image from the film Three Summers
Cornell Cinema regularly premieres award-winning international films from the film festival circuit that otherwise wouldn’t screen in Ithaca, and even during the pandemic, this Spring is no exception, with films from Romania, Spain, Brazil, Bhutan and Canada rounding out this short collection.
A family living freely in the marshlands outside Bucharest is forcibly relocated to the city—and urban life—in Acasa, My Home, an intimate documentary which won a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival. Winner of the Found Footage Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, My Mexican Bretzel, by Spanish filmmaker Nuria Gimenez, is an intriguing travelogue comprised of gorgeous home movie footage by a wealthy couple touring the world from the 1940s into the 1960s. Using text from the wife’s diary, the film unfolds as melodrama, as the narration describes a relationship that doesn’t quite match up with the idyllic locales of their frequent vacations.
Brazilian class comedy Three Summers features the ever-impressive Regina Casé (The Second Mother) in the role of a housekeeper for a set of luxury beachside condos who always has her eye out to take advantage of any opportunity that comes her way. When the property owner is arrested as part of a sprawling corruption crackdown, she knows just what to do to keep her income flowing.
Sing Me a Song is an observational documentary that plays like a coming-of-age drama about a young Bhutanese monk whose plans are upended after the introduction of smart phones and the internet to his remote Himalayan village. Tracking the monk’s romance with a bar singer over WeChat, Sing Me a Song “spins a fascinating tale of romantic melancholy played out against the peaceful, meditative backdrop of the Himalayas.” (LA Times)
Finally, Canadian feature Antigone transposes Sophocles’ Greek tragedy to Montreal, where a straight-A student indicts the government that took her brother’s life, sacrificing her own life in the process. Assistant Professor Athena Kirk (Classics) will be moderating a panel discussion on the tragedy and its modernization, date & time TBA.