Film series resumes at Utica College


UTICA — After being on pause last year due to COVID, Film@UC, a long-standing tradition in the community, will welcome vaccinated/masked individuals back on Utica College campus to once again watch interesting and hard-to-find films at no cost.

Filmgoers this semester will enjoy the story of a Tibetan entrepreneur haunted with visions, the true story of how a group of Osaka textile workers became feminist role models and the story of an African immigrant struggling to make a new life for himself who gets sucked into the underworld, plus several more riveting films audience members would have a difficult time finding elsewhere.

Utica College is one of few venues outside of the festival circuit to screen some of the titles scheduled to be shown. To screen “Lunana,” for example, a film that follows a young teacher from Bhutan’s capital city completing his final year of training, Jeff Miller, associate professor and chair of communication arts and director of Film@UC, negotiated directly with the French distributor of the film. Other films such as “Looking for a Woman with Fangs and a Moustache” and “Sabaya” are some of the other exclusive titles that will be screened during the fall lineup. 

The film series enjoys a more than 50-year history, started by a group of students in 1964. It was formalized by former professor Scott MacDonald in 1973, was taken over by Miller in 2000. The films are shown in Macfarlane Auditorium located in DePerno Hall on the UC campus every Thursday at 7 p.m.

The fall 2021 schedule is:

Sept. 2: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019, 110 minutes)

A young teacher from Bhutan’s capital city arrives in a remote northern community to complete his final year of training and finds himself affected by the high altitude, the lack of amenities, and the disarming warmth of the local children.

Sept. 9: Looking for a Lady With Fangs and a Mustache (2021, 114 minutes) 

After visiting ab abandoned temple in the center of Kathmandu, a thirty-something Tibetan entrepreneur who is skeptical of superstitions becomes haunted by visions which foretell his imminent death and, upon the advice of an eccentric monk, lead him to scour the city for a Dakini, a mysterious being who embodies Buddhist teachings on “feminine energy.”

Sept. 16: Undine (2020, 90 minutes)

The modern-day love life of a museum historian in Berlin is complicated by the fact that she is a mythological water nymph who can only remain human while she is in love with a man but is doomed to die if he is ever unfaithful to her. 

Sept. 23: The Witches of the Orient (2021, 100 minutes) 

The true story of how a group of Osaka textile workers became feminist role models, the subject of a wildly popular comic book and a still-influential anime, and Japan’s fiercely competitive volleyball team who triumphed in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics is told using archival footage of the women in training and on the court, animated versions of their championship games, and moving interviews with the women today. 

Sept. 30: Never Gonna Snow Again (2020, 113 minutes)

A handsome and enigmatic Ukrainian masseur arrives in a wealthy gated community in Poland where his alienated and depressed clients come to believe he has extraordinary, perhaps even magical, healing abilities.

Oct. 7: Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020, 183 minutes)

An African immigrant struggling to make a new life for himself in Germany soon realizes how difficult it is to be righteous while being undocumented, and as his life spirals out of control he is eventually sucked into Berlin’s underworld in this timely reinterpretation of Alfred Döblin’s novel about a man who tried to be good “but then ran out of money.” 

Oct. 14: Sabaya (2021 90 minutes) 

With just a mobile phone and a gun, Mahmud, Ziyad and their group risk their lives infiltrating al-Hol, the sprawling and dangerous camp for refugees and internally displaced persons in Syria, in hopes of locating and freeing women and girls of the Yazidi religious minority who are being held as sex slaves by ISIS followers secretly living there in this harrowing documentary. 

Oct. 21: This is Not a Movie: Robert Fisk and the Politics of Truth (2019, 106 minutes) 

This crucial documentary profiles the late journalist Robert Fisk who, for more than forty years, relentlessly risked his life to get firsthand accounts of countries devastated by war. 

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