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Welcome to IndyBuzz

IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

Visit IndyBuzz's sister site, http://www.provocate.org/, which provides a context for the clusters of the events discussed in IndyBuzz.

April 4: ACLU-Indiana sponsors a debate on same sex marriage

As part of the ACLU-Indiana's "First Tuesday" series of debates, Curt Smith (president of the Indiana Family Institute) and Walter Botich (Indiana Equality) will debate "Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Legal?"

When: Tuesday April 4 noon to 1:00

Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W Washington St. Indianapolis (parking here)

This should be the most interesting of the ACLU-Indiana's very important "First Tuesday" debate series. Unlike the first (teach science or creationism in public schools' science classes?) topic, the answers aren't so obvious. And unlike the second (spy on US citizens), one side won't be represented by an idiot (me). This will be a couple of smart people who are, I hope, fair-minded and well intentioned. Actually, I am not so sure about the well-intentioned part. For more, see The Next Indy.

April 4: Rev. Mike Kinman explains how to make poverty history

Rev. Mike Kinman, the Executive Director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, leads a townhall meeting addressing “What Would Bono Do? Faith Communities and Eradicating Global Poverty”

When: Tuesday April 4 at 3:00 PM

Where: Butler University 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, Pharmacy Building 103

On April 4, 2006, the Butler University chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy and the International Studies Club is giving students and community residents a chance to learn how they can take positive action to realize the landmark goal of making poverty history. The town hall event, entitled “What Would Bono Do? Faith Communities and Eradicating Global Poverty,” will feature the Rev. Mike Kinman, the Executive Director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation. Kinman will talk with students and citizens in an open forum about the daunting but attainable task of ending global poverty, and the role that faith based communities in particular are playing in a global movement to accomplish this task.

The event’s distinguished speaker, the Rev. Mike Kinman, will discuss the United Nations Millennium Goals and movements, such as the ONE Campaign, that are working to help achieve them and that faith communities play a major role in. The Millennium Development Goals, which all 191 member states of the United Nations have pledged to support, address top issues ranging from ending starvation & ensuring universal primary education to empowering women & lowering infant mortality rates. The Millennium Goals require sustained international action and public pressure, and in reaching the goals, the world can finally end global poverty once and for all.

The town hall is part of a nationwide series of more than 100 town hall meetings and international videoconference dialogues taking place across the U.S. as part of a series entitled Fighting for What’s Right. The series seeks to raise awareness about the most pressing global development issues and to generate a nationwide dialogue about America’s responsibilities to those living in extreme poverty halfway around the world. The series is sponsored by Americans for Informed Democracy, a non-partisan educational organization that seeks to engage Americans in discussion about the future of the U.S. role in the world. For more, visit www.aidemocracy.org.

Admission is free and the general public, as well as students, are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact: Brittney Fisher, blfisher@butler.edu, 260.239.1101 or Seth Green, seth@aidemocracy.org, 202 270 6268

April 5: Africa and what we can do to help

A Conversation with Ambassador Huggins about Africa and what we can do to help

When: Wednesday April 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Remarks from the Ambassador at 6:30

Where: 3110 N. Pennsylvania (Home of Michael O’Brien and Jackie Nytes)

This generous invitation comes from Jackie Nytes, Chair of the Economic Development Committee on the City County Council:

The world grows smaller. We become more connected to citizens of other countries as we work for a stronger economy here at home. We invite you to join us for an evening of conversation welcoming Ambassador Joseph Huggins to Indianapolis. The former Ambassador to Botswana, Joseph Huggins is a fervent believer in the potential of business and tourism development in Africa and the fight against HIV/AIDS. He now travels on behalf of the Corporate Council on Africa to share this message. You can learn more about the Ambassador at www.africacncl.org.
We hope you will join us for an interesting and informative evening.

Please RSVP to Jackie at 317-370-6184, or to jackie@jackienytes.com

Caterina Cregor Blitzer Executive Director International Center of Indianapolis 32 East Washington Street, Suite 1625 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 (317) 955-5150 ext. 223 fax: 955-5160 www.icenterindy.org

April 5 (and 6): Very bright Israeli official on "Israelis and Palestinians -- After the elections, what next?"

Israeli Consul General Barukh Binah shares his views on the aftermath of the Palestinian election (won by Hamas) and the Israeli elections (won by Kadima)

When: Wednesday April 5 7:00 PM

Where: North United Methodist Church, Meridian & 38th St.

