Global Lens 2009

September 25 to October 7
Global Lens Passports
6 Global Lens admissions: $32 (CFI members: $24)
This touring series of recent feature films from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East has been organized by the Global Film Initiative, a San Francisco-based organization founded in 2002 to promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema and to support the growth of global film communities through its granting, distribution and education activities.

This year's edition consists of ten new films, complemented by a reprise of one of the most acclaimed films from the initial series. As an indication of the program's inherent diversity, consider that half of the ten new films this year are directed by women.

Visit to explore the Global Film Initiative's range of activities.

The Smith Rafael Film Center is the exclusive Bay Area venue for Global Lens 2009. Special Education screenings for students will supplement the public showings.

Special thanks to Susan Weeks Coulter, Board Chair; Santhosh Daniel, Director of Programs; Chris Wiggum, Director of Public Relations and Business Development; and Jeremy Quist, Global Lens Series Manager

GLOBAL LENS PASSPORTS: Good for any six admissions to Global Lens films at the Rafael: $32 (CFI members $24)

Getting Home
(Luo ye gui gen)
Wednesday, September 30, 6:45
Friday, October 2, 8:45
Saturday, October 3, 6:45
Wednesday, October 7, 6:45

This altogether captivating road movie from Chinese director Zhang Yang (Shower) concerns Zhao, a middle-aged construction worker who sets out to fulfill his friend's dying wish- to be buried in China's Three Gorges region. Starting on a bus (where he unsuccessfully attempts to pass off his pal as a drunk), Zhao resorts to ever-more-absurd modes of conveyance, even trying to roll the corpse in a giant tire. His humorous and touching encounters on the long and winding road sketch a vivid, colorful portrait of peasant and provincial life in contemporary China. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (China 2007) 101 minutes.

I Am from Titov Veles
Sunday, September 27, 8:45
Saturday, October 3, 4:30

Writer-director Teona Mitevska's visually dynamic drama (Macedonia's submission for Oscar consideration) takes place in a decaying industrial town and focuses on three sisters, each dreaming of a better life. Sophisticated Sapho struggles to secure a visa for Greece, recovering addict Slavica searches for a rich husband, and waiflike Afrodita, who hasn't spoken since childhood, fantasizes about love and childbirth. Realism and poetry merge in this portrait of women in the post-communist Balkans. In Macedonian with English subtitles. (Macedonia 2008) 102 min

Margarette's Feast
(A Festa de Margarette)
Saturday, September 26, 4:30
Sunday, October 4, 2:15

The "Chairman's Choice" appended to this year's Global Lens is Brazilian filmmaker Renato Falcão's funny and touching homage to silent comedy that was a highlight of the first series in 2003. A poor worker sets out to throw a birthday party for his beloved wife, in a story told in pantomime and music, with adventures reminiscent of both City Lights and Modern Times (but adding a touch of the samba). This charming film also honors Chaplin's penchant for mixing comedy with a social conscience. (Brazil 2002) 80 min.

Sunday, September 27, 6:45
Monday, September 28, 9:00
Saturday, October 3, 2:15
Monday, October 5, 6:45

Director Sandra Kogut's gentle, poetic adaptation of the Brazilian short story Campo Geral tells the story of a poor farming family through the eyes of 10-year-old Thiago. A sensitive and imaginative boy, filled with curiosity about the world around him, he is capable of noticing what he can't yet understand: his parents' unhappy marriage and a possible relationship between his mother and her brother-in-law. With subtlety and beauty, filmmaker Kogut conveys the great-and-small dimensions of a little boy's world. In Portuguese with English subtitles. (Brazil 2007) 86 min.

My Time Will Come
(Cuando me toque a mi)
Wednesday, September 30, 9:00
Saturday, October 3, 9:00
In Quito, the capital of Ecuador, a predawn murder sets in motion a series of interlocking tragedies that eventually find their way to the examining room of the city morgue's brooding, burnt-out Dr. Arturo Fernandez. Director Victor Arregui's cleverly serpentine tale is a dark but sympathetic portrait of one man's solitude and his awakening desire to discover his connection to the living as well as the dead. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Ecuador 2008) 90 min.

The Photograph
Monday, September 28, 6:45
Friday, October 2, 4:30
Sunday, October 4, 8:45

Sita is an Indonesian singer and prostitute, sending her hard-earned money to a young daughter and ailing grandmother in a distant village. Johan is an aging Chinese photographer haunted by his past and in need of an apprentice for his business. Escaping her pimp, Sita becomes Johan's housekeeper and is gradually drawn to his craft. Maintaining a feminine perspective, writer-director Nan Achnas also brings an eye that provides, in the words of the Variety reviewer, "a visually luxuriant film experience." In Indonesian with English subtitles. (Indonesia 2007) 98 min.

