Asian Film Series At Willamette

Five free films will be shown in the Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. All films begin at 6:30 p.m. and each one will be introduced by a member of the Willamette faculty. The museum is located on the corner of State and Winter Streets. No food or drinks are allowed in the Museum.

Jan. 31 (Friday): "Maborosi" (1995, directed by Koreeda Hirokazu, in Japanese with English subtitles; 110 min.) A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. Yumiko remarries and moves from Osaka to a small fishing village and continues to search for meaning in a lonely world. Maborosi means "the beckoning light." This film won awards at film festivals in Vancouver and Venice.

Feb. 14 (Friday): "Not One Less" (1999, directed by Zhang Yimou, in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles; 106 min.) A young woman is ordered to a remote Chinese village to be the substitute teacher and is told that she must keep the class intact for one month or she won't be paid. When one of her students disappears into the city to find work, she goes after him. This film won awards at film festivals in Sao Paulo and Venice.

March 7 (Friday): "Pather Panchali" (1955, directed by Satyajit Ray, B&W, in Bengali with English subtitles; 115 min.) Sometime in the early years of the century, a boy, Apu, is born to a poor Brahmin family in a village in Bengal. The father, a poet and priest, cannot earn enough to keep his family going. Apu's sister, Durga, is forever stealing mangoes from the neighbour's orchards. All these add to the daily struggles of the mother's life, notwithstanding her constant bickering with an old aunt who lives with the family. This is the first film in Ray's celebrated Apu Trilogy, and won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Music by Ravi Shankar.

April 4 (Friday): "Afterlife" (1998, directed by Koreeda Hirokazu, in Japanese with English subtitles; 118 min.) In Koreeda's thought-provoking vision, the newly deceased find themselves in a way station somewhere between Heaven and Earth. With the help of dedicated caseworkers, each soul is given three days to choose one cherished memory for their life that they will relive for eternity. As the film reveals, recognizing happiness and finding a life's worth of meaning in a single event is no simple task. The film won awards at several smaller film festivals & praise from major film critics.

April 18 (Friday): "Baran" (2001, directed by Majid Majidi, in Farsi with English subtitles; 91 min.) Baran ("rain") takes place in the years following the 1989 Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, amid the rise of the Taliban. Set in Iran, it tells the story of an Afghani refugee father whose injury threatens his family's future, a child too weak to fill his shoes, and a native Iranian son forced to trade places with an immigrant. But, the young man's burning resentment is about to be transformed by a surprising discovery. The immigrant is a young woman. For the first time in his life, he is in love, but, he cannot let on that he knows her secret. This film won two awards at the Montreal International Film Festival.