An experienced Israeli diplomat who has served his country in a variety of posts, Mr Binah will discuss the results of the March 28th elections in Israel, the meaning of the Hamas win in the first free elections held by the Palestinians and the significance of these events for the United States.

Q&A, reception to follow

Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council
In cooperation with North United Methodist Church

For a more smaller and informal discussion with Barukh Binah, join me at Sagamore Institute Thursday April 6 at 10:30 AM. For more information, contact me at john@sipr.org.

April 6: Lech Wałęsa -- Cześć!

A talk by Lech Wałęsa, one of the great giant-killers of the 20th century

When: Thursday, April 6, 2006 7:00 p.m.

Where: Purdue University Fowler Hall, Stewart Center

Lech Wałęsa burst into the world spotlight in 1980 during the infamous Lenin Shipyard strike in Gdansk, Poland. Incensed by an increase in prices set by the Communist government, workers demanded the right to organize free and independent trade unions.

Wałęsa, an electrician who had long been active in the underground labor movement, arrived at the barricaded shipyard just as the dispirited workers were on the verge of abandoning their strike. Scaling the shipyard walls, he delivered a stirring speech from atop a bulldozer. Revitalized by his passion, the strike spread to factories across the nation. Christened "Solidarity," the strike became a social revolution, with Walesa its leader.

Celebrated worldwide as a symbol of the hope for freedom, Wałęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. Acknowledging that it could no longer control the country, the government invited Solidarity to join the Communist Party in forming a coalition government. In the resulting election, Solidarity won almost every contest.

Having ended Communist rule and planted the seeds of freedom and democracy in his beloved country, Wałęsa was ready to take on a new role to serve Poland. In 1990, he became its first democratically elected president, setting Poland firmly on the path to becoming a free market democracy.

Through his unwavering commitment, Wałęsa made Poland a model of economic and political reform for the rest of Easter Europe to follow and earned it the honor of receiving one of the first invitations to join an expanded NATO. He now heads the Lech Wałęsa Institute, which aims to advance the ideals of democracy and free market reform throughout Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.

That is the official announcement by Purdue's Krannert School of Management, which is sponsoring Wałęsa's talk as part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics. For a very different and personal perspective on Lech Wałęsa, see The Next Indy.

April 7: "First Friday" art tour of Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Downtown Artists Dealers Assocation (IDADA) wants you to consume art ... for free!

When: Friday, April 7, 6:00 - 9:00pm

Where: A couple dozen galleries around town

IDADA , which is in its third year as an active arts organization with the mission of promoting downtown Indianapolis artists and art galleries, is presenting the tour to promote visual art in a manner similar to walking tours in cities across the United States. Walk or drive throughout the downtown cultural districts, and visit the city's diverse visual art offerings. The IDADA "First Friday Art Tour" will take place every first Friday of the month thru the 2006 season.

For more information about IDADA go to the website: www.idada.org
For a brochure about April's First Friday tour, go here.
For maps of the three main clusters of galleries, go here.

April 13: Victor Davis Hanson about whether Western Civ is in more danger today than it was 2500 years ago

Noted military historian and clasicist Victor Davis Hanson returns to Indianapolis to talk to the Contemporary Club

When: Thursday April 13 Cocktails at 6:00, dinner at 7:00, talk at 8:00

Where: Broadmoor Country Club 2155 W. Kessler Blvd Indianapolis

Victor Davis Hanson is worth the price of admission. Before 9/11, he was a historian of ancient Greece whose outspokenly conservative political views weren't his only most unusual feature. He'd been a full-time grape farmer before founding Cal State Fresno's Classic Department. His experience farming helped brilliantly illuminate the ways the Greeks' employment growing grapes and olives shaped their ways of waging war. After 9/11, Hanson's career shifted. He combined advocating a very hawkish approach to the war on Islamic extremism with a view that the Bush Administration is a last bulwark of everything good about the West that is under assault from barbarians and evil. A collection of his 2001 National Review essays, An Autumn of War, became a best-seller. Something very similar occurred with the historian of the Ottomans, Bernard Lewis, who after 9/11 emerged as the leading interpreter of Islamic hostility to the US.

