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2002 Spring Modernity from Below


January 30, 2014

“Land of Wandering Souls [La Terre des Ames Errantes]”

In 1999 the first fibre optics cable was laid across Cambodia. Rithy Panh recounts several weeks in the life of a poor Cambodian family – a woman, a disabled ex-service man and seven children, the eldest only 10 years old – working as laborers digging the trench for the communications superhighway. Armed with rudimentary hoes […]

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“Injustice”

The story of the struggles for justice of the families of people killed by the police. In 1969 David Oluwale became the first black person to die in police custody in Britain. Many others have died since then. None of the police officers involved have been convicted of these deaths. In this documentary, the families […]

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“Children Underground”

This modern tale ventures below the streets of Bucharest, Romania, to introduce us to five members of a “family” of orphaned, abandoned, or runaway children living in the Piata Victoriei subway station. With ages ranging from nine to midteens, the children beg and steal to buy food and Aurolac, which they sniff to get high. […]

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Modernity from Below

Histories of modernity have mostly been written from the perspective of its victors. In this view, modernization brings with it the emergence of modern site institutions, civil societies, cosmopolitanism, democracy, political rights, technologies, medical advances. At the same time it dispels superstition, atavistic and patriarchal, cultural parochialism, autocracies and authoritarian social customs. Modernity is progressive […]

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“I’m My Mother’s Daughter [Ich bin die Tochter meiner Mutter]”

Derin’s documentary is the first film on migration made in Germany by a Turkish female director. It centers around the story of Derin’s mother who came from a small village on the Black Sea coast. Her mother is an example of a woman who grew up in a rural environment and then immigrated to Germany. […]

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“A Single Spark”

In 1970, a young labor activist in South Korea committed suicide by self-immolation as a protest against the deplorable conditions under which Korean garment-industry workers were forced to work. Artfully blending color and black and white stock, moving back and forth in time, Park delves into the character of Korean society, past and present, through […]

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“The Party of the Women Of Mount Chenoua [La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua]”

This classic film from acclaimed novelist/filmmaker Assia Djebar is essential viewing for an understanding of women in Algeria. Taking its title and structure from the “Nouba”, a traditional song of five movements, this haunting film mingles narrative and documentary styles to document the creation of women’s personal and cultural histories. Returning to her native region […]

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“Rebellion in Patagonia [La Patagonia Rebelde]”

This classic of the Latin American cinema is based on actual historical events involving the brutal military suppression of a series of strikes during the early Twenties by rural workers in the southernmost province of Argentina. The film’s narrative, set within a richly detailed social context and mounted as a colorful action film, features fascinating […]

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“The Dupes [Al Makhdu’un]”

The Dupes, a stark black and white film, traces the destinies of three Palestinian refugees brought together by dispossession, despair and hope for a better future A masterful adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s acclaimed novella, Men Under the Sun, The Dupes is one of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian predicament.

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“Long Night’s Journey into Day”

For over forty years, South Africa was governed by the most notorious form of racial domination since Nazi Germany. When it finally collapsed, those who had enforced Apartheid’s rule wanted amnesty for their crimes. Their victims wanted justice. As a compromise, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed. Now as it investigates the crimes […]

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“Safe Journey [Latcho Drom]”

LATCHO DROM (Safe Journey) captures the resilient perseverance of the Gypsies through years of persecution and poverty. From the barren desert landscapes of the Rajathan to France, LATCHO DROM chronicles the nomadic thousand-year history of the Rom people. These traveling musicians share the sheer joy of life that invigorated their ancestors. Featuring musicians from India, […]

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