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International Education Week: 3 Films Beginning tonight

This week is International Education Week across the United States.  The International Services Office invites you (and your classes) to films on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  All films are link to locations that Questaterra—the international outreach program—is working with in some capacity, featuring Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.  Each film includes is free and includes food and the community is invited….


Monday Night:  Strawberries and Chocolate (and other films)

6:30 pm Monday, November 14th, Sid Richardson Lecture Hall 1 TCU Fort Worth Texas


MONDAY, November 14, 2011   Sid Richardson Lecture Hall 1 6:30 pm

Strawberries and Chocolate/Cuba/: 1994:      Do note all films at 6:30 but locations will vary…Monday Night is in Lecture Hall 1 (down the hall from lecture hall4).   Thomas Guttierez Alea is an unlikely candidate, as Director, to lead a movement against Castro.  In the early years he was a staunch supporter of the regime as a young filmmaker, but the aging director’s record of cinema would consistently present films that equal parts glorified the spirit of Cubans while pitting them against a system that creates strange friendships, bizarre networks for survival and all manner of paranoid evaluations of the secret lives of citzenry.

Monday night’s film the story follows the “attempted” seduction of a young student by a sophisticated, cynical member of Cuba’s underground gay community.  If you live in Cuba you can’t just come out and say “Cuba under Castro stinks” so Guttierez film moves artistically, slowly, as if we’re watching a polaroid negative develop.   The unintended outcomes of the attempted education establish the groundwork for this film, and we are given access–either accidentally or because our own assessment of what is allowed in Cuba is also manipulated–to a critique and a conclusion that does not disappoint our senses, nor allow us to predict what might happen.   “Fresas y Chocolate” is, in my opinion, one of the great representatives of Latin American cinema today, and a film that does not grow old.


Wednesday, November 16th, 2011    Palko Hall 130 (Across from Einstein’s Bagels on the main campus)   6:30 pm

Pictures From a Revolution/1991/Nicaragua:   Susan Meiselas was a young photographer from the US, chronicling the Sandinista Revolution in the 80’s.  In 1991 she returned to reconsider the revolution her own photos would help to immortalize.  Because she was sympathetic to the Sandinista cause, the danger of this documentary would be to sugarcoat or falsely-suggest the revolution had succeeded.  Instead of that what she does, as she had done in the 80’s, is to give us a clear, honest appraisal of the country, this time with a video lens instead of a camera.   The overall affect is what anyone with reason could hope—a critique on the senselessness of armed leadership and equally, armed rebellion.  As Daniel Ortega prepares to elect himself president for yet a third ineffectual term—after replacing an equally-ineffectual US backed Nicaraguan billionaire—Pictures of a Revolution does its best work by avoiding a direct analysis of Nicaragua.  Instead, through beautiful cinematography and an exhaustive search for the original people she photographed, their words clearly communicate the failures and successes of the revolution.


Friday, November 18th, 2011     Palko Hall 130 (Across from Einstein’s Bagels on the main campus)   6:30 pm

The Argonomist/2003/Haiti

Jean Dominique was an agronomist by trade, but is best-known as the voice of Radio Haiti.  Long before there was Facebook and Twitter, Dominique and his wife, Michele Montas, took to the airwaves in Port-au-Prince, in a bold effort to cultivate human rights and reform in Haiti amidst a political climate that was harsh and unforgiving.  “The Agronomist” provides an excellent overview of a critical fifteen-year period in Haiti’s tumultous history, which includes the end of Duvalierism, the election and rapid coup of Aristide, the deployment of U.S. troops by President Clinton, and concludes with the re-election of Aristide.

The film is directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia) who befriended the couple during their exile in New York City.

Food:                                                    perhaps Cuban:) perhaps fusion…but always foodJ

Next Film:                                           November 16th-18thth: QUESTA TERRA FILM FESTIVAL (Photos from a Revolution (Nicaragua),  The Agronomist (Haiti)

note:                                                       Wednesday’s film will ALSO be in a new location (Palk


About VideoFest

The Video Association of Dallas is dedicated to promoting an understanding of video as a creative medium and cultural force in our society, and to supporting and advancing the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts. Through its programs and information services, the Video Association intends to educate and inform artists, students, educators, critics, video and film producers and an interested public so they may better understand, appreciate and evaluate the creative possibilities of the video medium. It will also provide a forum for the work of regional video artists, in order to stimulate excellence in their work and provide the opportunity for dialogue and critical discussion.

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