I like Hanson's work on the ancient Greeks a lot, and always enjoy reading his military analyses. The closer he gets to home, the less interesting he gets. Even though I may agree with some of his views of American politics, it's kind of predictable, not much different than most of the other writers for National Review. And his book Mexifornia had nothing surprising in it... so let's hope he sticks with his strengths at the Contemporary Club dinner.

This word from Jamia Jacobsen:

On the 13th, Dr. Hanson will speak at Broadmoor Country Club 6:00-Cocktail hour to mix and talk personally with Dr. Hanson---7:00-Dinner and 8:00-Talk by Dr. Hanson. The cost is $34.00 per person. Checks are to be sent Ex. Secy.-Carol Broecker at 6715 No. Olney—46220. Membership is still open $30.00 single and $60.00 per couple. Any of us would be happy to turn anyone in for membership.

For more information, contact Jamia at mjacobsen@indy.rr.com.

April 19: Burrow into the shadowy National Security Council

A talk to the Indiana Council on World Affairs about the real power behind US foreign policy by David Rothkopf, author of Running The World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power.

When: Wednesday April 19 cocktails 5:30; dinner 6:30; talk at 7:15 PM

Where: Butler University 4600 Sunset Ave. Indianapolis: Johnson Room, Robertson Hall

Created in 1947 as an advisory and policy-making panel, the National Security Council (NSC) was little-known to the general public until Henry Kissinger put his personal stamp of celebrity on the office of National Security Advisor (NSA) in the 1970s. In this bureaucratic history of the NSC Rothkopf shows how each NSA determined the agenda and defined the role of the NSC, and he evaluates each NSA from Kissinger, Scowcroft to Condoleeza Rice. Rothkopf is a Washington insider who has served in the Clinton administration, worked for Kissinger Associates as well as for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He tells just how the NSC works, how its staff has grown and why, the quality of its advice to the president, and what role the NSC played in the events of 9/11. For his book he interviewed most of the major NSA's (including Condoleeza Rice) as well as others on the NSC such as Colin Powell. In doing so, he evaluates their strengths and weaknesses, their differing managerial styles, and how they influenced American foreign policy.

Read this announcement from the ICWA to make reservations for this event:

Dinner for this special event is $22.00 per person for members and $24 for non-members. If you wish to become a member of ICWA, dues are $30 per year. If sending dues with event registration, please note this on your check.

Reservations for Members:

Reservations may be made via e-mail or by calling 566-2036. Please send e-mail reservations to KMKulkarni@aol.com. All e-mail reservations must have “ICWA Dinner Reservation” as the subject and must contain all contact information including name, address, telephone number and the number of reservations being made. All member reservations, whether by mail, telephone or e-mail must be received by the end of the day Friday, April 14th.

Reservations for Non-Members:

Non-members may make reservations via e-email or phone (566-2036), however reservations must be followed by payment to Office Suites Plus (see below) by Thursday, April 13th to confirm your reservation. E-mail reservations may be sent to KMKulkarni@aol.com and have “ICWA Dinner Reservation” as the subject and must contain your name, address, telephone and the number of reservations made. Since seating is limited, ICWA members will have priority in the event we reach capacity.

Since dinners are catered, all reservations must be guaranteed. Cancellation deadline is Friday, April 14th. Canceling reservations by this deadline will avoid a financial commitment to ICWA.

If you are attending the discussion only, no reservations are necessary, however, there is a $3.00 fee for ICWA members, and a $4.00 fee for non-members.

Please return reservation form and a check made payable to Indiana Council on World Affairs, c/o Office Suites Plus, 3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46240.

April 21: A first release of a study of the economic impact of Mexico on Indiana

A preliminary release of findings from a study of economic relations between Mexico and Indiana

When: Friday April 21, 10:00 AM

Where: Sagamore Institute

This will be a preliminary discussion of an important study of the economic connections between Mexico and Indiana. How great are these connections? ENORMOUS! Mexico is by far the second biggest trading partner for Indiana (after Canada), with the state's exports to Mexico increasing eightfold in the 11 years since NAFTA was signed. Immigration from Mexico has been fueling the state's economic growth. The results we'll discuss on April 21 will be something of a snapshot of the size and significance of the ties between Indiana and Mexico today. The final study, released in late July, will examine trends into the future and will present a strategic vision for how Indiana can successfully face the difficulties that lie ahead.

April 24: Dangers of Democracy in China

I will be talking at the University of Indianapolis about why China is headed toward democracy, and why it might not be such a good thing for us in the short run

When: Monday, April 24 8:30-10:00 PM (nightowl students at UIndy!)

