Albany County Public Library


Foreign Film Series

2018 Spring Film Series


1/28: Micmacs, France (2009)

Bazil has been a victim of weapons manufacturers his entire life. His father was killed by a land mine, and Bazil lost his job after he was shot by an errant bullet—which is still lodged in his skull. Now Bazil lives on the streets of Paris, where he encounters Slammer. Slammer takes him under his wing, introducing him to other outcasts. With the help of his new entourage, Bazil devises a plan to exact revenge on the companies that took so much from him.

2/4: The Salesman, Iran (2016)

After their flat becomes damaged, Emad and Rana, a young couple living in Tehran, Iran, must move into another apartment. Once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes their lives, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife.

2/11: Tanna, Vanuatu/Australia (2017)

After a young woman runs away with the man she loves to avoid an arranged marriage, villagers wrestle with preserving their traditional culture or adapting it to the increasing outside demands for individual freedom.

2/18: 1944, Estonia (2015)

1944 centers on the bloodiest battle on World War II's Eastern Front. Estonian soldiers find themselves torn between two mighty powers with some heading towards the Red Army and others finding themselves pledging allegiance to the Waffen SS. Each has their own reasons for choosing their sides they do. Some believe in a better future for their beloved Estonia, others are simply trying to survive a war. But the stage is set for a conflict in which countryman battling countryman and brother fighting brother becomes a painful inevitability.

2/25: Glory, Bulgaria (2016)

Tsanko Petrov, a railroad worker, finds millions of leva on the train tracks. He decides to turn the money over to the police, for which the state rewards him with a new wristwatch that soon stops working. Meanwhile, Julia Staikova, head of the PR department of the Ministry of Transport, loses Petrov's old watch, a family relic. Here starts his desperate struggle to recover both his old watch and his dignity.

3/4: Neruda, Chile (2016)

Popular poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) opposes the administration of President Gabriel González Videla and denounces his brutal anti-communist repressionin a speech in the National Congress in 1948. Threatened with arrest, he goes underground. Refusing to live the life of a fugitive, he taunts the government authorities by appearing in public venues or leaving evidence of his movements. His pursuer is the fascist Chief of the Investigations Police of Chile Oscar Peluchonneau.

3/11: Where Do We Go Now, Lebanon (2011)

Where Do We Go Now takes place on a remote and isolated Lebanese village that is surrounded by land mines and only reachable by a small bridge. As civil strife engulfs the country between Christians and Muslims, the women in the village try, by various means and with varying success, to keep their men in the dark sabotaging the village radio then destroying the village TV.

3/18: Heartstone, Iceland (2016)

In a  remote fishing village in Iceland, teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it's time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

3/25: The Lunchbox, India (2013)

Lonely housewife Ila decides to try adding some spice to her stale marriage by preparing a special lunch for her neglectful husband. Unfortunately, the delivery goes astray and winds up in the hands of Saajan, an irritable widower. Curious about her husband's lack of response, Ila adds a note to the next day's lunchbox, and thus begins an unusual friendship in which Saajan and Ila can talk about their joys and sorrows without ever meeting in person.

4/1: 13 Minutes, Germany (2015)

The breath-taking story of a man who nearly would have changed the world. When, at the height of his power, Hitler swayed millions of people, one radical said stood up and said no. That man was Georg Elser. He was disparaged as an assassin, and is one of the greatest, most remembered resistance fighters, and this film follows his plot to assassinate Hitler in 1939.

4/8: Treasure, Romania (2015)

Costi leads a peaceful life. At night he likes to read his 6-year-old son stories, to help him sleep. Their favourite is Robin Hood. Costi sees himself as the hero - righter of wrongs and defender of the oppressed. One evening, his neighbour pays him an unexpected visit and shares a secret: there's treasure buried in his grandparents' garden, he's sure of it. If Costi will hire a metal detector to help locate it, he'll give him half of whatever they get. The two have one weekend to locate the loot. Despite every obstacle, Costi refuses to be discouraged. For his wife and son, he's a real hero - nothing and no one are going to stop him.

4/15: Ma Vie En Rose, Belgium (1997)

Seven-year-old Ludovic announces to his startled parents, Pierre and Hanna, that he is in fact a girl. His parents first view his newfound taste for girls' clothes and toys as a harmless phase, but as other neighborhood parents grow concerned—particularly Albert, Pierre's prudish boss and the father of Jerome, the boy Ludovic has decided he wants to marry—they take steps to "cure" him.

4/22: Bad Luck Goat, Colombia (2017)

After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father's truck, two incompatible teenage siblings embark on a journey of reconciliation. Corn and Rita must find a way to repair the truck in time to pick up the tourists that will be staying at their family's hotel. As they struggle to find the means necessary to conceal the accident, the siblings will visit a butcher, rastafari drum makers, a pawn shop and even a witch doctor, in a 24-hour adventure around Port Paradise.

4/29: Right Now, Wrong Then, S. Korea (2015)

Quite by accident, a film director arrives in town a day early. With time to kill before his lecture the next day, he stops by a restored, old palace and meets a fledgling artist. She's never seen any of his films, but knows he's famous. They talk, and together, they go to her workshop to look at her paintings, have Sushi and Soju. More conversation follows, and drinks, and then an awkward get-together with friends where all sorts of secrets are revealed. All the while, they may or may not be falling for each other. But that’s not the end.

5/6: The Teacher, Slovakia (2016)

In a middle school classroom in Bratislava in 1983, a new teacher, Maria Drazdechova, asks each student to stand up, introduce themselves and tell her what their parents do for a living. It slowly becomes clear that perhaps the pupils' grades are related to how willing their guardians are open to helping her out with her errands, her housecleaning, and other random services. The director of the school has no choice but to call for an emergency parents' meeting to remove the teacher, but because Ms. Drazdechova is also a high-ranking official of the Communist Party, parents are hesitant to sign a petition to transfer her out. In a classroom behind the Iron Curtain, the future of all the families are at stake.

5/20: After the Storm, Japan (2015)

Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young sonb—until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.

5/27: Il Postino, Italy (1994)

When exiled Cuban poet Pablo Neruda arrives on a tiny Italian isle, there's so much new mail that Mario, an unemployed, uneducated layabout, is hired as a postman. His job is simply to deliver Neruda's daily mail. Mario soon becomes a student of the poet, learning the art of poetry to woo a local barmaid and tell about the struggles of the working-class villagers. A firm friendship develops, and the postman turns into a changed man.

6/03: Land of Mine, Denmark (2015)

The film is inspired by real events in Denmark 1945, following the end of WWII, and the liberation of Denmark from Nazi occupation. The defeated Wehrmacht evacuates the country and Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen takes command of a group of young German POWs to clear landmines along the coast. What follows is a tragic and inspiring true story of connection, change, and hope in the face of cruel world.