Global Lens Film Series 2013

Global Lens Film Series 2013

10 Award-Winning International Films

In partnership with Global Film Initiative, DC Public Library will screen a series of 10 award-winning foreign films (featuring English subtitles) from Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Serbia. 

Click here to find out which films will be featured at your local library. 

See below for the full list of movie titles and descriptions:
About 111 Girls Beijing Flickers Cairo 678 The Fantastic World of Juan Orol Life Kills Me Modest Reception |The Parade Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights Southwest Student

About 111 Girls, directed by Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zmanpira
Iraq, 2012, 79 min. Adult audience  
111 Kurdish women/girls

A government official heads into Iranian Kurdistan with his assistant and a boy guide in order to stop 111 young Kurdish women from making good on their threat to commit mass suicide to protest conditions that have left them spinsters. Racing against the clock, they travel the magnificent countryside into territory simmering with resentment at official neglect, poverty and hardship. 

Beijing Flickers, directed by Zhang Yuan
China, 2012, 96 min. Adult and teen audiences
Poster of 6 Chinese male and female faces

Beijing Flickers is an angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the face of heartbreak, ruthless inequalities and unfeeling ambition. San Bao is a young man who has just lost his job, his apartment, his dog and the woman he loves. Feeling lovelorn and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of hope as he roams the sleek, shifting city alone or with other dreamers and misfits. 

Cairo 678, directed by Mohamed Diab
Egypt, 2010, 100 min. Adult audience

Face of Egyptian woman in crowd of men

Three Egyptian women from very different backgrounds pull together in uneasy solidarity to combat the sexual harassment that has impacted each of their lives—and become a general plague in their city. Based on real-life incidents that led to Egypt’s first anti-harassment legislation, this film tells a gripping, timely social tale of injustice through its narrative of interconnected lives.

The Fantastic World of Juan Orol, directed by Sebastian del Amo
Mexico, 2012, 90 min. Adult audience
Juan Orol in forefront wearing suit and hat; two glamorous women in the background

In Mexico City in 1982, aged actor-director Juan Orol sits with well-worn resignation outside a nearly empty cinema and imparts his life story to an idle young usher. What follows is a series of black-and-white flashbacks of his childhood in Galicia, his forced exile to Cuba, and his eventual arrival in Mexico where an intrepid Juanito pursues failed careers as baseball player, boxer, bullfighter and gangster before landing in the movies—where failure kind of works for him. 

Life Kills Me, directed by Sebastián Silva
Chile, 2007, 81 min. Adult and teen audiences 

"La Vida Me Mata" with animated dead bird lying on top of letters

Life and death collide in this comedy about an unlikely friendship between a grieving young cinematographer and a morbidly obsessed drifter. At work on a low-budget horror film, Gaspar is still reeling from the death of his beloved older brother when the sudden death of a friend’s sister brings him reluctantly to another funeral. On the way, he meets Alvaro, the girl’s cousin, a mildly sociopathic young man, who soon coaxes Gaspar out of his shell in unexpected ways.

Modest Reception, directed by Mani Haghighi
Iran, 2012, 100 min. Adult and teen audiences 
Woman standing outside in the cold, pointing her finger

Leila and Kaveh are a mysterious pair of urban sophisticates from Tehran who travel the countryside pushing big bags of money on the poor. This turns out to be harder than it sounds and fascinating to watch, in ways alternately hilarious and alarming, as the couple come up with increasingly brazen schemes to place large sums of cash in the hands of the wary, proud or indifferent. Modest Reception is a quirky story exploring themes of power, privilege and corruption.

The Parade, directed by Srđjan Dragojević
Serbia, 2011, 115 min. Adult audience 
Two hands reaching out to touch in the middle

In exchange for some wedding planning expertise, a macho Serbian crime boss, Limun, forms an alliance with some gay activists, and recruits a group of Balkan war buddies to provide protection for their planned Pride march. Inspired by Belgrade’s tense 2010 Pride parade, and set against the lingering xenophobia of the 1990s Balkan War, proves a lively yet poignant take on a vital human rights issue.

Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights, directed by Suman Ghosh
India, 2012, 65 min. Adult audience

Old Indian man in street at night

An 80-year old Kalkata retiree is determined to get the streetlights turned off after sunrise. Upset by this wasteful expense of electricity, Shyamal Uncle becomes obsessed with his goal—to the exclusion of everything else, including listening to his wife or settling accounts with the maid. However, finding someone to take him seriously proves to be a battle against an indifferent bureaucracy and a complacent status quo.  

Southwest, directed by Eduardo Nunes
Brazil, 2011, 128 min. Adult audience
The back of a little girl running in field towards houses

In this dreamlike and mysterious tale, a young woman named Clarice gives birth on her deathbed to a baby girl also christened Clarice by the bruxa (or witch) attending the nearly simultaneous moments of death and birth. The child is spirited away to a remote lakeside village where she lives her entire lifetime in a single day while the other inhabitants of the village experience a day like any other

Student, directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
Kazakhstan, 2012, 90 min. Adult audience

Young boy holding gun

A solitary philosophy student in the Kazakhstan capital of Almaty commits a calculated violent crime against the backdrop of Kazakhstan's growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of eat-or-be-eaten. He must deal with the consequences of his actions—a gesture of ethical clarity strikingly at odds with a world losing a consistent concept of justice.

For more information on the Global Lense Film Series, visit