Passport to Global Cinema: Contemporary International Films

Date Film Time
1/25 Tabu 7 pm
2/8 Lucky

7 pm

2/22 About 111 Girls 7 pm
3/1 Clandestine Childhood 7 pm

Join us for an ongoing series of screenings showcasing some of the best new films from around the world. This yearlong film series is part of the Global Languages Initiative at Northwestern, which was created to emphasize the need for global fluency in the 21st century, to celebrate linguistic diversity, and to promote cultural literacy.

We kick off the series this winter with several award-winning films from across the globe, including Portuguese director, Miguel Gomes’ critically acclaimed film, Tabu, a beautiful and beguiling film about love, loss and memory set in modern-day Lisbon and a Portuguese colony in the 1960s. Also screening are new films about youth from South Africa (Lucky), and Argentina (Clandestine Childhood), and an Iraqi road movie set in Iranian Kurdistan (About 111 Girls).

Co-presented with the Global Languages Initiative, Northwestern University.

Special support provided by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Friday, January 25, 2013 7:00 PM
(Miguel Gomes, 2012, Portugal, 35mm, 118 min.)

Tabu, Miguel Gomes’ stunning third feature, will surely solidify his reputation as a major new voice in contemporary cinema. Variously described as romantic, absurdist, and beguiling, Tabu is a tale told in two parts: the first, set in present-day Lisbon, concerns two female neighbors and a mysterious man with a confession to tell; the second is the man’s story—about his relationship with one of the women fifty years earlier in a Portuguese colony in Africa. Gomes’ dream-like narrative features lush black-and-white cinematography, reminiscent of the classic-era Hollywood films he admires, and is peppered with off-kilter surrealist touches. Tabu was a multiple-prize winner and a critical hit at the year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Special Advance Screening courtesy of Adopt Films.

In person: Chicago Reader film critic, Ben Sachs


Friday, February 8, 2013 7:00 PM
(Avie Luthra, 2011, South Africa, video, 100 min.)

Adapting his own 2006 short film (a prize winner at over 40 festivals around the world), Avie Luthra tells the story of ten-year-old boy, Lucky, who, after his mother’s death, leaves his village to seek out his uncle in the city. Neglected by his only relative, he is reluctantly taken in by Padma, an elderly Indian woman, who sets aside her deep-rooted fear of Africans in hopes of claiming government support for orphans. Neither speaking the other’s language, the two soon forge an unlikely bond, and together face a hostile world filled with unexpected difficulties. —“Extraordinarily touching” –Variety.

About 111 Girls

Friday, February 22, 2013 7:00 PM
(Nahid Ghobadi & Bijan Zamanpira, 2012, Iraq/Iran, video, 79 min.)

From Iraq, and produced by acclaimed director Bahman Ghobadi, this Middle Eastern spin on the road movie proves the remarkable flexibility of that time-honored genre. In Iranian Kurdistan, a group of 111 young Kurdish women have threatened to commit suicide in protest against social circumstances and governmental policies that have left them without husbands. Rushing through the remote countryside to try to stop them, a government official, his assistant, and a young boy as guide, find themselves confronted by an unfamiliar culture, unexpected impediments, and the beauty of their surroundings. Ghobadi and Zamanpira strike a balance between the serious social issues inherent in their tale and its absurd and darkly humorous premise.

Introduced by Northwestern University Professor Hamid Naficy.

About 111 Girls is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit Global Film Initiative

Clandestine Childhood

Friday, March 1, 2013 7:00 PM
(Benjamin Ávila, 2012, Argentina/Spain/Brazil, video, 110 min.)

For his first feature film, director Benjamin Ávila drew upon his own childhood for inspiration, combining the stirrings of first love with the uncertainty of life under the military dictatorship of 1970’s Argentina. Twelve-year-old Juan returns to Argentina with his family, who have been in exile in Cuba because of their political activism. Living in constant danger from the government and with a falsified identity, Juan (now Ernesto) adapts to his surroundings—finding friends, young love, and a comfortable routine. Soon, though, his parents’ activism again threatens the childhood normalcy he craves.

Special Advance Screening courtesy of Film Movement.