Film Descriptions

WINTER-SPRING 2021 DAVIDSON FILM CLUB SCREENINGS

JANUARY 30

THE HATE U GIVE

Directed by  George Tillman Jr. (US, in English), 2018, 2h13)

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must decide if she is going to use her voice to stand up for what’s right.

Discussion leader: Susan Hatchett, 20-year veteran of the West Coast film industry

FEBRUARY 27

FORCE MAJEURE

Directed by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, in Swedish w/English subtitles), 2014, 2h.

This wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba, and their two blond, pre-teen children—on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining, and the slopes are spectacular but, during lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With panicked diners fleeing in all directions, Ebba calls out for her husband as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, however, makes a decision that will shake the family’s world to its core. Although the anticipated disaster fails to occur, his marriage now hangs in the balance. . .

Discussion leader: Dr. Sean McKeever, Chair and Professor of Philosophy at Davidson College

MARCH 20 

TREMORS (TEMBLORES)

Directed by Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala, in Spanish w/English subtitles), 2019, 1h47.

Pablo is a 40-year-old married father of two children. A practicing evangelical Christian, his perfect traditional life begins to crack when he falls in love with a man. Pablo finds his feelings in conflict with his beliefs, and his life becomes a hell of repressive intolerance when his family and his church decide to do whatever it takes to “cure him”, forcing Pablo to suppress his urges through therapy.

Discussion leader: Dr. Matt Samson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Latin-American Studies at Davidson College

APRIL 24

LION

Directed by Garth Davis (UK/Australia, in English/Hindi/Bengali), 2016, 1h58.

In 1986, five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India. Too young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, he must learn to survive as a street child in Calcutta (Kolkata), before ultimately being adopted by a family from Tasmania. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family while fighting guilty feelings toward his adoptive parents. Based on a true story.

Discussion leader: TBD

MAY 29

SONG WITHOUT A NAME

Directed by Melina Léon (Peru, in Quechua and Spanish w/English subtitles), 2019, 1h37. B&W

Georgina’s newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets a journalist who takes on the investigation. The story takes place in the context of the burgeoning terrorism in late 1980s Peru (in which Georgina’s husband is involved).

Discussion leader: Dr. Jane Mangan, Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Latin American Studies, Director of Davidson in Peru, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Davidson College

JUNE 26

GRADUATION

Directed by Cristian Mungiu (Romania, in Romanian w/English subtitles), 2016, 2h08.

Acclaimed filmmaker Cristian Mungiu returns with this searing human saga about a father driven to extremes in order to protect his daughter’s future. Romeo Aldea, a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding—Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams, a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Graduation is a masterful look at the complex moral choices and compromises some people make when desperation takes hold.

Discussion leader: TBD