Monday Night Movies
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
We will show 4 feature films that examine aspects of life in the Americas. Our discussion (with surprise guests) will address the narrative in each film plus the relevant history and politics. Discussion will be led by Stephen Brophy, a writer, movie reviewer, and film instructor; and by Jeff Ravel, a historian.
Contact: MIT Western Hemisphere Project, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsor: Western Hemisphere Project
"Four Days in September" (1998)
In 1964 a military coup ousted the democratic government of Brazil: the generals imposed a right-wing dictatorship. In the ensuing years of terror, hundreds of civilians were killed, and thousands were tortured or disappeared. In September 1969, a small leftist group -- the MR-8 -- decided to challenge the generals. What was their plan? To kidnap the US Ambassador, Charles Elbrick.
Bruno Barreto's film, based on a book by a member of MR-8, was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Film, 1998). It stars Pedro Cardoso, Fernanda Torres, and Alan Arkin. In the words of reviewer Jim Ridley: "[The film] avoids agitprop speech-making and espionage-thriller cliches. And its moral stance, which refuses to condone terrorism in the name of either oppression or democracy, has quiet integrity." When the film premiered in New York, the writer, by then a member of the Green Party and elected to the Brazilian national Congress, was denied an entry visa by the US Embassy.
Mon Jan 6, 07-09:00pm, 2-105
"Sugar Cane Alley" (1983)
The word "Martinique" probably conjures up images of glorious Caribbean vacations. A vacation is decidedly what Ma Tine is not having in this film: she does back-breaking work in the sugar-cane fields so that her grandson can have a real education and a better life. The story is a familiar one to billions of impoverished people around the world, but director Euzhan Palcy's film, set between WWI and WWII, gives us a rare and precious glimpse into the social history of her ancestors and compatriots.
Mon Jan 13, 07-09:00pm, MIT 2-105
"Los Hombres Armados" (1998)
To put it bluntly: Central America has been ravaged by "Men with Guns." They don't believe in humanitarians or neutrality. If you're not with them, you're against them -- or dead. In this film about a professor's search for the medical students he sent out to do good in the world, director John Sayles helps us see what happens in a land ruled by los hombres armados.
Mon Jan 20, 07-09:00pm, 2-105
Based on a true story, "Missing" illustrates US support for fascism abroad. The Chilean military overthrows the elected government in 1973 and begins a reign of terror. When Charlie Horman, an American journalist, vanishes and the US Embassy won't help his family find him, hints of the truth emerge. When director Constantine Costa-Gavras pre-screened this film here at MIT twenty years ago, the room was packed. We won't have him here this time around, but we will be joined by someone who actually knew Charlie Horman and worked with him in Chile ...
Mon Jan 27, 07-09:00pm, 2-105
Latest update: 08-Jan-2003