Kean Stage Announces International Film Series

UNION – Kean Stage will eight award-winning titles as part of its 2013 International Films Series. The series represents a range of cultures reflected through beautiful cinematography, acting, directing and storytelling. A theme of education in the classroom and beyond connects a number of the films selected for the series.

Screenings are Sunday afternoons at 3pm in the Jules Schwartz Theater located in Kean University’s STEM Building at 1075 Morris Avenue – follow signs for the STEM Building. Free onsite parking is available.

The series opens with Monsieur Lazhar, a film by Philippe Falardeau (Canada, 2011), on Jan. 27. The movie tells the story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar, a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past.

The Flowers of War, a Zhang Yimou film (China, 2011) to be shown on Feb. 3, stars Christian Bale as John Haufman, an American missionary posing as a priest who helps protect a group of school girls and prostitutes from an invading army – all seeking safety behind a walled cathedra – details the massacre that followed the invasion of the Japanese Imperial Army on China’s wartime capital in 1937.

Biutiful,  a film by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico, 2009) will be shown on Feb. 10. It shows the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggled to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the parental guiding hand that navigates life’s corridors, whether bright, bad – or biutiful.

The Artist, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France, 2011), will be shown on Feb. 17. It was shot on location in Los Angeles, Calif. and is set during the twilight of Hollywood’s silent film era in 1927 when George Valentin is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller, it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

Yesterday, a film by Darrell Roodt (South Africa, 2004) to be shown on Feb. 24, tells the story of a young mother, called Yesterday who discovers she has AIDS. Her ambition becomes to live long enough to see her 7-year-old daughter, Beauty, go to schoo

The Class, directed by Laurent Cantet (France, 2008), will be shown on April 7. It follows a year in the life of a French schoolteacher working at a high school in a tough neighborhood of Paris. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom. As amusing and inspiring as the teenage students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeopardize any teacher’s enthusiasm for the low-paying job. Insisting on an atmosphere of respect and diligence that’s neither stuffy nor severe, his frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods.

Bully, directed By Lee Hirsch (United States, 2011) to be shown on April 14, is a cinematic, character-driven documentary—at its heart are those with the most at stake and whose stories each represent a different facet of this bullying crisis. This year, over 18 million American kids will be bullied, making it the most common form of violence young people in the U.S. experience.

Footnote,  a film by Joseph Cedar (Israel, 2011) to be shown April 21, is the story of insane academic competition, the dichotomy between admiration and envy for a role model, and the very complicated relationship between a father and son.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased on site. All films are shown Sundays at 3 p.m. For more information regarding the films, call Kean Stage Box Office at 1-908-737-7469.

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