Museum of Modern Art honors Eleven Films from Emerging Nations

The Museum of Modern Art announced the lineup for its second annual exhibition of world cinema, in collaboration with the Global Film Initiative, a New York-based organization established to promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema, which will be presented March 3-18, 2005. Organized by Jytte Jensen (Curator of MoMA’s Department of Film and Media), ten features and one short film from countries with developing and emergent film cultures will be spotlighted.

Among the features are Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll’s multi- award-winning 2004 Uruguayan drama Whisky and Minh Nguyen-Vo’s affecting 2004 Vietnamese work Buffalo Boy, which will each receive a one-week run at the Museum. Other films in the series hail from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Algeria, Angola, Mali, China, Vietnam, Argentina, and Uruguay, and range from political satire (Pjer Zalica’s 2003 “Fuse”) and domestic dramas played out against the backdrop of economic and social hardship (Mariano Galperin’s 2004 “Lili’s Apron”) to journeys of self-discovery (“Buffalo Boy”) and the deceptively simple love story that is “Whisky,” winner of both the FIPRESCI Award and Regard Original prize at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival as well as Best Foreign Spanish-Language Film at the 2005 Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars).

In addition, three films in the series – “Daughter of Keltoum” (Mehdi Charef, 2001), “Uniform” (Yinan Diao, 2003), and “Hollow City” (Maria Joao Ganga, 2004) – are part of an educational project between the Initiative and the Museum’s Department of Education and will be screened for participating educational institutions and schools from the New York area.

“Global Lens is a project conceived by the Global Film Initiative to encourage filmmaking in developing countries,” said MoMA’s Senior Film and Media Publicist Paul Power. “The films presented in this annual collaboration, several funded at script stage by the Initiative, represent a selective survey of contemporary filmmaking from areas where local economic realities make such expensive and technology-driven endeavors a challenge. The eleven films in the program are thought provoking and entertaining, and they are also deeply rooted in the social and political realities of the countries where their talented and resourceful directors live and set their stories.”

For more information, please visit the Museum of Modern Art web site.

All screenings at Titus 1 and Titus 2, Museum of Modern Art
Thursday, March 3
In Titus 1
7:30 PM: “Whisky” (2003/Uruguay/Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll)
The owner of a small, outdated sock factory, his loyal, humble assistant, and
his successful younger brother. The three take a seaside trip in which farce,
jealousy, and betrayal lead them to places of no return. In Spanish with English
subtitles. 95 mins
Preceeded by “El Siguiente” [As Follows] (2004/Uruguay/Federico Veiroj)
An adolescent boy gets ready to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. In Spanish with English
subtitles. 13 mins
Friday, March 4
In Titus 1
6:00 PM: “Bent Keltoum” [Daughter of Keltoum] (2001/Algeria/Mehdi Charef)
Young Rallia, raised in Switzerland, travels to an isolated and barren Berber
settlement in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria. Her desperate search for her biological
mother leads her on a journey of discovery of her extended family and traditional
Berber culture. In Arabic and French with English subtitles. 101 mins

In Titus 2
8:15 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente”
Saturday, March 5
In Titus 1
5:30 PM: “Kabala” (2002/Mali/Assane Kouyate)
Magic lends a hand in this feature about a young man’s troubled relationship
with his native village in Mali. When the holy well of the ancestors is contaminated,
Hamalla, newly versed in modern technology, returns from exile. Kouyate’s poetic
vision cleverly bridges the film’s themes of technology and the power of traditional
ways. In Bambara with English subtitles. 112 mins
8:00 p.m. “Gori Vatra” [Fuse] (2003/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Pjer Zalica)
This brilliantly controlled debut is an unflinchingly honest and darkly funny
depiction of a community struggling to hide its unlawful activities and unhappy
alliances while attempting to establish some sort of democracy two years after
the war has ended and right before former U.S. president Clinton arrives for
a visit. In Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. 105 mins

