Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Journeys," an International Film and Lecture Series, will be held on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Room 128 of Hardway Hall, starting March 20, with a showing of the 2004 French film, "Le Grand Voyage."

The series, which is free and open to the public, runs through May 8. For more information about the series, contact Dr. Angela Schwer by e-mail at mschwer@fairmontstate.edu or by phone at (304) 367-4723.

In "Le Grand Voyage," the stern father of a Muslim family in France has his teenage son drive him to Mecca for the religious pilgrimage known as the hajj. The son, who is irreligious and has a non-Muslim girlfriend, doesn't relate to his traditional father, nor does the dad relate to the son. This creates the culture clash and generational clash that is the spine of their entire trip to Saudi Arabia.

A lineup of the other films in the series follows:

MARCH 27: "Hero," China, 2002. With supernatural skill and no fear, a nameless soldier embarks on a mission of revenge against the fearsome army that massacred his people. Now, to achieve the justice he seeks, he must take on the empire's most ruthless assassins and reach the enemy he has sworn to defeat.

APRIL 3: "Turtles Can Fly," Iran/Iraq, 2004. Set in 2003, just prior to the U.S. invasion, the film shows the refugees' obsession with acquiring a satellite dish to keep abreast of America's plans. Thirteen-year-old Satellite, the accepted leader of the kids in the camp, finally acquires the equipment they need by trading in the land mines the children have cleared from the area. On meeting Henkov, a boy from a neighboring village and a landmine victim himself, Satellite discovers Henkov's prophetic powers, which turn out to be more reliable than 21st century technology.

APRIL 10: "Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within" (Anime), Japan, 2001. A female scientist makes a last stand on Earth with the help of a ragtag team of soldiers against an invasion of alien phantoms.

APRIL 17: "Wilby Wonderful," Canada, 2004. The comedy focuses on the residents of a tiny island town during the course of a strange 24 hours.

APRIL 24: "Ali Zaoua," Morocco, 2000. Ali, Kwita, Omar and Boubker are street urchins living in the hard streets of Casablanca. In order to survive they create a bond of friendship and family among them. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed, his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, who would have the boy buried in a potter's field. Instead, they decide to give him a worthy burial on the private island of which he so often dreamed. "Ali Zaoua" captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances.

MAY 1: "He Died with a Felafel in His Hand," Australia, 2003. Danny has just moved into his 47th shared house, this time in Brisbane, and the flatmates have not improved. One lives in a closet, another in a tent in the living room and, before Danny takes off for shared house No. 48 in Melbourne, he will have endured satanic worshippers, skinheads and the perennially ubiquitous cane toad. No wonder he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

MAY 8: "Ginger and Cinnamon," Italy, 2003. While vacationing on the Greek "Isle of Love," the repressed 30-year-old Stefania reluctantly plays chaperone to her precocious 15-year-old niece, Meggy. Unbeknownst to Stefania, Meggy plans to lose her virginity before the summer is over. Amidst a m'lange of sun rash, broken diets, nervous girls, sleeping bags, orgasms, 80s music and a little ginger and cinnamon, the two women discover themselves and their sexuality.