Film Series to Focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

Penn State Greater Allegheny kicks off its Teaching International Film Series on Tuesday, September 2. Films for the series were chosen by Dr. Clifford Manlove, Associate Professor of English, who teaches classes on film.

The first film, The Harder They Come, is a 1973 Jamaican classic, one of the most beloved and longest-running of all international cult favorites. The film expresses the live-wire Jamaican spirit--an impoverished Africa tuned to American radio. Produced and directed by Perry Henzel, the film incorporates "outlaw justice" very common to many American westerns. Released 12 years after Jamaica achieved independence, The Harder They Come also reflects the disenchantment that followed the post independence exodus from the country's small hamlets to the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica's largest city, where a grinding urban poverty awaited.  The story is set to seductive reggae rhythms. The story follows its main character, Ivan, who dreams of being a singer from his arrival in Kingston, through continuing disasters until a final climax, where Ivan breaks from his passive behavior and begins to wreak his revenge.

The campus will host a double-feature on Tuesday, October 7. The first film with be the 1989 Brazilian work of Jorge Furtado, Isle of Flowers, which tracks the path of a tomato from garden to dump with the help of a monotone voiceover and a collection of bizarre images. A humorous film, the message it delivers on how humans treat each other is anything but humorous. The film was awarded the Margarida de Prata (Silver Daisy) , calling it "the best Brazilian film of the year" in 1990. In 1995, Isle of Flowers was chosen by the European critics as one of the 100 most important short films of the century.

The Mexican film, Like Water for Chocolate, filmed in 1993 and directed by Alfonso Arau, tells the story of a young woman who learns to suppress her passions under the eye of a stern mother, but channels them into her cooking.   The steady stream of cuisine is likely to make moviegoers hungry. The film incorporates magic realism with a good story line.

Films are also planned for November and December showings as well as the spring, 2009 semester. All films will be shown in the Ostermayer room of the Student Community Center at 6:00 p .m. Showings are open to students and faculty in participating classes.

Film Series Dates:

Tuesday, September 2
The Harder They Come - Jamaica

Tuesday, October 7
Isle of Flowers - Brazil
Like Water for Chocolate - Mexico

Thursday, November 8
XXY - Argentina

Tuesday, December 2
Nine Queens - Argentina

For all showings:
Time:   6:00 p.m.
Place:  Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center