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MCC International Film Series: Spring/Fall 2008

Titles, descriptions of all films shown in the MCC International Film Series

Adam's Apples

Adam's Apples (Denmark) - Adam, a vicious neo-Nazi anxiously biding his time before he can return to hell-raising, is sentenced to community service at a small church in the countryside. Asked to set a goal for his stay, Adam sarcastically answers that he'd like to bake a pie. His supervisor, Ivan the priest, cheerfully takes the statement at face value and puts him in charge of the parish's pride and joy; the only apple tree in the vicinity. Grasping the extent of Ivan's crazed, preternatural determination to look on the bright side of everything. Adam immediately decides to shake him out of his rose-colored stupor. Danish. 94 mins.

A Simple Curve

A Simple Curve(Canada) - This Canadian film is about Caleb a charming small-town entrepreneur determined to keep his woodworking shop afloat in spite of the relentless idealism of his business partner and father, aging hippie draft-dodger Jim. When wealth American Matthew arrives, Caleb sees a chance to turn his fortunes around provided he can keep Jim distracted enough. Juggling mounting debts, freeloading hippie house guests, and a budding love life, Caleb strikes a secret deal with Matthew that could set him up for good if it doesn't destroy his entire way of life. English. 92 mins.

The Violin

The Violin (Mexico) - Don Plutarco, his son Genaro and his grandson Lucio live a double life: on one hand they are musicians and humble farmers, on the other they support the campesina peasant guerrilla movement's armed efforts against the oppressive government. When the military seizes the village, the rebels flee to the sierra hills, forced to leave behind their stock of ammunition. While the guerrillas organize a counter-attack, old Plutarco executes his own plan. he plays up his appearance as a harmless violin player, in order to get into the village and recover the ammunition hidden in his corn field. His violin playing charms the army captain who orders Plutarco to come back daily. Arms and music play a tenuous game of cat-and-mouse which ultimately results in painful betrayal. Spanish. 98 mins.

Arranged

Arranged (USA) - Rochel, a young Jewish Orthodox woman, is about to begin her first year as a special education teacher at the local public school. She is also about to embark on what her father and mother call the "most exciting time of her life"---the process of finding a husband via the time-tested method of using a "shadchen", or matchmaker. As the school year gets underway, she meets Nasira, a Muslim woman of Syrian descent who is also a first-year teacher. The two young women---Rochel in her long skirt and conservative blouse, Nasira in her headscarf---stand out in this public school context. They develop a deep friendship that transcends their insular Brooklyn communities and the religions that seem so at odds in the broader world. English/Hebrew/Arabic/Spanish. 90 mins.

Choking Man

Choking Man (USA) - Choking Man is set in New York's Jamaica, Queens. This neighborhood's rich diversity is showcased. The film focuses on Ecuadorian immigrant, Jorge, who washes dishes at a local diner, where he connects with a Chinese woman and shies away from his bully of a coworker. Mandy Patinkin costars as the owner of the diner. English/Spanish. 85 mins.

XXY

XXY (Argentina) – For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15-year-old Alex who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro. Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears. Spanish. 85 mins.

Noise

Noise (Australian) - A young police constable, Graham McGahan, suffers from tinnitus, a chronic hearing problem, and applies for worker’s compensation. He is instead stationed at the police caravan in the town, near the scene of two heinous crimes. Noise deals with the response of an ordinary young man to the challenge posed when a community is affected by tragic events. The film shows we are at our best when the worst occurs. English. 108 mins.

Grocer's Son

Grocer’s Son (France) – It is summer, and 30-year-old Antoine is forced to leave the city to return to his family in Provence. His father is sick, so he must assume the lifestyle he thought he had shed Accompanied by Claire, a friend from Paris whom he has a secret crush on, Antoine gradually warms up to his experience in the country and his encounters with the villagers, who initially seem stubborn and gruff, but ultimately prove to be funny and endearing. Ultimately, this surprise French box-office hit is about the coming-of-age of a man rediscovering life and love in the countryside. French. 96 mins.