Film Descriptions



Directed by  Mike Leigh (UK, in English, 1996, 2h20)

After her adoptive mother dies, Hortense, a successful Black eye doctor, seeks out her birth mother. She’s shocked when her research leads her to a lower-class white woman, Cynthia. At first Cynthia denies the claim, but she eventually admits to birthing Hortense as a teenager, and the two begin to bond. However, when Cynthia invites Hortense to a family barbecue, Cynthia’s already tense relationship with her family becomes even more complicated.

Discussion leader: Dr. Brenda Flanagan, Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Professor of English, Davidson College, Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Dept. of State.


Directed by Céline Sciamma (France, in French w/English subtitles, 2019, 2h01)

At the end of the18th-century in France, on an isolated island in Brittany, young painter Marianne, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowing. Therefore, Marianne must observe her model by day to paint her portrait at night. Day by day, the two women become closer as they share Héloïse’s last moments of freedom before the impending wedding.

Discussion leader: Sandy McFeeley, Former federal government attorney from Washington D.C. and then Dallas, Texas, where she met her spouse, Marjorie Flowers.


Directed by Lee Isaac Chung (South Korea, in Korean and English w/English subtitles, 2020, 1h55)

A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean- American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. However, new beginnings are always challenging, and to find out what is best for the family, let alone start a 50-acre farm to grow and sell Korean fruits and vegetables, is easier said than done. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

Discussion leader: Prof. Jack Jung, South Korean native, Asst. Prof. of English, Davidson College


Directed by Jonas Rasmussen (Denmark, in Danish, English, etc. w/ English subtitles, 2021, 1h30)

An animated documentary telling the true story about a man’s need to confront his past in order to truly have a future. Amin arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. Today, at 36, he is a successful academic and is getting married to his long-time boyfriend. A secret he has been hiding for over 20 years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. For the first time, he is sharing his story with his close friend.

Discussion leader: Dr. Sokrat Postoli, Asst. Prof. of French & Francophone Studies, Davidson College, with research interests in immigration questions


Directed by J. A. Bayona (Spain, in English, Thai, German, Swedish with English subtitles, 2012, 1h54)

In December 2004, close-knit family Maria, Henry, and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation, but the idyllic holiday turns into an incomprehensible nightmare when a terrifying roar rises from the depths of the sea, followed by a wall of black water that devours everything in its path. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them?

Discussion leader: Dr. LeeAnna Chapman, Visiting Asst. Prof. of Environmental Studies, Davidson College