Possible Lives
(Las vidas posibles)
Saturday, September 26, 2:15
Tuesday, October 6, 8:45

After her geologist husband mysteriously disappears on a field trip to remote Patagonia, beautiful artist Clara retraces his path, checking into the hotel he had never reached. While searching she makes a startling discovery: a local resident with an uncanny resemblance to her spouse, but with another name and wife. Filming in the southern reaches of Argentina, director Sandra Gugliotta infuses the majestic vistas with sensuality and mystery. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Argentina 2007) 80 min.

Sleepwalking Land
(Terra sonâmbula)
Friday, September 25, 8:45
Tuesday, September 29, 8:45
Thursday, October 1, 6:45
Monday, October 5, 8:45

Portuguese writer-director Teresa Prata crafts a poignant and lyrical film from Mia Couto's acclaimed African novel, a tale of romance and magical realism amid the devastation of Mozambique's civil war. Muidinga, a plucky young orphan who dreams of finding his long-absent mother, wanders the countryside with wise old Tuahir his only protector. In the ashes of a massacre they find a dead man's diary, and Muidinga reads aloud from it, beginning a story-within-the-story about a young couple's story of love and loss. In Portuguese with English subtitles. (Mozambique 2007) 97 min.

Song from the Southern Seas
Friday, September 25, 6:45
Friday, October 2, 6:45
Sunday, October 4, 4:30
Tuesday, October 6, 6:45
Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, are neighbors in a beautiful and semi-desolate region of the Great Steppe. When the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of swarthy complexion, the husband suspects the worst about his wife, setting off a 15-year rift between the couples that can be healed only by twists of family and fate. Filmmaker Marat Sarulu evokes qualities of history and myth, creating an ultimately tender tale graced with Kazakh folk music and stunning natural landscapes. In Russian with English subtitles. (Kazakhstan/Russia 2008) 80 min.

Those Three
(An seh)
Tuesday, September 29, 6:45
Sunday, October 4, 6:45

Just one day before completing their military training, three conscripts desert their companions and escape into the frozen wilderness of Northern Iran. Joining up with a pregnant woman who's been robbed and abandoned, they begin to lose their bearings, both physical and psychological, in the forbidding mountainous snowscape. Writer-director Naghi Nemati forges an atmospheric tale of connection and sacrifice in a chilling climate. In Farsi and Turkish with English subtitles. (Iran 2007) 80 min.

What a Wonderful World
Friday, September 25, 4:30
Thursday, October 1, 9:00
Wednesday, October 7, 9:00

In this playful black comedy set in contemporary Casablanca, Moroccan writer-director Faouzi Bensaïdi also stars as Kamel, a stone-faced contract killer who receives his hit orders via the Internet. His courtship of Kenza, a tough traffic cop, is hampered by their disparate lines of work and by a computer hacker on his trail. Stylishly choreographed scenes and strikingly colorful images reflect the desires of two lonely, deadpan people. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. (Morocco 2006) 94 min.


Friday, September 25
4:30 What a Wonderful World
6:45 Song from the Southern Seas
8:45 Sleepwalking Land

Saturday, September 26
2:15 Possible Lives
4:30 Margarette's Feast

Sunday, September 27
6:45 Mutum
8:45 I Am from Titov Veles

Monday, September 28
6:45 The Photograph
9:00 Mutum

Tuesday, September 29
6:45 Those Three
8:45 Sleepwalking Land

Wednesday, September 30
6:45 Getting Home
9:00 My Time Will Come

Thursday, October 1
6:45 Sleepwalking Land
9:00 What a Wonderful World

Friday, October 2
4:30 The Photograph
6:45 Song from the Southern Seas
8:45 Getting Home

Saturday, October 3
2:15 Mutum
4:30 I Am from Titov Veles
6:45 Getting Home
9:00 My Time Will Come

Sunday, October 4
2:15 Margarette's Feast
4:30 Song from the Southern Seas
6:45 Those Three
8:45 The Photograph

Monday, October 5
6:45 Mutum
8:45 Sleepwalking Land

Tuesday, October 6
6:45 Song from the Southern Seas
8:45 Possible Lives

Wednesday, October 6:45 Getting Home
9:00 What a Wonderful World

Visit this film's Official Website
Playing at the Rafael Film Center
Sep 25 2009 - Oct 7 2009
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael CA 94901
T 415 454 1222 E