|Global Visions film series continues|
The Global Visions Film Series continues its sixth year at UND this spring, further exploring the themes of human rights, human dignity, and cultural variation. The Global Vision Film Series (GVFS) is a forum that promotes diversity in North Dakota through screening award-winning national and international films. The GVFS is sponsored by the students of the Anthropology Club in the Department of Anthropology, and is partially funded by the Multicultural Awareness Committee. Their goal is to provide the University and the Grand Forks community with the opportunity to experience films of exceptional quality from around the world, providing a broader understanding of and appreciation for the breadth, variety, and commonality of the human family. Many faculty across disciplines assign GV films as extra credit assignments for students.
Seven foreign films will be screened this spring. All films begin at 7 p.m. on alternating Tuesdays until May 5. The following films are upcoming:
• "City of Men" 2007 (Brazil), March 31
• "The Kite Runner" 2007 (Afghanistan), April 14
• "Times of Harvey Milk" 2008 (USA), April 21
• "Matt Sienkiewicz – Live From Bethlehem" 2008 (Israel documentary), May 5
Film Synopsis/Review By Stephen Holden
The most disquieting moment in “City of Men,” a rootin’-tootin’ gangster movie shot in the notoriously lawless shantytowns overlooking the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, is also the most subdued. Acerola, aka Ace (Douglas Silva), an 18-year-old still carrying baby fat, admits that he is frightened and unprepared to care for his infant son as his wife, Cris (Camila Monteiro), leaves to find work in São Paulo. Although Ace loves his little boy, he is only a child in a man’s body himself, and he begs her not to go. For him to assume full parental responsibility is almost unimaginable.
In “City of Men,” directed by Paulo Morelli, Ace’s reluctance is more the rule than the exception. In the strutting, drug- and gun-infested culture of the favelas, young men who sire children aren’t expected to acknowledge them, and their tough, sullen wives and girlfriends have little choice but to tolerate the situation or leave. That’s just the way it is in a hyper-macho environment with virulent homophobia.
Underneath their swagger, these teenage gangsters brood about the absence of their own fathers. Ace’s best friend, Laranjinha, aka Wallace (Darlan Cunha), who is days short of turning 18, is especially obsessed with his own paternity. As he approaches the numerical demarcation between child and adult, when he will need an identification card stating his last name, he embarks on a concerted search for his father based on neighborhood rumor.
Mr. Morelli’s film is a companion piece (not strictly a sequel) to “City of God,” the 2002 global hit directed by his longtime collaborator Fernando Meirelles that featured some of the same actors, including Mr. Silva and Mr. Cunha playing 11-year-olds. The new movie, written by Elena Soárez, is spun off from a successful Brazilian television series of the same title that was shown on the Sundance Channel and is available on DVD. (Mr. Meirelles was a creator of the television series and is a producer of the new film.)
That the sins of the fathers are passed on to the sons is the somewhat thudding message of a movie that hammers home its point by having Ace and Wallace reach an impasse in their friendship that parallels the relationship of their fathers two decades earlier. In a society of fatherless boys craving role models, glamorous outlaws fill the void.
“City of Men” is rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has strong language and scenes of violence, but is not gory.
-- Marcia Mikulak, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, email@example.com, 777-4718