30th MASSACHUSETTS MULTICULTURAL FILM FESTIVAL
MMFF “Before After”
March 22nd – May 11th
Screening: March 22nd, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A:
(Márta Mészáros, 1975, Hungary, 99 min, in Hungarian w/ English subtitles)
Guests: Catherine Portuges
Introduced by: Shawn Shimpach (UMass Amherst)
Kata, a widow in socialist Hungary, lives alone, plies her skills as a woodworker in a furniture factory, and keeps up for years an affair with a married co-worker. When a group of teenage girls from the orphanage stop at her home, the balance of her life is disturbed by the beautiful, self-possessed Anna. Kata discovers her desire for a child, either by birth or by adoption. With breathtaking closeups, revelatory moving frames, and lush black-and-white photography, Mészáros creates a richly layered portrait of women seeking love and freedom and learning that adoption, in all its forms demands unforeseen adaptation. Adoption is the first film directed by a woman to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. New 4k digital restoration.
Screening: March 29th, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A:
Introduced by: Nefeli Forni Zervoudaki (UMass Amherst)
THE SEA ON THE DAY WHEN MAGIC RETURNS
(마법이 돌아오는 날의 바다)
(2022, dir Jiwon Han, South Korea, 24 min, in Korean w/ English subtitles)
In this startlingly imaginative animation, Sejin once had the power to have anything she wanted just by wishing for it. The world was her oyster. But now, as she strives for a career in tourism, hobbled by the dysfunctional men in her life, she has lost her magic. Can she survive and find it again?
THE NIGHT I LEFT AMERICA
(2021, Laki Karavias, 14 min, Uganda/US)
As a small boy, Chamagello dreamed of leaving Uganda for the wonders of America. Now a teenager in a ramshackle trailer in rural Texas, he awaits the decision on his mother’s work visa renewal, confronted by memories of the life he left behind in Uganda and the prospect of returning.
(2022, Paolo Santamaria, 16 min, Italy, in Italian w/ English subtitles
A woman struggles to contain an extraordinary, electric part of herself in an effort to fit into ordinary life. An allegory of otherness? A metaphor for mental illness? Or a meditation on anxieties about women wielding power? Lampi evokes these and other questions with its fantasy.
(2019, Mykyta Lyskov, 14 min, Ukraine)
Set in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine, this kaleidoscopic animated short brings dark humor in the absurdist tradition to reflect on the effects of modern commerce on urban life, with proliferations of plastic bags, anonymous monsters, apocalyptic mushrooms, distorted chronologies, and prescient themes of military invasion.
Screening: April 5th, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A: David Siev (Director) and Rosie Walunas (Film Editor)
(David Siev, 2022, USA, 100 min)
Guests: David Siev (Director) and Rosie Walunas (Film Editor)
This award-winning documentary brings us inside the lives of an Asian American family living in a rural Michigan community as they fight to keep their American dream alive. As owners of a local prominent restaurant, they reckon with a deadly global pandemic, racial tensions, and generational scars from Cambodia’s “killing fields.” A love letter to a family, a hometown, and a country stumbling toward fulfilling its great promise, perhaps no other film captures the present cultural moment as profoundly as Bad Axe, with its intimate story told with courage, honesty, and care.
(Emma Pildes and Tia Lesson, 2022, 101 min, USA)
Guests: Emma Pildes and Tia Lesson (discussion)
Introduced by: Laura Briggs (UMass Amherst)
In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago where seven women who were part of a clandestine network were arrested. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses to protect themselves and their work, these women had built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves “Jane”. Janes tells the story of a group of unlikely outlaws who deed the law, the Church, and the Mob at great personal peril to help women in need.
*Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice *
Screening: April 19th, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A: TBA
(Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez, 2022, 96 min, Chile/Iraq/Egypt/Costa Rica, in Spanish/Russian/Arabic w/ English subtitles)
Introduced by: TBA
In cyclical style, as in ancient Sumerian poetry, this experimental documentary recounts the life of the filmmaker’s father- actor, professor, and theater director, Mohsen Sadoon Yasin—across Iraq, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, and Russia over seven decades. A tale of art, protest, and yearning for a homeland to which he could never return, told in myriad forms—photographs, letters, paintings, newspaper clippings, cassettes, archival artifacts, and recordings from his last years in London.
Screening: April 26th, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A: TBA
(Moshe Rosenthal, 2022, Israel, 100 min, in Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
Introduced by: Rachel Green (UMass Amherst)
The comfortable, stultified marriage of a semi-retired Tel Aviv couple gets an injection of excitement when a mysterious, seductive bachelor, Itzik, moves into the penthouse apartment and invites them into his eccentric universe. As Meir and Tova discover dormant desires and talents, they begin to reevaluate their options in life, including their marriage, measuring it against their larger-than-life neighbor from Miami with his wealth, charisma, and glamorous friends.
In Partnership With:
Screening: May 3rd, *7:00 pm N151 Integrative Learning Center*
Live conversation and Q&A: Keith Beauchamp
(Chinonye Chukwu, 2022, USA, 130 min)
Guest: Keith Beauchamp (Writer/Producer) (discussion)
Introduced by: Daphne Lamothe (Smith College)
The powerful true story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of a mother’s ability to change the world. Reflecting the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, Till honors the unparalleled strength of a mother demanding that the world look squarely at the monstrous reality of racism in America.
Screening: THURSDAY, May 11th, 7:30 pm
Live conversation and Q&A: Gabriel Bier-Gislason
(Gabriel Bier-Gislason, 2022, Denmark, 105 min, in Danish and English w/ English subtitles)
Guests: Gabriel Bier-Gislason (director) (discussion)
Introduced by: Olga Gershenson (UMass Amherst)
This spellbinding horror/love story follows the budding romance between Leah, a briefly famous Danish actress, and Maja, a graduate student who shares a London house with her mysterious, ultra-orthodox Jewish mother, who is also Danish. From sweet meet-cute to uncanny battle of wills, Attachment builds on secrets rooted in ages-old folklore and mysticism toward a breathtaking revelation.