FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Date: February 6, 2003

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS to host foreign and independent film series

SPRINGFIELD The Office of Student Life at the University of Illinois at Springfield will sponsor a Foreign and Independent Film Series on Friday nights this spring. All films will be shown beginning 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.

The line-up includes:

February 7 -- Monsoon Wedding (India). Set in present day Delhi, this comedy-drama focuses on the Punjabi Verma family, who are about to celebrate their daughter’s marriage. Chaos reigns as the extended family begins to arrive and tensions rise when hidden agendas, secrets, and fears threaten to disrupt the wedding and destroy family relationships.

February 14 -- Kissing Jessica Stein (United States, 2002). A fresh take on sex and the single girl, this modern romantic comedy blurs the lines between friendship and romantic love to find the funny, surprising, and poignant overlap between the two. Jessica, a sensitive but neurotic New York journalist, is frustrated by a nightmarish dating spree and resorts to the classifieds to find love. She answers an intriguing ad on a whim, even though it’s in the “Women Seeking Women” section.

February 21 -- Bloody Sunday (Ireland, 2002). On Sunday, January 30, 1972, English paratroopers turned a peaceful march in Derry, Northern Ireland, into a massacre.  Thirteen unarmed civilian were killed, 14 more wounded. Thirty years later, Britain and Ireland financed this film together to create, as director Peter Greengrass puts it, a “shared narrative” of this most horrible day of the Irish troubles. Using hand-held cameras in brief shots that jump from scene to scene and dialogue interrupted by ringing phones and breathless bits of news, Greengrass creates an atmosphere that is authentic, frenetic, and overwhelming in its immediacy.

February 28 -- Faces of Women (Ivory Coast, 1985).  This politically and stylistically adventurous film presents the textures and rhythms of village life while making ironic comparisons between the economic and sexual stratagems adopted by African women in a patriarchal society.


March 7 -- Life and Debt (Jamaica, 2002). Using conventional and non-conventional documentary techniques and with a voice-over narration adapted by Jamaica Kincaid from her non-fiction book A Small Place, this film is an unapologetic look at the “new world order” from the

point of view of Jamaican workers, farmers, and government officials, who see the reality of globalization from the ground up.

March 14 -- Frida (Mexico, 2002). Frida Kahlo (1907-54) lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary and she and her mentor/husband, Diego Rivera, took the art world by storm. This film starring Salma Hayek chronicles Kahlo’s life, including her complex and enduring relationship Rivera, her controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, and her romantic entanglements with other women.

March 21 -- No movie

March 28 -- Kandahar (Afghanistan, 2002). Shot on the border between Iran and Afghanistan, Kandahar tells the story of Nafas, a young journalist who escaped Afghanistan but returns in a race against time to rescue her sister, who is planning to commit suicide. Nafas disguises herself by wearing a burka, Afghani women’s traditional head-to-toe covering, to find her sister in the Taliban-controlled city of Kandahar. The film was inspired by the real-life experience of Niloufar Pazira, who plays Nafas.

April 4 -- Rabbit-Proof Fences (Australia, 2002). In 1931 the Australian government passed the Aboriginal Act, a law that removed “half-caste” Aborigine children from their families in the hope that their “inferior” bloodlines could be “bred out.” These children were placed in orphanages in the Outback and periodically “inspected” to determine which of them could be trained for more than menial labor. Determined to return home, 14-year-old Molly gathers her sister, Daisy, and their cousin, Gracie, and sets out on foot to travel the more than 1,500 miles back. Their only guide on the journey is the fence the government has erected to keep rabbits out of the farmland.

April 11 -- Das Boot (Germany, 1997 director’s cut). In 1942 the German submarine fleet was heavily engaged in the “Battle of the Atlantic” to harass and destroy English shipping. Das Boot tells the story of one u-boat crew and how they maintained their professionalism as soldiers and attempted to accomplish impossible missions, all while struggling to understand and obey the government under which they served.

For more information about any of these films, call the UIS Office of Student Life at 206-6665.