Foreign movie madness

Emily Alinder

Lawrence International showed eight cultural movies over the course of five nights in the Wriston auditorium last week. Now in its second year of hosting this film festival, the group hopes to make it an annual event.
LI carefully chose movies that represented different countries. The members said they wanted their selections to reflect the group’s interests of promoting cultural diversity and providing experiences of other cultures.
The movies were also chosen by the topic or issue presented in the film. Club president Choyning Dorji said, “Each movie had a particular issue that is relevant to Lawrence students.”
“The Wedding Banquet,” the first movie shown in the festival, is the Chinese counterpart to “Brokeback Mountain.” Like the popular American film, “The Wedding Banquet” was also directed by Ang Lee.
“Bride and Prejudice,” an Indian film, deals with the issue of families paying dowries to ensure good husbands for their daughters. Though it is an Indian version of “Pride and Prejudice,” Dorji said, “It is full of Indian flavor, dancing, singing and color.”
“Welcome to Dangmakgol,” shown on the fourth night of the film festival, is a movie from South Korea that focuses on the problems between North and South Korea.
“Travelers and Magicians” is about the Buddhist view of the world and was shown the last night of the festival.
“Paloma de Papel” – or “Paper Dove” – was also shown on the festival’s final night. It is a movie from Peru about terrorists who kidnap children, brainwash them and train them to fight for the terrorists.
The other movies shown were “We Are Not Angels” from Serbia, “Love’s a Bitch” from Mexico and “Queen” from Nigeria.
Every movie, except for “Bride and Prejudice,” was shown its native language with English subtitles. Dorji said that, while the group could have set the movies to play in English, they choose not to so the audience “could actually feel the cultures.”
Though initial turnout was low, attendance increased later in the week, when better-known titles attracted larger crowds. Some people came to see a particular movie and returned the following nights out of curiosity for the other types of films.
Though these were free showings, LI had to pay for copyrights on some of the films. But, Dorji said, “It was money well spent.”
LI’s next event is the 30th annual International Cabaret program. The group encourages everyone interested to participate.