30th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival
All events are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, MMFF events will take place on Wednesdays at 7:30pm UMass Amherst in the Isenberg SOM 137 auditorium.
See the Official Website for the:
2023 MASSACHUSETTS MULTICULTURAL FILM FESTIVAL
(Márta Mészáros, 1975, Hungary, 99 min, in Hungarian w/ English subtitles)
Kata, a widow in socialist Hungary, lives alone, plies her skills as a woodworker in a furniture factory, and keeps up for years an affair with a married co-worker. When a group of teenage girls from the orphanage stops at her home, the balance of her life is disturbed by the beautiful, self-possessed Anna. Kata discovers her desire for a child, either by birth or by adoption. With breathtaking closeups, revelatory moving frames, and lush black-and-white photography, Mészáros creates a richly layered portrait of women seeking love and freedom and learning that adoption, in all its forms, demands unanticipated adaptation. First film directed by a woman to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. New 4k digital restoration.
Special Guest, Catherine Portuges (UMass Professor Emerita, Founding Director of Film Studies, and Founding Curator of the MMFF).
Introduction by Shawn Shimpach (UMass Amherst).
Co-Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.
Short Films Program
THE SEA ON THE DAY WHEN MAGIC RETURNS (마법이 돌아오는 날의 바다)
(2022, dir Jiwon Han, South Korea, 24 min, in Korean w/ English subtitles)
In this startlingly imaginative animation, Sejin once had the power to have anything she wanted just by wishing for it. The world was her oyster. But now, hobbled and goaded by the men in her life, she has lost her magic. Can she start anew, survive a tragic day, and find the source of her magic again?
THE NIGHT I LEFT AMERICA
(2021, Laki Karavias, 14 min, Uganda/U.S., in English and Luganda w/ English subtitles)
As a small boy, Chamagello dreamed of leaving Uganda for the wonders of America. Now a teenager in ramshackle trailer in rural Texas, he awaits the decision on his mother’s work visa renewal, confronted by memories of the life he left behind in Uganda and the prospect of returning.
(2022, Paolo Santamaria, 16 min, Italy, in Italian w/ English subtitles)
A woman struggles to contain an extraordinary, electric part of herself in an effort to fit into ordinary life. An allegory of otherness, a metaphor for mental illness, or a meditation on anxieties about women wielding power, “Lampi” evokes these and other enquiries.
(2019, Mykyta Lyskov, 14 min, Ukraine)
Set in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine, this kaleidoscopic animated short brings dark humor in the absurdist tradition to reflect on the effects of modern commerce on urban life, with proliferations of plastic bags, anonymous monsters, apocalyptic mushrooms, distorted chronologies, and prescient themes of military invasion.
Introduction by Nefeli Forni Zervoudaki (UMass Amherst).
(David Siev, 2022, USA, 100 min)
Bad Axe brings us inside the lives of an Asian American family living in a rural Michigan community as they fight to keep their American dream alive. As owners of a local prominent restaurant, they reckon with a deadly global pandemic, racial tensions, and generational scars from Cambodia’s “killing fields.” Perhaps no other film captures the transformative years of the recent past as Bad Axe does through its intimate story told with courage and deep care.
Introduction by Kathy Roberts Forde (UMass Amherst).
The director David Siev and the film’s editor UMass alum Rosie Walunas will be present for discussion.
(Emma Pildes and Tia Lessin, 2022, 101 min, USA)
In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago where seven women who were part of a clandestine network were arrested. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses to protect themselves and their work, these women had built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves “Jane.” The Janes tells the story of the group of unlikely outlaws who defied the law, the Church, and the Mob at great personal risk to help women in need.
Introduction by Laura Briggs (UMass Amherst).
Co-sponsored by the UMass Department of History and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.
The directors will be present for discussion.
MY LOST COUNTRY (Baladi Aldaia)
(Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez, 2022, 96 min, Chile/Iraq/Egypt/Costa Rica, in Spanish/Russian/Arabic w/ English subtitles)
In cyclical, non-linear style, as in ancient Sumerian poetry, this experimental documentary recounts the life journey of the filmmaker’s father, actor, professor, and theater director, Mohsen Sadoon Yasin, across Iraq, Kuwait, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, and Russia over seven decades. It is a tale of art, protest, and yearning for a homeland to which he could never return, told in myriad textures and forms—photographs, letters, paintings, newspaper clippings, cassettes, archival artifacts, and recordings from Mohsen’s last years in London.
Introduction by Daniel Pope (UMass Amherst).
Co-Sponsored by the Comparative Literature Program.
(Moshe Rosenthal, 2022, Israel, 100 min, in Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
The comfortable, stultified marriage of a semi-retired Tel Aviv couple gets an injection of excitement when a mysterious, seductive bachelor, Itzik, moves into the penthouse apartment and invites them into his eccentric universe. As Meir and Tova discover dormant desires and talents, they begin to reevaluate their options in life, including their marriage, measuring it against their larger-than-life neighbor from Miami with his wealth, charisma, and glamorous friends.
Introduction by Rachel Green (UMass Amherst).
In partnership with the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.
3 May (7:00pm)
(Chinonye Chukwu, 2022, USA, 130 min)
The powerful true story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of a mother’s ability to change the world. Reflecting the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, Till honors the unparalleled strength of a mother demanding that the world look squarely at the monstrous reality of racism in America.
Introduction by Daphne Lamothe (Smith College).
Writer/Producer Keith Beauchamp will be present for discussion.
* Note special time and location.
ATTACHMENT (Natten Har Øjne)
(Gabriel Bier-Gislason, 2022, Denmark, 105 min, in Danish and English w/ English subtitles)
This spellbinding horror/love story follows the budding romance between Leah, a briefly famous Danish actress, and Maja, a graduate student who shares a London house with her mysterious, ultra-orthodox Jewish mother, who is also Danish. From sweet meet-cute to uncanny battle of wills, Attachment builds on secrets rooted in ages-old folklore and mysticism toward a breathtaking revelation.
Introduction by Olga Gershenson (UMass Amherst).
The director will be present for discussion.
* Note special date.