|Global Visions presents double feature April 14|
The Global Visions Film Series continues its sixth year at UND this spring. The Global Visions 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.
A double feature will be shown Tuesday, April 14, with screenings of “The Kite Runner,” and “Innocent Voices.” The scheduled film for Tuesday, March 10, (Innocent Voices) was shown as scheduled, but due to the blizzard “Coyote,” few people were able to attend. Films will be screened between 7 and 10 p.m. The following films are scheduled to complete this semester’s film series:
• "Mark Sienkiewicz, Live From Bethlehem" 2008 (Israel - documentary), April 21
• "Times of Harvey Milk" 2008 (USA), May 5
All films are shown in the Lecture Bowl, second floor, Memorial Union. The series is free and open to the public. Suggested donations are encouraged, but not required. For further information call 777-4718.
Review, "The Kite Runner"
By David Ansen | NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Dec. 17, 2007
If "Atonement" hadn't already been taken, Khaled Hosseini could have used it as a title for his novel, "The Kite Runner," whose protagonist, a privileged 12-year-old Afghan boy named Amir, grievously betrays his childhood friend Hassan. Only years later, as an adult, will he be able to atone through an act of considerable courage.
The story begins in San Francisco in 2001. The adult Amir (Khalid Abdalla) is now a novelist, having fled Afghanistan with his father after the Soviet invasion. He's a man haunted by his past, and Forster's movie soon transports us back to Kabul in 1978, before the city was decimated, first by the Russians and then by the Taliban. The young Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) has grown up in the comfortable, cultured home of his secular, militantly anti-mullah father, Baba (the marvelous Iranian actor Homayoun Ershadi). They are Pashtun, part of the ruling elite, and Hassan (sad-eyed Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada), the son of the family servant Ali, is of the Hazara tribe. The two young friends may be servant and master, but they are inseparable until the day Hassan is beaten up and raped by teenage Pashtun bullies, a horror Amir witnesses and does nothing to prevent. Converting his guilt into enmity, he turns on his friend.
"The Kite Runner" isn't subtle, but it allows us to see a country and a culture from the inside: it puts a human face on a tragedy most of us know only from headlines and glimpses on the nightly news. It helps that the Afghan scenes are played in Dari, not English. Forster's solid, unpretentious movie hits its marks squarely, and isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. Only a mighty tough viewer could fail to be moved.
October 14, 2005
"Fallout From a Ruinous Civil War Seen Through a Child's Eyes"
By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: October 14, 2005
In the most wrenching scene from Luis Mandoki's film "Innocent Voices," Salvadoran army troops storm into a school in the heart of an impoverished rural village, bark out a list of names and forcibly conscript any boy over 12 into the military. As the dazed, terrified children are herded into the back of a truck and carted away, their stricken parents look on in horrified silence; to interfere would be to risk being shot to death.
This scene is one of several in the film, set in the 1980s during El Salvador's 12-year civil war, that break your heart. During those years, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, or the F.M.L.N., waged an armed struggle against the right-wing government, which responded by attacking villages and massacring inhabitants suspected of sympathizing with the left-wing guerrillas. The United States, fearing a Communist takeover of the country, backed the government and dispatched American soldiers to train the government troops, who eventually prevailed.
These events are viewed through the eyes of Chava (Carlos Padilla), a spirited 11-year-old boy and the oldest of three children who live with their mother, Kella (Leonor Varela), a seamstress struggling to provide for her family. Chava's father has left El Salvador for the United States, and there is no word as to his whereabouts.
Because this is history viewed through the eyes of a child, "Innocent Voices" gives you feelings and impressions, but few facts. The only people seen in the village are women, children, the elderly and the disabled cowering in fear and uncertainty. In one brief scene, American soldiers are shown handing out chewing gum to children whose parents warn them that the kindly soldiers are really their enemies. In another, Chava witnesses the kidnapping off the street of two girls who are dragged away to be raped; the heroic local priest (Daniel Giménez Cacho), the film's most eloquent voice, refuses to tell the boy what will happen to them.
The film is based on the real-life childhood experiences of Oscar Torres, who co-wrote the screenplay with the Mexican director Mr. Mandoki. "Innocent Voices" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has harrowing scenes of war.
-- Marcia Mikulak, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4718