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Weekly Foreign-Language Award-Winning Films at UVI

Feb. 20, 2005 – The free foreign films offered on the University of the Virgin Islands' St. Thomas campus as part of the UVI humanities division's modern languages area continues showing each Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Chase Auditorium (B-110). It's in celebration of "2005: The Year of Languages." Here's the schedule and information about each of the outstanding, award-winning films being screened.
Feb. 23 – Lagaan
2001. Indian. 225 minutes. Suitable for children. Lagaan (a word meaning "tax") was nominated in 2001 year for an Oscar award for the best foreign-language category film, only the third Indian film to be nominated. Its release in India caused a major cinematic stir. English subtitles.
The story: It's 1893 in Queen Victoria's India, in a small farming village, suffering from drought. On the outskirts of the village stands a British cantonment, commanded by Captain Russell — an arrogant and capricious man who wields the power of life and death over the villages under his jurisdiction.
Lagaan is a story of a battle without bloodshed, fought by a group of unlikely heroes led by Bhuvan, an enigmatic young farmer with courage born of conviction and a dream in his heart. Helped by Elizabeth, an English rose who came to Indian and lost her heart, and Bhuvan's pillar of strength, Gauri, the young and perky village girl who dreams only of a home with the man she loves. The human spirit triumphs.
March 2 – Antonia's Line
1995. Dutch. 93 minutes. Not suitable for children. Comedy/family drama. Won Most Popular at Toronto Film Festival. Also Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film.
The story: Following World War II, a woman returns to the Netherlands countryside to raise her young daughter, ultimately founding a sort of open-use commune wherein the residents defy convention and live life as they please. Opening shortly after the war's end, the story continues for more than 40 years and moves through the lives of four generations of women, from Antonia to her great-
March 9 – Like Water for Chocolate
1993. Mexican. 113 minutes. Not for children. A romantic drama. Directed by Alfonso Arau; screenplay by Laura Esquivel from her novel. 1992 Golden Globe, 1993 British Academy Awards, others.
The story: Here's life as it used to be in Mexico. It's a love story between Pedro and Tita, and why they couldn't get married because Tita's aging mother wanted her oldest daughter to get married first, and have Tita to stay and take care of her. Pedro ends up marrying Tita's sister, but lets Tita know he only married her sister to be closer to her. When Tita is forced to make the wedding cake, the guests at the wedding are overcome with sadness… Tita has discovered she can do strange things with her cooking.
March 16 – Run Lola Run
1998. Germany. 81 min. Rated R for some violence and language. Thriller/chase movie. Nominated Best Foreign Language Film 1999 English Academy Awards; winner, Best Foreign Film, 1999 Independent Spirit Award.
The story: Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), a small time courier for big time gangster, is working a standard pick-up/drop-off, and everything is going just fine. When the job is done, all he has to do is wait for his girlfriend, the orange-haired punk girl Lola (Franka Potente), to pick him up. But today is unlike any other day. Due to an incident while she was buying a pack of cigarettes, Lola is late, and Lola is never late. One stroke of bad luck leads to another, and Lola ends up tearing through the city, in a whirl of bums, nuns, babies and guns. Down sidewalks, into offices, through traffic and back again. As her feet slap the pavement and the seconds tick down, the tiniest choices become life altering (or ending) decisions, and the fine line between fate and fortune begins to blur.
March 23 – Dirty Pretty Things
2002. British. 94 min. R rated. Thriller. Nominated for best original screenplay, Academy Awards and runner-up winner, Los Angeles Film Culture Association. Stephen Frears directs.
The story: Okwe is a Nigerian who is trying to make a new life for himself in London where he works days as a taxi driver and nights as a hotel desk receptionist. When he discovers a human heart in a hotel room bathroom, he cannot go to the police because he is an illegal alien with a mysterious past that he refuses to talk about. Suddenly he is thrust into the middle of a dangerous situation that threatens to have tragic results for him and those around him. French ingenue Audrey Tautou costars as a Turkish chambermaid who's working illegally. Okwe enlists her help in solving the mystery. Benedict Wong supports as Guo Yi, a morgue employee who shares wise and humorous sayings with Okwe, and Sergi Lopez is the amorally opportunistic hotel manager. Slowly gruesome secrets are revealed.

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