WINTER-SPRING 2023 DAVIDSON FILM CLUB SCREENINGS
JANUARY 21: HAPPENING
Directed by Audrey Diwan (France, in French w/English subtitles, 2021, 1h40)
An adaptation of Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux’s novel of the same name, looking back on her experience with abortion when it was still illegal in France in the 1960s. France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her, but when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so. . .
Discussion leader: Georgia Ringle, Health Educator at Davidson College for over three decades.
FEBRUARY 18: DIRTY PRETTY THINGS
Directed by Stephen Frears (UK, in English, 2002, 1h37)
Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant leading a hard life and struggling to survive in London’s underground. He works as a hotel receptionist at night, and since he has a medical doctor degree, he practices some medicine during the day, albeit in a very odd way. In addition, he must constantly escape from Immigration officers. One day Okwe discovers by chance that an illegal scheme of surgeries is being led by Juan (Señor “Sneaky”), his boss at the hotel. Juan comes up with a tempting proposal: if Okwe agrees to perform the illegal surgeries, he makes a lot of money and gets a U.K. passport. Can Okwe keep his moral values intact?
Discussion leader: Lawrence Toppman, longtime cinema, theater, and music critic at The Charlotte Observer.
MARCH 18: THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD
Directed by Joachim Trier (Norway, in Norwegian w/English subtitles, 2021, 2h08)
An achingly human and frighteningly accurate portrait of an entire generation’s existential crisis, The Worst Person in the World observes millennial angst through a young woman’s quest for love and meaning as she enters into her 30s without any idea about her identity and purpose in life. The story is narrated in chapters and covers her four years journey of love and enlightenment in which we see her throw herself into different career paths and new relationships. . .
Discussion leader: Matt Cramer, film critic at the on-line blog Y’All Weekly
APRIL 22: LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM
Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji (Bhutan, in Dzongkha (Sino-Tibetan), w/English subtitles, 2019, 1h50)
A young teacher in modern Bhutan, Ugyen, shirks his duties while planning to go to Australia to become a singer. As a reprimand, his superiors send him to the most remote school in the world, a glacial Himalayan village called Lunana, to complete his service. He finds himself exiled from his Westernized comforts after an arduous 8-day trek just to get there. When he does, he finds no electricity, no textbooks, not even a blackboard. Though poor, the villagers extend a warm welcome to their new teacher, but he faces the daunting task of teaching the village children without any supplies. He wants to quit and go home, but. . .
Discussion leader: Dr. Rachel Pang, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Davidson College
MAY 27: BEFORE, NOW & THEN
Directed by Kamila Andini (Indonesia, in Indonesian w/ English subtitles, 2022, 1h43)
The late 1960s Indonesia. Raden Nana Suhani, a gentle, beautiful young Sudanese woman, escapes a violent anti-communist purge in West Java in the 1960s but loses a father, husband, and son to the war. She remarries and begins a new life, but the past lives on in her dreams. Her new husband, a wealthy Sudanese plantation owner, is kind to her, but her place in the home is menial, and he is unfaithful. Nana suffers in silence until the day she meets one of her husband’s mistresses, Ino, and the two women become close friends. Ino is someone she can trust, someone who offers her comfort and to whom she can confide her secrets, past and present. One day, her former husband, thought dead in the war, resurfaces. . .
Discussion leader: Dáša Mortensen, Assistant Professor of History at Davidson College, South Asian specialist.
JUNE 24: FEAR
Directed by Ivaylo Hristov (Bulgaria, in Bulgarian w/ English subtitles, 2020, 1h41)
Svetla, a strong-willed widow, lives alone in a small Bulgarian village close to the Turkish border. She has recently lost her job as a teacher due to the lack of families with young children. One day, while hunting in a forest, she encounters an African refugee, Bamba, who is trying to reach Germany. Reluctantly, she offers him hospitality, but day after day, a bond develops as Bamba learns the language and takes part in her daily life. Svetla will make life-changing choices that go against her traditional community, creating a revolt among the villagers. Absurd, comic, and tragic situations ensue as she breaks barriers of loneliness, closed-mindedness and fear of the outsider.
Discussion leader: TBD