Where: University of Indianapolis, Schwitzer Center

This will my second talk to the University of Indianapolis Economics Club. The first -- "Why Bono, George W. Bush, and Adam Smith can't save Africa ... But maybe Indiana can" -- was very enjoyable. Several UIndy students lingered until after 11 brainstorming about how they could make a contribution to solving the problems of poverty, disease, and social injustice in Africa. A testimony to the fact that the university provides its students a chance to develop a morally as well as intellectually.

This talk on "The Dangers of Democracy in China" will look at a very different challenge facing the US, China, and the world. China (I am convinced) will be a real-live, honest-to-goodness democracy in half a century ... but it also will probably be five or six Chinas. This will be a good thing for the US (we like democracies, and democracies tend to like us), and a great thing for the Chinese. But getting to there from here will be rocky and risky. Look for Chinese demagogues to take advantage of people's fears and anxieties and discontents as their political syustem continues to open. Add to this the very shaky foundations on which China's continued economic development rests, and the picture for the next couple of decades is far from rosy. This doesn't mean the US should prevent democracy from taking root in China ... far from it, it means we have to work with the Chinese rulers and people to help them navigate the tricky waters they are going to be go through. It will require wise and far-sighted leaders in DC and in Beijing, and that makes me particularly nervous. So my talk will conclude with some ideas of how we here in Indiana and how the students of the University of Indianapolis might be able to make real and positive contributions to Chinese political change. An ambitious talk for so late at night!

If this talk is held in the same room in the basement of Schwitzer Hall that hosted my previous talk, I will be delighted. Right outside the room is the Museum of Master Au. One of the high points of my spring was watching Master Au at work. At a critical point in my talk about China I will probably drag the audience out into the Museum to use some of Master Au's splendid pieces to illustrate my arguments about China. (All part of this barbarian's efforts to acquire or at least mimic civilization.)

This will make this the second coolest event to be held in the Master Au Museum the last week of April. I'm afraid there's no way I can compete with the coolness of April 27's Indianapolis Opera's combination of Turandot and Master Au ... but on the other hand, I think compared to the April 25 event supporting "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha" (the South African film version of "Carmen" that will premeire with the Indianapolis International Film Festival), Turandot and Master Au will only be the second coolest special opera event of the week.

April 27: Turandot and Master Au

Discussion of the paintings of Master Au (perhaps the greatest living traditional Chinese artist) PLUS discussion of the opera Turandot PLUS performance of selections from Turandot

When: Thursday, April 27, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Au Ho-nien Museum, Schwitzer Student Center, University of Indianapolis

Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, is set in ancient China. Princess Turandot has been promised by her father, the Emperor, to the first suitor who can answer three riddles posed by her, and many have lost their heads in the attempt. Prince Calaf, in disguise, accepts the Princess’s challenge and succeeds in his quest, but when Turandot is reluctant to fulfill her bargain, he poses his own challenge to her, leading to a thrilling climax. Join Dr. Phylis Lan Lin, Presidential International Ambassador and Director of Asian Programs at the University of Indianapolis, for a talk on the ink paintings of Master Au Ho-Nien, the Chinese master whose works are housed in the university’s museum dedicated to his art and open every day to the public. Afterwards, Butler University’s Dr. Michael Sells will discuss Puccini’s Turandot, and the principal cast members from Indianapolis Opera’s production will perform selections from the opera, accompanied by Maestro James Caraher. A reception will follow.

For more information on the Au Ho-nien Museum, please visit http://www.uindy.edu/aumuseum/.

This program is co-presented by Indianapolis Opera and the Asian Programs of the University of Indianapolis.

Admission is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. R.s.v.p. to Patty Harvey, Director of Education, Indianapolis Opera, at pattyh@indyopera.org or 317-283-3531 x 116.

April 25: one of the all-time coolest opera events!

As a way of gearing up for the showing of the award-winning film, "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha," Indianapolis Opera, the Indianapolis International Film Festival, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art are teaming up for a very special evening of music and discussion.

