Independent Film Series at TC
INDEPENDENT CINEMA FILM SERIES – FRIDAY MAY 31 to SUNDAY JUNE 2, 2013 * ADIFF CHICAGO LINE UP ANNOUNCED! * Voices of the New South Africa DVD now available online * ArtMattan Films now available on VOD on Amazon



FRI., MAY 31 to SUN., JUNE 2, 2013

Independent films have been around for quite some time and, thanks to technology, we see more independent films today than ever before. Traditionally, independent films are revealing as they go into areas of life commercial films cannot go into because of financial, political or ideological constraints.

In this series, we focus on a selection of recent and less recent independent films from different parts of the world. They have in common the presentation of ideas and issues that are not part of the mainstream in their societies The Big Banana denounces corruption and abuse of power in Cameroon. Desirée, a film based on a true story that is the collaboration between Curacao born filmmaker Felix de Roy and then cinematographer Ernest Dickerson (The Brother from Another Planet, She’s Gotta Have It, School Dazed) explores the catastrophic impact of fanatic religious beliefs on a woman’s life. Mestizo based on the novel « El Metizo José Vargas  » by Guillermo Meneses deals with the race issue in Venezuela, not a popular topic in that country at the time the book was written and the film was made.

Friday, May 31 @ 6PM

Directed by Patrice Johnson Chevannes, USA, 2011, 113 min, Drama, English
FREE Cine-Club Screening – Q&A with the director after the screening

Hill and Gully is an urban Cinderella story, set during 2008, the historic election year of Barack Obama. With palpable’Change’ in the air, love pursues an unhappy single mother and her dysfunctional family who become transformed through the efforts of a psychiatrist who challenges them to speak their secret wishes and to take a chance on opening their hearts to their deepest dreams.

Saturday, June 1 @ 2PM

Directed by Mario Handler, Venezuela, 1989, 82 min, Drama, Spanish with English subtitles
The action takes place in a village on the Venezuelan coast, a place of fishermen and big haciendas. Jose Ramon, son of a white aristocrat and a humble black fisher-woman, is trying to define his own identity while dealing with social and sexual conflicts, power, culture, the law, and the impossible relationship he has with both his parents.

Saturday, June 1 @ 4PM

Directed by Franck Bieleu, Cameroon, 2011, 85min, Doc. in French with English subtitles
Banned in Cameroon, The Big Banana illustrates the poor working conditions in banana plantations and exposes the adverse impact on the people of a corporatocracy government that affords super profits for corporations at the expense of the local population.
The Big Banana outlines land grabbing tactics by company Plantation du Haut Penja (PHP) and the ensuing devastation for communities: poverty, pollution, and sickness from pesticides.Bieleu, who spent two years filming residents in the remote countryside of Cameroon also features local cooperatives resisting the devastation through business alliances with fair trade organizations. As a result, The Big Banana not only exposes multinational corporations culpability in the land grab of Africa but also makes us reconsider where we get our fruit from.

Saturday, June 1 @ 6PM

Most of us don’t know where our money is, when we have any. One thing is for certain, it’s is not in the bank to which we entrusted it. It enters the global money market and contributes to the underdevelopment in « emerging countries » that is sustained by structures implemented by the West. What is an economic hit man? Why and how most people get poorer and a few get richer? Why is globalization a failing system that can lead humanity towards barbarism? These and many other questions are explored in this thought provoking documentary.

Directed by Erwin Wagenhofer, Austria, 2008, 110min, Doc. in English and German, Tamil, Spanish and French with English subtitles

Sunday, June 2 @ 2PM

Set in Brooklyn, New York this US/Dutch film is based on a true story that appeared on a New York newspaper in 1980. Desirée lives in the past. A series of flashbacks exposes us to her psychologically troubled childhood very much affected by a promiscous mother. Her present life revolves around three people: her employer Mrs. Resnick, Freddy, her lover and Father Siego, leader of the church « The True Confessors ». Desirée’s relationship with each one of these characters is at the origin of her falling apart. Freddy is an insecure black man who finishes their love affair with a sad note, Father Siego is the leader of a rigid narrow-minded religious sect and Mrs Resnick is a racist, prejudiced white woman who feels black people are inferior and incapable of living their own live. Rejected by all because of her pregnancy, Desirée blames her child as the source of evil…

Directed by Felix De Roy, Netherlands/USA, 1984, 96min, Drana, English

Sunday, June 2 @ 4PM

A MAN’S STORY profiles Ozwald Boateng, his design, his business, his personal life. Charismatic, glamorous, hard-working and very humanly flawed, Boateng’s personal and professional triumphs and set-backs are the fascinating heart of this film which is set against a back-drop of models, movie stars and fabulous locations. A Black British who has broken the glass ceiling, Ozwald Boateng is a fascinating character who inspires us to be and do our best!

Directed by Varon Bonicos, UK, 2010, 98min, documentary in English.

Sunday, June 2 @ 6pm

Funny, angry and profound, RACE IS THE PLACE is a visual and verbal riff on race in America from a wide variety of artists, poets, rappers, performance artists and stand-up comics. Featuring established artists as well as up-and-comers, RACE IS THE PLACE is a one-hour jam that combines racially charged clips from old movies with interviews and performances. These pieces dare to examine one of the most emotionally explosive issues in American life, busting stereotypes by using humor and poetry to say things traditionally left unsaid. Features archival footage and commentary from poet laureate Amiri Baraka.
Directed by Raymond Telles, USA, 91min, documentary, English

WHEN: MAY 31 to JUNE 2

WHERE: Teachers College, Columbia University – Room 263 Macy

Free on Friday
general, students, weekend pass.