For Your Consideration

A Selection of Oscar Submissions from Around the World
Thursday, January 28 - Tuesday, February 2
The Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film became a competitive category in 1956, and subsequently the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited dozens of countries annually to submit what each considers its best film for consideration in that category. This year, 65 films have been accepted for competition, and for the seventh consecutive year, the Smith Rafael Film Center presents a choice sampling of these inspired films.

This is a rare opportunity to view some of the most distinguished works in international cinema, many of which are not yet slated for American distribution. Series programmed by Karen Davis and Janis Plotkin.

For Your Consideration Passports:
Good for any six admissions in this series: $32 (CFI members $24)

(Available at the Rafael box office only.)


ABOUT ELLY (DARBAREYE ELLY)
IRAN
Tuesday, February 2, 6:30

A tightly-woven web of secrets and lies permeating the lives of a group of college friends slowly unravels as their holiday at the Caspian Sea slides into something unexpected. Director Asghar Farhadi explores the lives of the often-overlooked Iranian middle class in this sophisticated and intriguing tale. Featuring luminous newcomer Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies), this powerful drama won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca. In Farsi with English subtitles. 116 min.

AFGHAN STAR
UNITED KINGDOM
Friday, January 29, 4:30 & Tuesday, February 2, 9:00

Simon Cowell's got nothing on the contestants competing for top billing on Afghanistan's wildly popular reality show, Afghan Star. Director Havana Marking's documentary follows four young male and female finalists as they risk everything to win. Winner of the Sundance Audience and Best Director Awards, Afghan Star reminds us that one nation's escapist entertainment may be downright revolutionary in another part of the world. In Pashtu and Dari with English Subtitles. 87 min.

ALIVE! (GJALLË)
ALBANIA
Thursday, January 28, 9:00

Koli, a young college student, returns to the mountain village of his youth to attend his father's funeral. Away from the urban environment, he begins to lose himself in a world of ancient ritual, forcibly thrust into the vortex of a familial blood-feud whose outcome he cannot begin to imagine. Director Artan Minarolli exposes the tormented soul of a still-feudal land that modernity has left behind. In Albanian with English subtitles. 90 min.

BACKYARD (EL TRASPATIO)
MEXICO
Sunday, January 31, 7:00

Director Carlos Carrera (The Crime of Father Amaro) crafts a riveting and relevant thriller with political overtones addressing the recurrent and unsolved murders of Latina women along the Mexican border town of Ciudad Ju' rez. Featuring a female lead detective uncovering layers of endemic political corruption, and actor Jimmy Smits as a wealthy businessman with something to hide, Backyard is one you won't want to miss. In Spanish with English subtitles. 122 min.

CHAMELEON (KAMÉLEON)
HUNGARY
Monday, February 1, 6:30

Gábor, a young janitor and after-hours con man, pinpoints his lonely female victims by analyzing their trash before he " cleans house" . But when he gets a job tidying a psychologist's office and masquerades as its resident medic, the tables begin to turn especially when he encounters an injured young dancer whose sweet sincerity cracks the ice of his fragile façade. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Director: Krisztina Goda. 103 min.

DAWSON, ISLA 10
CHILE
Sunday, January 31, 4:30

In the violent wake of 1973's military coup, progressive politician Sergio Bitar was among the throngs of public servants and Allende supporters forced into exile and sentenced to hard labor on Dawson Island, an isolated concentration camp. Directed by renown filmmaker Miguel Littín and based upon Bitar's gripping account of imprisonment, Dawson, Isla 10 exposes long-denied truths about the real " cost of living" under General Pinochet. In Spanish with English subtitles. 115 min.

INVOLUNTARY (DE OFRIVILLIGA)
SWEDEN
Saturday, January 30, 8:45

With thematic echoes of The Celebration, Kieslowski's Decalogue, and an offbeat visual style all his own, director Ruben Östlund's darkly comedic film introduces a series of intriguing and unnerving interpersonal vignettes occurring over the course of one summer's night. Underage teenage drinking, hyper-masculine homoeroticism, and public transportation gone awry set the stage for a series of lessons to learn, and lines not to cross. In Swedish with English subtitles. 98 min.

LETTERS TO FATHER JACOB (POSTIA PAPPI JAAKOBILLE)
FINLAND
Saturday, January 30, 4:30

Released early from a life sentence, hard-bitten killer Leila winds up at the ramshackle parsonage of Father Jacob. The elderly cleric needs a secretary to answer the letters of those in need. And although Leila cares little for the blind pastor or his altruistic preoccupation, she discovers that Father Jacob holds the key to her redemption. Winner, Golden Pyramid for Best Film, Cairo. In Finnish with English subtitles. Director: Klaus Härö. 74 min.