In Titus 2
2:00 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente”
Sunday, March 6
In Titus 1
5:00 PM: “Zhifu” [Uniform] (2004/China/Diao Yi’nan)
Filmed on a shoestring budget in provincial Xi’an, this deceptively simple first
feature concerns a young unemployed man who finds his life improving when, innocently
at first, he starts wearing a policeman’s uniform. Shot on video, Diao’s slice
of life is filled with sly humor, subtle metaphors, and the confident, gritty
look of realism. In Mandarin, English subtitles. 92 mins

In Titus 2
2:00 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente”
Monday, March 7
In Titus 1
7:00 PM: “Insan Nedir Ki…” [What’s a Human Anywayr] (2004/Turkey/Reha
Set in an urban apartment building where neighbors, friends, and family live
in close quarters, this film focuses on three male protagonists. Erdem lends
a light touch to the film’s narrative twists while also creating a slightly
nutty, circuslike environment. The filmmaker also explores more serious themes,
depicting the three phases of manhood in patriarchal Turkish society. In Turkish
with English subtitles. 128 mins

In Titus 2
5:30 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente”
Wednesday, March 9
In Titus 1
5:30 PM: “Hoy y Manana” [Today and Tomorrow] (2002/Argentina/Alejandro
The unavoidable downward spiral of Argentina’s middle class during the current
economic crisis is vividly brought to life by the adventures of young, street-smart
Paola. A talented would-be actress with a paying job as a waitress, Paola becomes
increasingly disillusioned and desperate, leading her to the darker corners
of Buenos Aires’s nightlife. In Spanish with English subtitles. 87 mins
7:30 PM: “El Delantal de Lili” [Lili’s Apron] (2003/Argentina/Mariano
Ramon and Lili’s married life is dramatically affected by Argentina’s sudden
economic crisis. When Ramon is laid off, he devises a desperate plan to make
money but hides its implications from Lili. Filmmaker Galperin approaches this
serious tale with humor and charm, balancing the story on the edge of very dark
satire. In Spanish, English subtitles. 90 mins

In Titus 2
8:00 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente” [As Follows]
Thursday, March 10
In Titus 2
5:30 PM: “Gori Vatra” [Fuse]
7:30 PM: “Whisky” with “El Siguiente” [As Follows]
Friday, March 11
In Titus 1
6:00 PM: “Na Cidade Vazia” [Hollow City] (2004/Angola/Maria Joao Ganga)
In the aftermath of the Angolan revolution, N’dala, orphaned at age eleven,
arrives in Luanda and begins his journey alone in the unfamiliar and unwelcoming
city. He meets Ze and his friends, who drift among the Luanda homeless, and
is drawn into their existence of survival. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
88 mins

In Titus 2
8:15 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy] (2004/France-Belgium-Vietnam/Minh
Set in southern Vietnam, this powerful coming-of-age tale is a richly textured
reflection on the rhythms of daily life. The flooded landscape serves as backdrop
for the mythic story of a relationship between a father and son, the cycles
of life, and the inescapable flow of all things. In Vietnamese with English
subtitles. 102 mins
Saturday, March 12
In Titus 1
2:00 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]
7:30 PM: “Hoy y Manana” [Today and Tomorrow]

In Titus 2
2:30 PM: “Bent Keltoum” [Daughter of Keltoum]
5:00 PM: “Insan Nedir Ki…” [What’s a Human Anywayr]
Sunday, March 13
In Titus 1
5:00 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]

In Titus 2
2:30 PM: “El Delantal de Lili” [Lili’s Apron]
Monday, March 14
In Titus 1
7:30 PM: “Na Cidade Vazia” [Hollow City]

In Titus 2
6:00 PM: “Kabala”
8:15 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]
Wednesday, March 16
In Titus 2
5:30 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]
7:30 PM: “Zhifu” [Uniform]
Thursday, March 17
In Titus 2
7:45 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]
Friday, March 18
In Titus 2
8:15 PM: “Muoa Len Trau” [Buffalo Boy]