-generating plan but hides its implications from Lili. Mariano Galperin approaches the poverty and social disintegration among ordinary people with humor and charm, balancing the story on the edge of very dark satire. With strong images of the dismantled capital accompanied by a powerful soundtrack, Lili’s Apron captures a troubled society where unlikely events have become part of everyday life.

About the Director Mariano Galperin was born in Buenos Aires in 1962. He began his career with photography at the age of 13, and since then has shown his work at the Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires, the Museum of Fine Arts Buenos Aires, and the Museum of Modern Art Mexico. In 1985 he moved to New York to work as a photographer and study cinema at New York University. Galperin moved back to Buenos Aires in 1987 and started to direct advertising and video clips for local artists. He began to write scripts in 1989 and wrote 1000Boomerangs, which became his first feature film in 1993, screening at the La Habana, Sao Paulo, and Trieste Film Festivals. He also wrote Lili's Apron, which premiered at the 2004 Rotterdam Film Festival. Mariano is one of the first in his generation to begin making independent films in Argentina. At present he is working on his latest film, Dulce de Leche, while publishing a photography book titled "Attitud Buenos Aires".

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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TODAY AND TOMORROW (Hoy y Mañana)
Director: Alejandro Chomski
Argentina   |   2003   |   87 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis The seemingly unavoidable downward spiral of Argentina's middle class during the current economic and social crisis is vividly brought to life in the character of young, street-smart Paola. A talented, would-be actress with a paying job as a waitress, she is always on the run: from her landlord, from the gas bill, from being late for work, and from her father's demands. Her energy is matched in the nervous yet intimate camera work that follows her closely though the 24 hours she is given to raise the money required to avoid being evicted. Paola's disillusion and emotional turmoil become increasingly disturbing as her desperation leads her to darker corners of Buenos Aires' nightlife. Alejandro Chomski tracks actress Antonella Costa in every frame lending enormous credibility to the troubled Paolo with her appropriately wired performance.

About the Director Alejandro Chomski was born in Argentina in 1968. Much of his academic and professional training took place in the U.S., where he moved after studying sociology for three years in Buenos Aires. In Los Angeles, a Fulbright Scholarship allowed him to complete a Master's degree at the American Film Institute. He has produced, written, directed and shot numerous shorts, supported by actors and actresses like Charles Rocket and Julie Delpy. Chomski has worked as an assistant on videos, commercials and features for directors Spike Lee, Luis Puenzo, Emir Kusturica and Jim Jarmusch. He shot a documentary spoof titled, Who Is Alejandro Chomski?. In 2001, Chomski won the INCAA Competition for Young Directors. Today and Tomorrow is his first feature.

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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WHISKY
Director: Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll
Uruguay   |   2004   |   94 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Uruguay’s official submission to the 2004 Academy Awards

Synopsis An inspired and beautifully assured tragic-comedy about Jacobo, a sixty-year-old owner of a small, outdated sock factory, is illuminated with deadpan, repetitive, and monotonous detail. When his successful younger brother is expected for a visit, Jacobo asks Marta, his humble, loyal assistant, to pose as his wife. The brother, lively, inquisitive, and open, spontaneously suggests a seaside trip during which the three characters begin to reveal themselves in situations where farce, jealousy and betrayal lead to places of no return. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll have created a sophisticated, quiet film that tells a story through understatement and modest gestures.


About the Director Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll were born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and began working together while studying at La Universidad Catolica del Uruguay. Their feature debut, 25 Watts (2001), won multiple awards, including the VPRO Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Whisky is their second feature, winning the Prix du Regard Original at the 2004 Festival de Cannes.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.

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UNIFORM (Zhifu)
Director: Diao Yinan
China   |   2003   |   92 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Filmed on a shoestring budget in the city of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, this deceptively simple first feature perfectly illustrates a Chinese saying "the clothes enter before the person". A young tailor finds his life improving in a variety of ways when he - innocently at first - starts wearing a policeman's uniform left unclaimed in his family's laundry shop. Diao Yinan cleverly layers metaphors without elaborating, but the sly humor and undemonstrative narrative style allow the viewer to decipher the many secrets and lives being lived in contemporary Chinese society. Shot in video, adding a grainy, gritty look, this accomplished work typifies the style of the next generation of emerging Chinese filmmakers.

About the Director Diao Yinan was born in Xi'an, Shanxi Province, China, in 1969. He attended the Central Academy of Drama, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in literature and screenwriting. From there he went on to collaborate on three screenplays: Spicy Love Soup (1998), Shower (1999) and All The Way (2001). As an actor, he has starred in Yu Lik Wai's All Tomorrow's Parties (2003). Uniform is Diao Yinan's directorial debut.

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.

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KABALA
Director: Assane Kouyaté
Mali   |   2002   |   112 minutes
Bambara, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Magic spells lend a helping hand in this debut feature about a young man's troubled relationship with his native village in Mali. Because of ancient prejudices, Hamalla was banished. He returns four years later versed in modern technology at a time the village's future is precarious because the holy well of the ancestors, symbol of the spirituality of the entire community, is contaminated. In the face of epidemic, the villagers resist all of Hamalla's attempts to convince them of the need to purify the water. Assane Kouyaté's poetic vision cleverly bridges the film's themes of the necessity of accepting technology, while at the same time leaves no doubt of the power of traditional ways.

About the Director Assane Kouyaté was born in Bamako, Mali, in 1954. After a postgraduate degree in French studies, he obtained a diploma from The Moscow Film Institute (VGIK) in 1989. His graduate film, Thérese and Patrick, received acclaim at the Tashkent Film Festival, Uzbekistan. In 1994, after completing several documentaries and advertising films, Kouyaté was a cast member in Zéka Lapaine's film, Macadam Tribe (1994) , and from 1998 through 2000 he served as the assistant director for Aphrodita by the Argentine filmmaker Pablo Caesar.

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

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 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.


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


Click here for Non-Theatrical & Exhibition screening information

Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.


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10 Item(s)

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