MOTHER (MADEO)
KOREA
Thursday, January 28, 6:30

White-hot director Bong Joon-Ho (The Host) presents a disturbingly refreshing take on the complex world of maternal love in his triumphant new film. When a sexually precocious girl is found murdered, a quack herbalist (Kim Hye-Ja) defies the lazy cops and a corrupt lawyer to solve the crime herself, and exonerate her imprisoned son (Won Bin). Stylishly hip, darkly comic and strangely moving. In Korean with English subtitles. 128 min.

REYKJAVÍK-ROTTERDAM
ICELAND
Monday, February 1, 8:45

For Kristofer, life is a series of disappointments. After serving time for smuggling booze, he struggles to support his family until an opportunity arises for one last big " job" on a freighter running from Reykjavik to Rotterdam. Blindly embracing the opportunity, he tumbles headlong into a maelstorm of crime and consequences. Director Oscar Jónasson's powerful thriller hones in on a down-and-outer at the very end of his rope. In Icelandic with English subtitles. 88 min.

SAMSON AND DELILAH
AUSTRALIA
Friday, January 29, 8:30 & Sunday, January 31, 9:15

Samson, fifteen, and his sixteen year old neighbor Delilah live in an isolated Aboriginal community. They fall in love, but tragedy strikes when Samson is falsely accused of a capital crime. Shunned by the community, they escape to the city but life there is even more cruel than the shame they face at home. First-time director Warwick Thornton's vibrant and lyrical drama won this year's Camera d'Or at Cannes. In Walpiri with English subtitles. 101 min.

TERRIBLY HAPPY (FRYGTELIG LYKKELIG)
DENMARK
Saturday, January 30, 6:30

When a tightly-wound cop is transferred to the boondocks, he finds a place where clannish locals rely on their own unique brand of frontier justice, and the village hides as many secrets as the nearby bog. In this blackly comic thriller filled with surprising twists, director Henrik Ruben Genz bends genres as expertly as the Coen brothers or David Lynch. Winner of the Crystal Globe for Best Film, Karlovy Vary. In Danish with English subtitles. 105 min.

WHITE WEDDING
SOUTH AFRICA (MARIAGE BLANC)
Friday, January 29, 6:30

Elvis and Ayanda are getting married. Elvis must get from Johannesburg to Cape Town for the event. Ayanda must fend off her amorous ex, and her mother's efforts to turn a small ceremony into a traditional feast. A missed bus, a jealous girlfriend and a vandalized car pave the way for director Jann Turner's delightful road trip through the hills and valleys of love, friendship and post-apartheid culture. Winner of the MVFF Audience Award. In Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu with English subtitles. 93 min.

WINTER IN WARTIME
NETHERLANDS (OORLOGSWINTER)
Saturday, January 30, 2:00

In a Nazi-occupied village, 13-year-old Michiel begs his father the mayor to allow him to join the Resistance. His wish is granted when a neighbor hands him an envelope, and he witnesses the brutal consequences of its delivery. Fleeing, he stumbles into a foxhole with a wounded English pilot and knows what he must do. Filmmaker Martin Koolhoven directed this award-winning coming-of-age film. In Dutch and German with English subtitles. 103 min.

Special Thanks: Gunnar Almer, Arriane Ayers, Alexandra Cantin, Benjamin Crossley-Marra, Marina Del Canto, Maureen Dixon, Jenni Domingo, Elizabeth Duran, Zoë Elton, Maureen Galliani, Richard Guardian, Jonathan Howell, Erna Hurkmans, Zsuzsa Kalomista, Marjaana Katajisto, Jan Klingelhofer, Lillias Kovacs, Andrea Krauss, John Lambert, Robbie Little, Tendeka Matatu, Miguel Ioan Littin Menz, Anita Monga, Leonard Morpurgo, Piers Nightingale, Palm Springs Film Festival, Richard Peterson, Rajal Pitroda, Holly Roach, Kath Shelper, Sonja Strohmaier, Jann Turner, Christof Wehmeier, Will Weissman. Extra Special Thanks: Hayley Allison Thursday, January 28
6:30 MOTHER
9:00 ALIVE!

Friday, January 29
4:30 AFGHAN STAR
6:30 WHITE WEDDING
8:30 SAMSON AND DELILAH

Saturday, January 30
2:00 WINTER IN WARTIME
4:30 LETTERS TO FATHER JACOB
6:30 TERRIBLY HAPPY
8:45 INVOLUNTARY

Sunday, January 31
4:30 DAWSON, ISLA 10
7:00 BACKYARD
9:15 SAMSON AND DELILAH

Monday, February 1
6:30 CHAMELEON
8:45 REKJAVIK-ROTTERDAM

Tuesday, February 2
6:30 ABOUT ELLY
9:00 AFGHAN STAR

Playing at the Rafael Film Center
Jan 28 2010 - Feb 2 2010
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael CA 94901
T 415 454 1222 E rafaeltheater@cafilm.org