SPRINGFIELD – The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield is sponsoring an Independent and Foreign Film Series on Friday nights this spring. All films will begin at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on level one of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.
February 1 - Sicko (USA 2007). Michael Moore's latest documentary looks at for-profit health care in the United States as it compares to the free, universal care provided in Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Moore interviews patients and doctors and examines why efforts to reform the insurance industry in this country have failed. He also accompanies a group of Americans to Cuba, where they receive free treatment for illnesses they developed following service as volunteer clean-up workers after 9/11. Rated PG-13.
February 8 - Killer of Sheep (USA 1977). Set in Los Angeles' Watts ghetto in the mid-1970s, this story is told through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive man made increasingly detached and numb by the emotional strain of his job in a slaughterhouse. Nevertheless, Stan manages to find some peace in simple things, and if his life is sometimes bleak, it is also sometimes filled with joy and gentle humor. Not rated.
February 15 - The Lives of Others (Germany 2006), in German (subtitled). In East Berlin, five years before the fall of Communism, party-loyalist Captain Gerd Wiesler hopes to boost his career when he is assigned to collect evidence against a playwright and his actress girlfriend. What Wiesler didn't anticipate, however, was that his necessary immersion into the world of love, literature, free thought, and free speech would open him up to a new way of life that he finds difficult to resist. Rated R.
February 22 - Across the Universe (USA 2007). In the 1960s, a young man named Jude travels to America in search of his estranged father and falls in love with sheltered teenager Lucy. When Lucy's brother Max is drafted to fight in Vietnam, they become involved in the peace movement. The film's title and main characters are named after various songs by the Beatles. Rated PG-13.
February 29 - Once (Ireland 2006), in English and Czech (subtitled). This story that never gives names to its characters is about Guy and Girl. Guy plays guitar on the streets of Dublin and also repairs vacuum cleaners in his dad's shop. Girl is a spirited immigrant from the Czech Republic who cleans houses, sells flowers, and dreams of being able to afford a piano. Guy and Girl begin writing songs together, but their tentative romance is complicated by such things as Girl's estranged husband, Guy's ex-girlfriend, and their own uncertainty about the future. Rated R.
March 7 – U.S. vs. John Lennon (USA 2006). This film covers the life of John Lennon during the time when he was transforming from Beatle to anti-war activist and includes a look at the U.S. government's decade-long attempt to silence him and others who sought peace through non-violent means. Rated PG-13.
March 21 – Me and You and Everyone We Know (USA 2005). This "poetic, penetrating" film looks at the ways in which people struggle to connect. Christine is a lonely artist who uses her fantastical artistic visions to draw things closer. Richard, a newly single father of two boys, is prepared for amazing things to happen but nevertheless panics when he meets Christine. Meanwhile, Richard's six-year-old son is involved in an Internet romance and his fourteen-year-old has become the guinea pig on whom neighborhood girls practice for their future relationships. Rated R.
March 28 – The Devil Came on Horseback (USA 2007). Through the photographs and first-hand testimony of former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle, viewers journey into the heart of Darfur, Sudan, where an Arab-run government is systematically ridding the province of its black citizens. An official military observer who became frustrated by the inaction of the international community, Steidle resigned his post and returned to the U.S. where he began working to expose the tragedy unfolding in Darfur. Not rated.
April 4 – Not One Less (China 1999) in Chinese (subtitled). Thirteen-year-old Wei is chosen to run her village's school when its only teacher must leave for a month. Warned not to let a single student drop out while the teacher is away, Wei keeps a stern eye on her students, especially Zhang, a bright but naughty 10-year-old. When Zhang doesn't show up for school one day, Wei goes into the city to find him and bring him back. Not rated.
April 11 – Darwin's Nightmare (France/Austria/Belgium 2004) in English, Russian, and Swahili with English subtitles. Some 40 or 50 years ago, Nile perch were released into Lake Victoria. Today these large, voracious predators have all but eliminated the other fish and have turned the lake into an ecological wasteland. "But economically, it's good" and, indeed, perch fillet is Tanzania's best-selling export. Fishermen, factory workers, civil servants, pilots of cargo planes, delegates of the European Commission, communities living around Lake Victoria – all profit in some way through this new industry. But what exactly are Africans getting in return? Not rated.
April 18 – Operation Homecoming (USA 2007). Sponsored by Brookens Library in conjunction with National Library Week. This documentary, created by the National Endowment for the Arts, presents firsthand accounts by American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as accounts by their families. Through interviews and dramatic readings, the film explores the experiences of men and women serving in America's armed forces while at the same time providing depth and context through a broader look at the universal theme of war. Not rated.For more information about any of these films, contact the UIS Office of Student Life at 206-6665.