When: Tuesday April 25 7:00 PM

Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Even though it's barely a year old, "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha" is being called one of the greatest opera films ever. I think it's more than that. The film sets Bizet's timeless opera "Carmen" in a contemporary South African township, and translates the opera from French into Xhosa (South African click language that to my unsophisticated American ears has alway made me think of "Star Wars.") OK, just by itself the fact that "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha" is showing at the Indianapolis International Film Festival is splendid news. But don't start celebrating yet, there's more. The experience of the film will be greatly enhanced, it seems, if we know more about Bizet's original opera. And it would be very good to know more about Xhosa, and maybe about what traditional music in that language sounds like. And South Africa, it would sure help to know about what life in the townships is really like. Especially the position of women in South African townships, "Carmen" is about one of the all-time memorable female characters in Western art, Carmen is a dangerous and intriguing mixture of predator and prey, a product of the savage poverty of Europe in 1875. Would poor South Africans today recognize the world of the poor lawbreakers of Europe a century and a half ago?

April 25, the day before the International Film Festival kicks off, we will explore these and other important questions. At the Indianapolis Museum of Art we will be joined by:
  • Members of the Indianapolis Opera who will perform some of the best selections from "Carmen" in French and English
  • South African folksingers who will sing examples of songs in Xhosa
  • Some of my friends who have worked in South African townships on the difficult issues facing women
Well, IndyBuzz is buzzing around the office about this one. For some background to this event, check out The Next Indy. More info to come soon.

April 25: Milton Viorst talks about "Storm from the East: The Struggle between the Arab World and the Christian West"

A talk by noted Middle East analyst Milton Viorst and a signing of his soon-to-be-released book, "Storm from the East: The Struggle between the Arab World and the Christian West"

When: Tuesday April 25, cocktails at 5:45, dinner at 6:30

Where: Check with Courtenay Weldon: courtenayweldon@comcast.net

Milton Viorst has covered the Middle East as a journalist and scholar since the 1960s. He was The New Yorker’s Middle East correspondent, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. "Storm from the East: The Struggle between the Arab World and the Christian West" (scheduled to be released April 18) is Viorst's sixth book on the Middle East.

Viorst will be speaking to the indianapolis Committee on Foreign Relations. It is sure to be an interesting event, perhaps an appropriate way to spend Holocaust Remembrance Day. Check with Courtenay Weldon for details.

For an excerpt from Viorst's new book, some links to some of his other articles, and a few critical comments, go to IndyBuzz's sister site, TheNext Indy.

International Film Festival -- my top picks (as of right now)

The line up for the Indianapolis International Film Festival has been finalized and it looks great. We'll be writing much more about this very important event, but right now I want to stake out the ten films that most excite me.

I Am Cuba:
Started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godard’s freewheeling romance, Breathless, I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique — a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, feverishly explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba — deliriously juxtaposing images of rich Americans and bikini-clad beauties sipping cocktails poolside with scenes of ramshackle slums filled with hungry children and gaunt old people. Using wide-angle lenses that distort and magnify and filters that transform palm trees into giant white feathers, Urusevsky’s acrobatic camera achieves wild gravity-defying angles as it glides effortlessly through long continuous shots. But I Am Cuba is not just a catalog of bravura technique — it also succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations. Shown unsubtitled at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I Am Cuba received two standing ovations — during the screening. The first movie ever jointly presented by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, I Am Cuba is one of the great discoveries in cinema.

website: http://www.milestonefilms.com/movie.php/iamcuba/

Showtimes: Thursday, April 27, 12:15 PM - Tuesday, May 2, 1:45 PM

U-Carmen eKhayelitsha In Xhosa, with English subtitles
U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (roughly translated: “Carmen in Khayelitsha”) took home the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival – beating out Academy Award-nominee Hotel Rwanda and Golden Globe-winner Paradise Now. This unique piece of filmmaking takes Bizet’s classic Carmen, translates it into Xhosa (one of South Africa’s eleven official languages) and puts it right on the streets of Khayelitsha – one of South Africa’s poorest townships. Pauline Malefane’s stunning performance leads the way in this invigorating take on a timeless classic imbued with the rhythms and colors of South African life.


