Posted on Mar 30, 2006

State of Fear, documentary, Feminist Film Series, April 2006

From a dark comedy about a young girl's adolescence to a documentary of human rights abuses in Guatemala, Union's Feminist Film Series is offering a range of provocative films selected specifically to inspire dialogue about gender roles in our society and others.

“We have all new films this year, chosen once again to cover a range of timely and important topics in feminism as well as represent a variety of cultures,” said Lori Marso, associate professor of political science and director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, which sponsors the series.

The series, shown in conjunction with WGS 495, Feminist Film, and open to the public, includes a special screening of the documentary “State of Fear” with internationally noted filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís, on Friday, April 7 at 1:30 p.m. in Old Chapel.

The event is sponsored by the Sadock Fund for Women and the Arts with the help of the Latin American Studies Program and the Political Science Department.   

Pamela Yates, fillmmaker, State of Fear

In addition, Women's and Gender Studies will host a lunch from 12-1 p.m. on April 7 in Everest Lounge, where the filmmakers will answer questions about their earlier film, “When the Mountains Tremble.” This film, about Rigoberta Menchu and human rights abuses in Guatemala, will be screened Tuesday, April 4, at 6 p.m. in Arts 215. (Faculty and students are welcome to attend the luncheon, but please RSVP Marso by April 3.)

Paco de Onis, filmmaker, State of Fear

Last year, Marso said, a number of different classes watched the films, “and as we got going, we saw many more members of the Schenectady community join us on a regular basis. This was wonderful, and we had some very exciting discussions.”

The 2006 series includes:

“When the Mountains Tremble”

Tuesday, April 4, 6 p.m., Arts 215

Directors Thomas Yates and Newton Thomas Sigel's documentary exposes long-time human rights abuses of indigenous peoples in Guatemala. The film's central subject is Rigoberta Menchu Tum, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous struggle against the Guatemalan military regime. The film contrasts footage of bodies left in the wake of the massacre to segments explaining the business and corporate interests that have taken precedence over human rights. (In Spanish and English)

“State of Fear”: Special screening with filmmakers

Friday, April 7, 1:30 p.m., Old Chapel

Peru faces a terrorist threat and in a desperate search for security, transforms its democracy into a state of fear. This documentary chronicles the threat and the ensuing responses and assaults on democracy, including anti-terrorist legislation and attempted military solution. (In English and Spanish with English subtitles) Director Pamela Yates and Producer Paco de Onís will lead a Q&A session after the screening.        

“Welcome to the Dollhouse”

Tuesday, April 11, 6 p.m., Arts 215

Thirteen-year-old Dawn Weiner experiences the physically and socially painful years of adolescence in this darkly comedic Todd Solondz film. At school, the young heroine is referred to as “Weiner-Dog,” and at home she must cope with inattentive parents who dote on her smart older brother and beautiful ballerina of a younger sister.

“Heavenly Creatures”

Tuesday, April 18, 6 p.m., Arts 215

This drama is based on the true story of Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) and Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey), best friends in the 1950s who are intensely bonded by their love of fantasy and writing. When one mother tries to separate them, tragedy strikes. Directed by Peter Jackson

Fat Girl (Á Ma Soeur!)

Tuesday, April 25, 6 p.m., Arts 215

This film follows two sisters, Anäis, 12, and Elena, 15, on a family vacation. Elena constantly ridicules Anäis for being overweight, and Anäis criticizes Elena for being “a slut.” Elena's relationship with an Italian law student yields tragic consequences for the whole family. Directed by Catherine Breillat (in French with English subtitles)

“Me and You and Everyone We Know”

Tuesday, May 2, 6 p.m., Arts 215

This is the story of Christine Jesperson, a lonely artist who uses her artistic visions to draw connections to what she desires, and Richard Swersey, a newly single shoe salesman who is prepared for great things to happen, yet panics when he meets Christine. The film also follows Richard's two sons: Robby, who is having an Internet romance, and Peter, who becomes the guinea pig for neighborhood girls practicing for their future romantic lives. Directed by Miranda July

“Vera Drake”

Tuesday, May 9, 6 p.m., Arts 215

A happy, working-class woman living in London in the 1950s spends her days caring for her family and neighbors while also secretly, and illegally, helping desperate women induce miscarriages. Lives are forever changed after the authorities discover Vera's activities. A Mike Leigh film

“A Question of Silence”

Tuesday May 16, 6 p.m., Arts 215

In this controversial Dutch drama, three women murder a man to protest the male-dominated society in which they live. The women are taken to court and assigned to a female psychiatrist who starts to feel sympathy for their cause and question her own feelings toward men. Directed by Marlene Gorris (in Dutch with English subtitles)

“Swimming Pool”

Tuesday, May 23, 6 p.m., Arts 215

Sarah Morton is a conservative yet imaginative British mystery writer whose life is turned upside down while vacationing at her publisher's house in France. Once she begins to feel comfortable, she is interrupted by her publisher's wild, party-girl daughter. Tensions rise and tragedy strikes when the competition of personalities between the two starts to involve a local male waiter. Directed by Francois Ozon

“The Stepford Wives”

Tuesday, May 30, 6 p.m., Arts 215

Director Frank Oz's 2004 remake of the 1975 film shows how a group of men in fictional Stepford, Conn., creates a society of perfect families by creating the perfect wives – women who are easily submissive, eager to please their husbands and ideally beautiful. Then Joanna Eberhart, previously a successful executive, moves into town, and she and another newly relocated wife attempt to get to the source of the “perfect” wives' façade.