Post-Socialist Film Series Ties into Gorbachev Visit

Posted: February 9, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The embrace of socialism and the emergence of socialist states around the world is the central theme in 20th-century global history. A host of social movements and far-reaching reforms have marked an equally momentous shift to an era of “post-socialism” since the 1980s.

During the spring semester, a free film festival at Mason will explore the human dimensions and social dilemmas of post-socialist life in China, Eastern Europe and Russia.

The film festival has been scheduled to coincide with former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Mason on March 24-25.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Global Studies and Phi Beta Delta, the international honor society.

All films are screened on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. Locations vary, and films are subject to change due to availability.

Feb. 10: “Blue Kite” (Lan feng zheng) (1993, 138 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Tian Zhuangzhuang)

Student Union Building II, Rooms 6-7

The experiences of a Beijing family and neighbors during the political and social upheavals in 1950s and 1960s China.

Feb. 17: “4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days” (2007, 113 min, Romanian with subtitles, Christian Mungiu)

Student Union Building II, Rooms 5-7

Two university students try to deal with an unwanted pregnancy in the last days of Romania’s Ceauşescu regime (c. 1987).

Feb. 24: “Blind Shaft” (Mang jing) (2003, 92 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Li Yang)

Student Union Building II, Ballroom 1 (front)

The brutal social realities associated with China’s coal mining industry.

March 3: “Good Bye Lenin!” (2003, 121 min., German with subtitles, Wolfgang Becker)

Student Union Building II, Rooms 1-2

Comedy about the collapse of socialism in East Germany.

March 10: “Platform” (Zhantai) (2000, 150 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Jia Zhangke)

Student Union Building I, Rooms A, B, C

A group of young performance artists come of age during China’s transition from Maoism in the 1980s.

March 17: “Nailed” (I ngujuar) (2004, Elvira Dones), Johnson Center Third Floor

Meeting Room F

Documentary on the resurgence of blood feuds in northern Albania after 1989.

March 25: Discussion of documentary filmmaking with Elvira Dones and Mason Robinson Professor Carma Hinton, Johnson Center Cinema

March 31: “To Live” (Huozhe) (1994, 133 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Zhang Yimou)

Student Union Building II, Ballroom 1 (front)

Follows a couple from their heyday in the 1940s to the hardships that accompany the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. To coincide with a campus visit and talk on March 27 by Yu Hua, author of the novel on which the film is based (TBA).

April 7: “Lilja 4-Ever” (2003, 104 min., Russian with subtitles, Lukas Moodysson)

Johnson Center Third Floor Meeting Room F

Examines issues of human trafficking and sexual slavery in the former Soviet Union.

April 14: “Gate of Heavenly Peace” (1996, 190 min., Mason Robinson Professor Carma Hinton)

Johnson Center Cinema

Award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary on the 1989 Tiananmen protests in China, with discussion by Carma Hinton.

April 21 “The Singing Revolution” (2006, 94 min., James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty)

Johnson Center Cinema

Documentary on Estonia’s fight for independence from the Soviets, 1986-91, with discussion by the directors.

April 28: “Blind Mountain” (Mang shan) (2007, 95 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Li Yang)

Johnson Center Cinema

Deals with issues of gender, marriage and the illegal sex slave trade in contemporary China.

May 5: “The World” (Shijie) (2004, 139 min., Mandarin with subtitles, Jia Zhangke)

Johnson Center Cinema

Story of the poor men and women who rely on theme-park consumerism to eke out a living in contemporary China.

Questions regarding the films may be directed to Michael Chang or Mills Kelly. Questions on locations and times may be directed to Marcy Glover, Office of the Provost, 703-993-8722.

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