Showtimes: Thursday, April 27, 7:15 PM - Wednesday, May 3, 12:00 PM

Shanghai Dreams
China, In Mandarin, with English subtitles
Red shoes - peeking timidly and unexpectedly from beneath the school bench of Qinghong (Gao Yuanyuan), where a stubborn lover has left them - are the impudent symbol of changing times in sleepy rural China. It is the beginning of the eighties and even in the poor, mountainous Guizhou province, adolescents listen to Boney M and wear bell-bottoms. But Qinghong’s youth is imprisoned by her father’s narrow dreams of a better life in Shanghai. Qinghong - qing means “green” for innocence, while hong means “red” and evokes ardour - and her family moved from Shanghai to Guizhou in the sixties to fulfill patriotic duties, a decision her father has regretted ever since. Dreaming of returning to his native city, Qinghong’s father (Yan Anlian) wants to prevent her from putting down roots in Guizhou. He stalks her when she falls for a local boy, silences her dreams and poisons her life with loneliness and acrimony.
Investigating a theme woven with Wang’s childhood memories and intertwining arrays of defeated hopes, "Shanghai Dreams" chronicles the hardships of China’s relocation policies of the sixties, when urban families were uprooted and moved to remote border provinces to set up a network of new industrial cities, the “third line of defence” against a feared attack by the Soviet Union.

Illuminated by a cold winter light that perfectly suits its bitter atmosphere, "Shanghai Dreams" maintains a chilling sense of suspense and thriller-like momentum throughout its tale of personal tragedy. Thanks to Wang’s assured talent, this social drama of displacement becomes a vivid fresco of lives unhappily confined by myopic government schemes. These deracinated existences are watched as if from a distance, followed by impeccably unobtrusive camera work. Unsettled souls are stalked - often from behind windows and door frames - by the eye of a master who trades dreams for honest yet haunting narrative.

website: http://fortissimofilms.com/catalogue/title.asp?filmID=267

Showtimes: Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 PM - Wednesday, May 3, 5:15 PM

Iron Island
Iran, In Farsi, with English subtitles
The title of Iron Island, a whimsical, inventive Iranian film, refers to an old, abandoned ship moored in the Persian Gulf that is crowded to bursting with homeless families. This make-shift hostel is run with an iron fist by Captain Nemat (Ali Nasirian); equally kind-hearted and authoritarian, he lords over the massive tanker, which he has commandeered for himself and his charges. Together, they have built a remarkably efficient, self-contained floating city where life goes on much as it would anywhere else.In his turban and robes, veteran actor Nasirian is a larger-than-life presence as the dictatorial Captain Nemat, taking his place alongside both his namesake Nemo and Ahab in the pantheon of grandiose, flawed mariners. Director Mohammad Rasoulof and his crew keep the film moving at a speedy, energetic pace, perfectly conveying the wry ironies of this daring, unconventional allegory.- Dimitri Eipides, Toronto International Film Festival (from Kino International's website)

website: http://www.kino.com/ironisland/

Showtimes: Wednesday, April 26, 5:15 PM - Thursday, May 4, 1:15 PM

Brazil / Switzerland / Finland, 90 minutes
Documentary / Musical, in Portuguese with English subtitles
In 1999, The Buena Vista Social Club shined a spotlight on the seemingly forgotten music of Cuba. In similar fashion, Brasileirinho is a documentary about Brazilian musicians who still play Choro, a style of music that served as the foundation for its more famous offspring, the Samba and the Bossa Nova. Choro combines the influences of Western music (you’ll definitely notice its relationship to classical Spanish guitar), African rhythms, and Native interpretations. Along the journey, we meet several artists who celebrate this beautiful, traditional music in a nation that struggles to maintain a balance between the modern and the traditional.

Showtimes: Wednesday, May 3, 10:00 PM - Thursday, May 4, 9:30 PM

Everyone Their Grain of Sand
USA / Mexico, 87 minutes In Spanish & English, with English subtitles
Everyone Their Grain of Sand chronicles the struggles of the fiercely determined citizens of Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana, Mexico, as they battle the state government's attempts to evict them from their land to make way for corporate development. Over a three-year period, filmmaker Beth Bird followed the remarkably spirited and resourceful residents as they built a school by hand and persistently petitioned the state for such basic services as running water and pay for their teachers. The government responded with bureaucratic stonewalling and the systematic persecution of community leaders—eventually arresting one and forcing others into hiding. The filmmaker balances the story of hardships with glimpses of the community's hard-won triumphs - including an elementary school graduation - that reminds us what the community is fighting for. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, Everyone Their Grain of Sand offers a rare look at the devastating human cost of economic globalization in a place where working people are often treated like nothing more than cheap labor for multinational corporations.


