Still from films shown as part of the International Film Series

Virtual International Film Series Spring 2024

How to participate in this virtual film series:

How To Be a Good Wife – la bonne épouse | France | 2020

Zoom Discussion Date: January 23

Maintaining a household and stoically submitting to conjugal duty are the skills Paulette Van Der Beck teaches with fervor in her homemakers institute. Her certainties are shaken when she finds herself widowed and ruined. Is she rattled by the return of her first love or the wind of freedom in May ’68? What if the good wife finally became a free woman?  

Director(s): Martin Provost | 109 minutes | In French with English subtitles.

Miracle | Romania | 2021

Zoom Discussion Date: January 30

A young nun sneaks out of her monastery to attend an urgent matter but never makes it back. A police detective's investigation uncovers revelations.  

Director(s): Bogdan George Apetri | 118 minutes | In Romanian with English subtitles.

The Orator | New Zealand | 2012

Zoom Discussion Date: February 6

The Orator (O Le Tulafale) is a contemporary drama about courage, forgiveness, and love.  Small in stature and humble, Saili lives a simple life with his beloved wife and daughter in an isolated, traditional village in the islands of Samoa.  Forced to protect his land and family, Saili must face his fears and seek the right to speak up for those he loves.  

Director(s): Tusi Tamasese | 111 minutes | In Samoan with English subtitles.

London River | UK/Algeria | 2009

Zoom Discussion Date: February 13

A concerned mother from Guernsey travels to London in the immediate aftermath of the July 7, 2005 terrorist bombings after failing to hear from her daughter who lived in that area. Disturbed by the confusion of the metropolis and being surrounded by the predominantly-Muslim neighborhood, she crosses paths with Ousmane, a West African who has come from France to find his missing son, and learns that her own daughter was converting to Islam.   Although from very different backgrounds, this unlikely pair shares the same hope to find their children alive. Putting aside their cultural differences, they give each other the strength to continue their search and maintain their faith in humanity.

Director(s): Rachid Bouchareb | 88 minutes | In English, French, and Arabic with closed captions.

Earth Mama | United States | 2023

Zoom Discussion Date: February 20

With two children in foster care, Gia, a pregnant single mother pitted against the system, fights to reclaim her family. In her close-knit Bay Area community, she works to make a life for herself and her kids, in this singular debut feature from filmmaker Savanah Leaf. A glowing breakout at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.  

Director(s): Savanah Leaf | 101 minutes | In English with closed captions.

Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space | United States | 2023

Zoom Discussion Date: February 27

Zora Neale Hurston has long been considered a literary giant of the Harlem Renaissance, but her anthropological and ethnographic endeavors were equally important and impactful. This is an in-depth biography of the influential author whose groundbreaking anthropological work would challenge assumptions about race, gender and cultural superiority that had long defined the field in the 19th century.  

Director(s): Tracy Heather Strain | 113 minutes | In English with closed captions.

Sepideh | Iran | 2015

Zoom Discussion Date: March 5

Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the ground. The expectations of a young Iranian woman are very different from Sepideh’s ambitions, and her plans to go to university are in danger. But Sepideh holds on to her dream. She takes up the fight and teams up with the world's first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari.  Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema - Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.  

Director(s): Berit Madsen | 87 minutes | In English, Persian, and Farsi with English subtitles.

Cinema Sabaya | Palestine/Israel | 2021

Zoom Discussion Date: March 19

A group of Palestinian and Israeli women attend a video workshop at a small-town community center run by Rona, a young filmmaker from Tel Aviv, who teaches them to document their lives. As each student shares footage from her home life with the others, their beliefs and preconceptions are challenged, and barriers are broken down. The group comes together as mothers, daughters, wives, and women living in a world designed to keep them apart, forming an empowering and lasting bond as they learn more about each other… and themselves. Cinema Sabaya presents a heartfelt portrait of art’s capacity to unite disparate communities, moving effortlessly between the gravity of their conversations and the genuine joy of this unlikely group of friends.

Director(s): Orit Fouks Rotem | 95 minutes | In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.

Writing With Fire | India | 2021

Zoom Discussion Date: March 26

In a news landscape dominated by men, Kabar Lahariya emerges as India's only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her team break traditions on the frontlines of India's biggest issues, redefining the meaning of power.  “The most inspiring journalism movie – maybe ever,” writes The Washington Post.

Director(s): Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Gosh | 96 minutes | In Hindi with English subtitles.

Ma Ma | Spain | 2015

Zoom Discussion Date: April 2

Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz delivers the performance of her career as Magda, a woman who is determined to live life to the fullest in the face of her recent breast cancer diagnosis.  Cruz was nominated for Best Lead Actress at the Goya Awards.

Director(s): Julio Medem | 111 minutes | In Spanish with English subtitles.

Oranges and Sunshine | Australia | 2011

Zoom Discussion Date: April 9

This is the story of Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson), a social worker from Nottingham who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals of recent times: the deportation of thousands of children from the United Kingdom to Australia.   Almost single-handedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, Margaret reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account, and drew worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice.  

Director(s): Jim Loach | 106 minutes | In English with closed captions.

The Son of Joseph | France | 2016

Zoom Discussion Date: April 16

A nativity story reboot that gently skewers French cultural pretensions, following a discontented Parisian teenager in search of a father.  Ben Kenigsberg of the The New York Times writes, “…builds to a lovely finale that evokes the Bible, the French Resistance, and the surreal.”            

Director(s): Eugène Green | 113 minutes | In French with English subtitles.

The Tobacconist | Germany | 2019

Zoom Discussion Date: April 23

Seventeen-year-old Franz journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship.

When Franz falls desperately in love with the music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that the female sex is as big a mystery to him as it is to Franz. As political and social conditions in Austria dramatically worsen with the Nazis' arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud, and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events. Each has a big decision to make: to stay or to flee?   

Director(s): Nikolaus Leytner | 113 minutes | In German and Czech with English subtitles.

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi | Iran | 2015

Zoom Discussion Date: April 30

Internationally acclaimed director Jafar Panahi drives a yellow cab through the vibrant streets of Tehran, picking up a diverse (and yet representative) group of passengers in a single day. Each man, woman, and child candidly expresses his or her own view of the world, while being interviewed by the curious and gracious driver/director. His camera, placed on the dashboard of his mobile film studio, captures a spirited slice of Iranian society while also brilliantly redefining the borders of comedy, drama, and cinema. 

Director(s): Jafar Panahi | 81 minutes | In Farsi with English subtitles.