September 25

Gaze Engendered

The Women’s Kingdom

Director: Xiaoli Zhou

(23 minutes, 2005-06, China/USA)

A short film offering a rare glimpse into the extraordinary society of Mosuo women, keepers of one of the last matriarchal societies in the world, who live beyond structures of mainstream Chinese culture.

A Jihad for Love

Director: Parvez Sharma

(81 minutes, 2007, USA/UK/France/Germany/Australia)

This film presents a struggle for love in Muslim society and gives voice to gay and lesbian characters, emerging in all their human complexity, challenging assumptions about a monolithic Muslim community and defining jihad as a struggle rather than a war.


September 26

Triumph of the Will

I Want to be a Pilot

Director: Diego Quemada Diez

(12 minutes, 2006, Kenya/Mexico/Spain)

Deep in the slums of East Africa, a 12-year-old has only one dream—to be able to fly. This moving film depicts a poverty stricken orphan boy, living in Kenya, who looks towards the heavens and dreams of being an airline pilot and of escaping his bleak life of poverty.

China Blue

Director: Micha Peled

(86 minutes, 2005, China/USA)

This critically acclaimed film is a powerful and poignant journey into the harsh world of sweatshop workers. Shot clandestinely, it is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retailers don’t want us to see.


September 27

Vanishing Histories 

The Mall on Top of My House

Director: Aditi Chitre

(6 minutes, animation, 2006, India)

The film explores the consequences of rampant land reclamation and the flouting of environmental laws through the eyes of a fisherman who lives in a dark underground tunnel. He constantly negotiates with the chaos of traffic, fancy malls, and luxury housing built on land that was once his to reach the sea that once sustained him and his community.

The Halfmoon Files

Director: Philip Scheffner

(87 minutes, 2007, Germany)

The film brings to life voices from the past, Indian soldiers imprisoned during WWI in a German POW camp. Their voices have been preserved on an old shellac record in an archive, produced as the result of a unique alliance between the military, the scientific community, and the entertainment industry.

Imaginary Homelands 

El Charango

Director: Jim Virga

(22 minutes, 2006, Bolivia)

Producer: Tula Goenka, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

This short, Spanish-language film explores the relationship between the Bolivian stringed instrument, known as the charango, and Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain), the richest silver deposit in the world, and the peasant miners who were forced to work the mines and their struggle for human rights.

My First Contact

Directors: Maria Correa and Karane Ikpeng

(83 minutes, 2007, Brazil)

This critically acclaimed film chronicles the story of a tribe of native Ikpeng Indians in Brazil who were relocated by white men to a reservation more than 40 years ago.  The film gives painful testament to memory and captures how tribal elders re-enact the “first contact” with the white men for the younger generation.

Gaze Engendered

Devil Rode on a Horseback

Directors: Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg

(85 minutes, 2007, Sudan)

The film documents genocide in Darfur through the eyes of Brian Steidle, a former U.S. Marine who lands a job through the Internet as an unarmed military observer taking photographs for the African Union in Darfur. Stark footage makes the film challenging to watch as Steidle captures Sudan’s natural beauty as well as its turmoil from helicopters, moving vehicles, and inside people’s homes.

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