Film Descriptions




Directed by  Robert Schwentke (Germany, in German w/English subtitles), 2017, 1h58)

“A vision of Hell in black and white and wearing jackboots, based on a true story, The Captain follows Willi Herold, a German army deserter who stumbles across an abandoned Nazi captain’s uniform during the last, desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Newly emboldened by the allure of a suit that he stole only to stay warm, Willi discovers that many people will follow the leader, whosoever that happens to be. A parade of fresh atrocities follow in the so-called captain’s wake, and serve as a profound reminder of the consequences of social conformity and untrammeled political power. Simultaneously a historical docudrama, a tar-black comedy, and a sociological treatise, The Captain presents fascism as a pathetic pyramid scheme, a system to be gamed by the most unscrupulous and hollow-souled.” Music Box Films

Guest presenter/discussion leader: Dr. Scott Denham, German Studies Dept., Davidson College



Directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran, in Persan w/English subtitles), 2016, 2h04.

Forced to leave their collapsing house, Ranaa and Emad, an Iranian couple who happen to be performers rehearsing Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, rent a new apartment from one of their fellow performers. Unaware of the fact that the previous tenant had been a woman of ill repute having many clients, they settle in. By a nasty turn of events one of the clients pays a visit to the apartment one night while Ranaa is alone at home taking a bath and the aftermath turns the peaceful life of the couple upside down.

Guest discussion leader: Dr. Zinat Hassanpour, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences (native of Iran)



Directed by Pablo Berger (Spain, in Spanish w/English subtitles), 2012, 1h44.

Set in 1920s Seville and shot in black and white and without dialogue, this film follows the fate of Carmen, the young daughter of a great matador, who finds fame after escaping the clutches of her evil stepmother Encarna, who had treated her like a slave and tried to have her killed. A band of bullfighting dwarfs save her life, but she has amnesia. They take her under their wing when they find out that she has seemingly natural skills as a bullfighter. Not knowing her identity, the dwarfs call her “Blancanieves”, after the famed fairy tale, “Snow White”. Like the Oscar-winning French film The Artist, the year before, Blancanieves is a tribute to silent films.

Guest discussion leader: Dr. Anthony Pasero-O’Malley, Hispanic Studies Dept., Davidson College/b>



Directed by Xavior Giannoli (France, in French w/English subtitles), 2015, 2h09.

The story of Marguerite is placed in 1921 and inspired by the real-life story of Florence Foster Jenkins, an American socialite who seemed to truly believe she was a brilliant coloratura soprano. Catherine Frot’s rendition of “Der Hölle Rache,” from The Magic Flute, the first song she demolishes in the film, is close to a note-for-note copy of Jenkins’ recorded version. Yes, it’s possible to love something that much and be so bad at it. Marguerite is about a woman who would not let the truth stand in the way of her desire to sing. Nobody knows much about this woman except that she is rich and that her whole life is devoted to her passion: music. She has been living her passion in her own bubble, and the hypocrite audience, always coming in for a good laugh, acts as if she was the diva she believes she is. Can this end well?

Guest discussion leader: Jacquelyn Culpepper, Artist Associate (Singing) in the Music Dept., Davidson College



Directed by Ken Loach (UK, in regional British English), 1969, 1h54.

In this coming-of-age drama, Billy Casper, a 15-year-old working-class Yorkshire boy, is bullied at home by his older brother and at school by his teachers and fellow students and largely ignored by his indifferent mother. Like other downtrodden children in an outmoded social system favoring the ruling class, Billy appears headed for a menial job with no future. Consequently, he has no motivation and nothing to look forward to, until the day he finds a kestrel-a European falcon with the ability to hover against strong winds- whom he names “Kes”. Supported and encouraged by his English teacher and some of his fellow students, Billy finally finds a positive purpose to his unhappy existence. Then he opts to spend his brother’s race track money on food for Kes, which sets the stage for a serious conflict between the two young men. . .