SHADOWS OF LIBERTY
Post-screening panel discussion featuring filmmaker Jean-Philippe Tremblay, film contributor Roberta Baskin, film contributor Kristina Borjesson and film contributor Robert Parry. Moderated by Chance Williams of Free Press.
The News Corp phone-hacking scandal is merely the most recent, attention-getting event to cause citizens from across the political spectrum to call into question the priorities of the press. Filmmaker Jean-Philippe Tremblay delves deeper into questions of how the interests of corporate media, global corporations and the U.S. government intersect, and the high costs paid by journalists who have run afoul of these powerful interests. Examining how certain stories are sold or suppressed, this documentary asks probing questions about who chooses the news that reaches the public.
DIR/SCR/PROD Jean-Philippe Tremblay; SCR Dan Cantagallo. UK, 2013, color/b&w, 93 min. NOT RATED
D.C. Francophonie Festival
March 1-April 14
The D.C. Francophonie Festival celebrates the diversity and richness of the French language and francophone communities around the world through a series of cultural events and outreach programs presented every spring in the U.S. capital region.
The following films at AFI Silver are included in the Francophonie Festival (click titles for listings and tickets):
BURN IT UP DJASSA
UNDER THE STARRY SKY
AYA OF YOP CITY
IMBABAZI: THE PARDON
Visit francophoniedc.org for the full list of events and information.
KEN BUGUL – PERSONNE N'EN VEUT
Ken Bugul is the pseudonym of a Senegalese writer. In the Wolof language, these two words mean "one who is unwanted." Ken Bugul has a reputation for being contradictory: she is respected and appreciated as an African feminist, but criticized at the same time for her alleged vindication of polygamy. This film is an encounter with this unusual woman, who with intelligence, charm and generosity encourages people to reflect, think and act. A quest for identity between cultures, within the framework of respect for one another.
DIR/SCR/PROD Silvia Voser; PROD Claude Gilaizeau, Beat Lenherr. Switzerland/France, 2013, color, 62 min. DCP. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, MONSIEUR LAZHAR tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the recent death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children deal with their grief, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.
DIR/SCR Philippe Falardeu; SCR from the play by Evelyne de la Chenelière; PROD Lu Déry, Kim McCraw. Canada, 2011, color, 94 min. In French with English subtitles. RATED PG-13
LAMB OF GOD: AS THE PALACES BURN
One night only!
In 1995, five guys from Virginia with a love of heavy metal began jamming together. They played in basements and dingy clubs, recorded demos, worked hard, built a rabid underground fan base and eventually called themselves Lamb of God. Now, more than fifteen years later, Lamb of God has achieved the kind of success that kids with garage bands dream about—they've sold more than two million albums, made two platinum-selling DVDs, been nominated for four Grammy Awards and have continued growing their cult of heavy metal loyalists into a worldwide community.
AS THE PALACES BURN is a feature-length documentary that originally sought to follow the band and their fans throughout the world, to demonstrate how music ties people together when they can't find any other common bond. However, during the filming process in 2012, the story abruptly took a dramatic turn, bringing the band into a Kafkaesque nightmare, when lead singer Randy Blythe was arrested on charges of manslaughter, blamed for the death of one of their young fans in the Czech Republic. What followed was a heart-wrenching courtroom drama that left fans, friends and curious onlookers around the world on the edge of their seats.
The film includes a new Q&A session with the band members—recorded in the fall of 2013 at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD!—shown exclusively to audiences attending the theatrical screenings.
DIR Don Argott; PROD Sheena M. Joyce. US, 2014, color, 120 min (90 min feature plus 30 min bonus interview), DCP. RATED R
FOLLOWING THE NINTH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BEETHOVEN'S FINAL SYMPHONY
No passes accepted.
Fri, Mar 14, 9:45
"Thrilling...smartly assembled and gracefully paced." –New York Times
"Rarest of films: transformative as it sets out to be." –Village Voice
"The film is beautiful and powerful." –Bill Moyers
"FOLLOWING THE NINTH is one more bravo for the iconic masterpiece." –Chicago Sun-Times
Filmed on five continents and in twelve countries, this is the story of four people whose lives have been transformed and repaired by Beethoven's message in his Ninth Symphony: Alle Menschen werden Bruder (All Men Will Be Brothers). At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played the Ninth over loudspeakers as the army came in to crush their struggle for freedom. The same year, The Berlin Wall, symbol of division and oppression, came down as Leonard Bernstein performed Beethoven's Ninth as an "Ode To Freedom." In Chile, women living under the Pinochet dictatorship sang the Ninth at torture prisons, where prisoners inside took hope when they heard their voices. In Japan each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus.
Part road trip, part adventure story, FOLLOWING THE NINTH is an inspirational film about Beethoven's Ninth, the power it has to liberate, to shield against suffering, and to provide hope and resilience in dark times.
DIR/SCR/PROD Kerry Candaele. US/Germany/UK/Austria/Chile/China/Japan/South Africa, 2013, color, 78 min, Blu-ray. NOT RATED
Sat, Mar 15, 3:05; Sun, Mar 16, 3:05
With discussion and book signing by Mark Harris, author of "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War"
Young Brandon De Wilde watches wide-eyed as farmer father Van Heflin, with the help of mysterious stranger Shane (Alan Ladd), squares off against rival hired gun Jack Palance in this sodbusters vs. cowpunchers All-American Western. George Stevens' painstaking and elaborate production stressed realism—all-weather shooting, specially aged costumes and shabbily authentic sets. Jean Arthur, having largely abandoned movies over the preceding decade, made her role as Heflin's wife her final screen appearance. Oscar winner for Best Cinematography; six total nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Stevens, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor nods for De Wilde and for Palance.
DIR/PROD George Stevens; SCR A.B. Guthrie Jr., from the novel by Jack Schaefer. US, 1953, color, 118 min, DCP. NOT RATED
About the Author
BAND OF SISTERS
In person: filmmaker Mary Fishman; Sister Marge Clark, BVM, NETWORK; and Sister Mary Pat Garvin, RSM, Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Leadership Team
From 1990 to 2006, Mark Harris worked as a writer and editor covering movies, television and books for Entertainment Weekly, where he now writes the "Final Cut" back-page column. He has written about pop culture for several other magazines as well. He lives in New York City with his husband, Tony Kushner.
In "Five Came Back," Harris achieves something remarkable, giving the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the prism of five film directors caught up in the war: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens.
In the wake of the Vatican II reforms of the 1960s, which modernized Catholic practice and called on the religious to serve where there is the greatest need, American nuns took it upon themselves to put word into action, coming out of the cloister and engaging with the world. This documentary tells the too-little-told, imperfectly understood story of this remarkable transformation. Profiling a range of forward-thinking, hard-working, innovative and inspiring nuns, sisters on the front lines of issues ranging from low-income housing and health care, immigration reform, alternative medicine, environmentalism and organic farming, not to mention a myriad of social justice campaigns and advocating on behalf of women's role in the church, this engaging film will enlighten the mind and move the heart.
DIR/PROD Mary Fishman. US, 2012, color/b&w, 88 min. NOT RATED