Showtimes: Saturday, April 29, 8:30 PM - Monday, May 1, 4:00 PM

The Heart of the Game
United States, 103 minutes
Synopsis: Bill Resler is a college professor who has always had an interest in basketball. When he takes the job coaching the ladies' basketball team at Seattle's Roosevelt High School, he brings with him a unique approach. He wants his athletes to develop independence in thought while keeping a strong sense of team (he encourages the young women to envision themselves as a bloodthirsty wolf pack). A couple of seasons into this gig, a young African-American woman, Darnellia Russell, enters the gym. She has transferred to Roosevelt from her neighborhood school because her mother feels Coach Resler offers greater opportunities for growth. Darnellia is strong-willed, and occasionally self-destructive. The mentor-student relationship that Resler and Russell develop is the heart of "The Heart of the Game". Shot over six years, director Ward Serrill and his crew take what could have been a simple sports documentary and turn it into a complex tale about gender, race, class, and athletics.

Showtimes: Saturday, April 29, 2:00 PM - Sunday, April 30, 2:00 PM

Day Break
Iran, 84 minutes In Farsi, with English subtitles
In Iran, capital punishment is carried out according to Islamic law, which gives the family of the victim ownership of the offender’s life. Day Break - based on a compilation of true stories and shot inside Tehran's century-old prison - revolves around the imminent execution of Mansour, a man found guilty of murder. When the family of the victim repeatedly fails to show up on the appointed day, Mansour’s execution is postponed again and again. Stuck inside the purgatory of his own mind, he waits as time passes on without him, caught between life and death, retribution and forgiveness.


Showtimes: Saturday, April 29, 6:45 PM - Monday, May 1, 12:00 PM

Apparition of the Eternal Church
USA, 58 minutes Documentary
Synopsis: Under the influence of Olivier Messiaen's monumental organ work 'Apparition of the Eternal Church,' writers, actors, filmmakers and musicians don headphones and describe a cathedral located between spiritual ecstasy and physical torture, sex and art, and what William Blake famously called the marriage of heaven and hell.

Showtimes: Wednesday, May 3, 8:15 PM - Thursday, May 4, 12:30 PM

District 13
France, 85 minutes In French, with English subtitles
Synopsis: Paris, 2013. Damien is a member of an elite police squadron, a special unit highly trained in martial arts and the precise physical skills necessary to navigate the treacherous urban landscape of Paris’ future. He is now tasked with the most vital and dangerous mission of his career: a weapon of mass destruction has been concealed by the most powerful gang of the suburbs of District 13, a walled off section of Paris in which the criminals rule themselves. Damien must infiltrate the gang in order to either defuse the bomb or recover it. Produced by Luc Besson, District 13 has been a certified hit at film festivals around the world.


Showtimes: Saturday, April 29, 8:30 PM - Monday, May 1, 12:30 PM - Tuesday, May 2, 10:15 PM

Al'Leessi...An African Actress
Niger, 69 minutes In French with English subtitles
Zalika Souley is in her fifties. She lives with four children in a two-bedroom apartment with neither electricity nor water in Niamey, the capital of Niger. But thirty years ago, she was a movie star and Africa’s first professional female actress, working with such celebrated directors as Niger’s Oumarou Ganda and Moustapha Alassane. Souley was once the legendary bad girl of African cinema defying directors with her compelling improvisations. Yet, despite her fame, her life was beset by difficulty. In moving and often heart-breaking interviews, Souley speaks wistfully about how audiences confused her with the women she portrayed – vamps, adulteresses, prostitutes - and how, as her stardom rose abroad, she became a pariah in her own country.


Showtimes: Friday, April 28, 5:30 PM - Sunday, April 30, 10:30 AM

Go West
Bosnia Herzegovina, In Bosnian & Serbo-Croatian, with English subtitles
Ahmed Imamovic’s controversial first feature film, Go West, follows the story of two gay lovers; the Muslim cellist Kenan and the Serbian student Milan. Kenan narrates their fight to survive amidst the brutal inter-ethnic wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s. Despite various attempts to maintain peace, Serb aggression persists in Sarajevo; and Kenan’s faith, marked by his circumcision, makes him a prime target. To avoid questioning by the Serbs, Kenan dresses as a woman and poses as Milan’s wife. The two flee to Milan’s small Serbian hometown where Kenan is introduced as Milan’s young bride Milena. Though the colorful town seems convinced by the charade, Kenan still agonizes over the fate of his fellow Muslims. The young lovers dream of finding peace, happiness, and acceptance in the West, but can Kenan’s secret be kept long enough for them to escape? Though condemned by conservatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Go West provocatively, emotionally, and engagingly addresses subjects once thought taboo in Eastern Europe.


