Arts & Leisure

Hirschfield International Film Series starts Sept. 14

"AMERICAN FACTORY" TAKES a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans still recovering from the effects of the 2008 recession.

MIDDLEBURY — The Hirschfield International Film Series kicks off the 2019-2020 season on Saturday, Sept. 14. This film series hosted by Middlebury College shows foreign and independent films that are screened on most Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., in Dana Auditorium at the Sunderland Language Center. All screenings are free and open to the public.
The Hirschfield International Film Series runs from September through May. Some of the works in this series may be inappropriate for children. New titles will be added mostly to the series’ website; visit for the most up to date info.

Saturday, Sept. 14
MONOS — 1h 42min — 2019
3 and 8  p.m., Dana Auditorium
In English and Spanish with English subtitles.
“MONOS,” Alejandro Landes’ awe-inspiring third feature, is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels — bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom — who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson).
The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within “MONOS” the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.
Sundance Film Festival Winner: World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award
Columbia’s Official Selection for the 92nd Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.

Saturday, Sept. 21
2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour — 1h 36min — 2019
3 and 8 p.m., Dana Auditorium
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour is a 96-minute theatrical program of seven short films selected from this year’s festival, widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years. Including fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, the 2019 program offers new audiences a taste of what the festival offers, from sharply-written comedy and drama to edgy genre and an intimate family saga.
sometimes, i think about dying — U.S.A.
Director: Stefanie Abel Horowitz
Screenwriters: Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead, Kevin Armento
Fran is thinking about dying, but a man in the office might want to date her.
Fast Horse — Canada
Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich
The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Suicide By Sunlight — U.S.A.
Director: Nikyatu Jusu
Screenwriters: Nikyatu Jusu, R. Shanea Williams
Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, is forced to restrain her bloodlust to regain custody of her estranged daughters.
Muteum — Estonia, Hong Kong
Director and screenwriter: Äggie Pak Yee Lee
In an art museum, we learn — from outer to inner, from deep to its deepest, seriously and sincerely.
Crude Oil — U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Christopher Good
Jenny breaks free from a toxic friendship and learns to harness her magical, useless superpower.
The Minors — U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Robert Machoian
A slice of life about a grandpa and his grandsons, the future and the past.
Brotherhood — Canada, Tunisia, Qatar, Sweden
Director and screenwriter: Meryam Joobeur
When a hardened Tunisian shepherd’s son returns home after a long journey with a new wife, tension rises between father and son.

Saturday, Sept. 28
American Factory — 1h 55min — 2019
3 and 8 p.m., Dana Auditorium
From Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winners Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant,” “A Lion in the House,” “Seeing Red”) comes “American Factory,” a Netflix Original documentary presented by Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media.
The acclaimed film takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans still recovering from the effects of the 2008 recession. Working side-by-side with experienced Chinese workers, the locals are optimistic about the future for the first time in almost a decade. But early days of hope give way to setbacks as high-tech China collides with working-class America, and issues of language and culture become seemingly insurmountable walls between clashing factions.
Sundance Film Festival Winner: Documentary Directing Award

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