Film Descriptions

SUMMER-FALL 2021 DAVIDSON FILM CLUB SCREENINGS

JULY 24 *Discussion of Diva on Zoom, 7:00 p.m. The Zoom link will be provided the week of the film.

DIVA

Directed by  Jean-Jacques Beinex (France, in French w/English subtitles), 1981, 2h05)

A young mail carrier, Jules, becomes entranced with the voice of African-American opera singer Cynthia Hawkins. She doesn’t believe in being recorded, but Jules, who is enamored of her, secretly records her singing on a tape. His recording gets mixed up with another tape that incriminates a police chief, who is working with the mob. Jules quickly becomes the target of mob gangsters, and he must find a way to get himself out of the situation alive. A stylish and trendsetting French thriller.

Discussion leader: Dr. Alan Singerman, Richardson Professor Emeritus of French, Davidson College and President of the Davidson Film Club

AUGUST 28 *The Davidson Film Club remains virtual and will replace COLD WAR with the Irish film ROSE PLAYS JULIE

Directed by Directed by Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy (Ireland, in English), 2019, 1h40.

It’s during a term studying animal euthanasia that veterinary student Rose decides to contact Ellen, the birth mother who gave her up for adoption. Ellen, who is now a successful London-based actress, doesn’t want any contact with her. But Rose proves very tenacious, and Ellen is forced to reveal a secret she has kept hidden for over 20 years. Rose believes she has little to lose but much to gain when she sets out to confront her biological father, Peter. What Rose cannot possibly foresee is that she is on a collision course that will prove both violent and unsettling – dark forces gather and threaten to destroy her already fragile sense of her own identity.

Discussion leader: Dr. Carol Armstrong, Lake Norman clinical psychologist

SEPTEMBER 25 

HORSES OF GOD

Directed by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco, in Arabic and French w/English subtitles), 2012, 1h55.

These are street kids from poor families where everyday violence, mental illness, corruption, and dope-dealing compete with fantasies of escaping to Western Europe to earn scads of money or dreams of making it as a professional soccer player. They are subject to the lure of religious fanatics who blame their misfortune on “the imperialist Zionist conspiracy” and offer a “community of new brothers” to those who will submit to the discipline of martyrdom. Nabil Ayouch’s deeply moving film has been lauded for its “brutal poetry” and the realism with which it depicts how insidiously and cynically fundamentalists ply their trade.

Discussion leader: Dr. Sokrat Postoli, Asst. Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Davidson College

OCTOBER *DATE AND PLACE TBD.

CAPERNAÜM

Directed by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon, in Arabic and Amharic w/English subtitles), 2018, 2h05.

Capernaüm (“Chaos”) tells the story of Zain, a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. The film follows Zain as he journeys from gutsy, streetwise child to hardened 12-year-old “adult” fleeing his negligent parents, surviving through his wits on the streets of Beirut, where he meets Ethiopian migrant worker Rahil, who provides him with shelter and food, as Zain takes care of her baby son Yonas in return.

Discussion leader: Lawrence Toppman, award-winning former film critic for The Charlotte Observer

NOVEMBER *DATE AND PLACE TBD.

THE LUNCHBOX

Directed by Ritesh Batra (India, in Hindi w/English subtitles), 2013, 1h44. B&W

The film, set in Mumbai, revolves around a mistaken delivery by the Dabbawalas (lunchbox delivery service) of Mumbai, which leads to a relationship between Saajan, a lonely widower close to retirement, and Ila, an unhappy middle-class housewife. Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to Saajan. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day’s lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. . .

Discussion leader: Dr. Job Thomas, Professor Emeritus of Art and History, Davidson College, specialized in the history and culture of India