Showtimes: Friday, April 28, 5:45 PM - Tuesday, May 2, 5:00 PM

Borderline Lovers
Bosnia Herzegovina, Documentary, In Serbo-Croatian, with English subtitles
Borderline Lovers documents three couples whose love transcends the newly-formed borders of the Balkan states. Disapproving parents and angry families are challenges many couples face. When that disapproval arises from the fact that each of the lovers comes from formerly warring factions, those tensions are multiplied exponentially. This is a portrait of individuals for whom love is more vital than national identity.


Showtimes: Friday, April 28, 1:45 PM - Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 PM

The Sun
Russia / Japan, 115 minutes Director: Aleksandr Sokurov In Japanese and English, with English subtitles
Susan Sontag, the recently departed intellectual and devout cinephile, proclaimed Alexander Sokurov to be the most ambitious and original director of his generation. From the technically audacious costume drama Russian Ark - shot in a single take in the Hermitage - to the emotionally raw, viscerally stylized parent-and-child elegies The Second Circle and Mother and Son, Sokurov has exerted a rigorous ingenuity throughout his wildly diverse projects. Marked by Sokurov's oblique narrative style and an appropriately stately pace, The Sun follows Moloch (on Hitler) and Taurus (on Lenin) as the third installment in his bold, ongoing series on those few figures who have held "ultimate power." This formidable work takes as its subject Emperor Hirohito (Issei Ogata), spanning the period between August 1945 and New Year's Day, 1946, during the American occupation of Japan. While many ordinary people in Sokurov's films have been treated by his camera as if they were holy and ethereal, The Sun details Hirohito's renunciation of his divinity and his transformation from a deity into the humbled man who surrenders Japan in World War II. His fate is to be determined by General Douglas MacArthur (Robert Dawson) and the meetings between these two very different individuals form the core of this mesmerizing, demanding epic. Sokurov chooses to treat Hirohito sympathetically, emphasizing the number of lives he saves by asking his people to lay down their arms as the Allies advance, and the dignified manner in which he takes his mistreatment at the hands of the invaders. This is an intensely challenging role and Ogata - best known for his work in Edward Yang's revered Yi Yi - plays the emperor with great sensitivity and even humour, keeping his nuanced character perpetually balanced on the razor's edge of innocence and experience, meekness and omnipotence. Sokurov has claimed that "the character is an inexhaustible artistic object" and The Sun does not merely succeed as the first attempt at examining the life of Hirohito - as a man and not a god - in close-up; thanks to Sokurov's preternatural vision, it is also a strikingly singular aesthetic experience.

Showtimes: Wednesday, May 3, 7:45 PM - Thursday, May 4, 2:45 PM

Be With Me
Singapore, 93 minutes In Cantonese, English, Hokkein, and Mandarin, with English subtitles
The cinematic equivalent of a hymn, Be With Me is a film about human beings and their search for love. In his latest film, Eric Khoo manages to explore the themes of urban loneliness and the sentimental "spleen'' without sinking into a cynical abyss. Neither does he resort to cruel psychological stereotypes. In fact, the film is a veritable song of hope; it reclaims the real meaning of the word "humanism". Like a seductive melody, the musical quality of Be With Me has an immediate hold on our senses. The filmmaker has composed a symphony of complex emotions, with very frugal use of dialogue. The artful orchestration of fiction and reality, invented and real characters imbues Be With Me with a rare quality; it's almost like a cinematographic essay. Inspired by the memories, biography and everyday life of a remarkable woman Theresa Chan, Eric Khoo has not just made a movie. Be With Me is also a testimony to and meditation on love, hope and destiny. It's remarkable that a movie with such resonance should come from Singapore, a country traditionally quiet on the cinematic front. The film's universality comes from not just from the inspiring character of Theresa Chan but from its haunting beauty. Be With Me eschews superfluous effects to concentrate on essential concerns - how to film memories, how to film sensations and how to film feelings? Finally, we love this film because Be With Me confirms that the best minimalist films can capture immense perspectives, which are those of the heart and soul.

Showtimes: Wednesday, April 26, 7:30 PM - Saturday, April 29, 4:30 PM

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