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Chiaroscuro Series International Film Series kicks off Sunday

Posted on January 08, 2013

Chiaroscuro is a free film series coordinated by educators from local universities and members of the community, however, the audience encompasses the entire city. Organizers aim to promote cultural diversity and awareness through the presentation of international films and round table discussions for the benefit of students and members of the community.

The series of five films, screened at UICA, 2 West Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, begins January 13 and continues on alternate Sundays. Preceding each international film, the series also provides, beginning at 2:30, a short film written and produced by local talent.

This year’s series includes the following international films:

January 13: “Earth” (released and censored in India as “1947: Earth”) is a 1998 film directed by Deepa Mehta and based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Cracking India. Set during the tumultuous partition of India in 1947, “Earth” follows the story of young Lenny, a wealthy Parsi, as she navigates the increasing political and social instability around her.

January 27: “Moolaade”
is a 2004 film by Senegalese writer and director Ousmane Sembene. Set in Burkina Faso, the film follows a group of determined and inspiring young women while they fight for their civil and reproductive rights against the violent tradition of female genital mutilation.

February 10: “The Blue Kite”
is a 1993 drama directed by Tian Zhuangahuang, told from the perspective of a young boy. The film is banned by the Chinese government for its politically contentious treatment of the Anti-Rightist Movement and Cultural Revolution during the 1950s and ‘60s.

February 24: “Die Architeken (The Architects)”
, directed by Peter Kane in 1990 and released by the DEFA East German Production Company, tells the story of a young father defending his creativity and integrity during the oppressive East German regime before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

March 10: “Beirut Hotel” was directed in 2011 by Lebanese filmmaker, Danielle Arbid. Banned from viewing in Lebanon for its politically inflammatory inclusion of the Hariri assassination in the plot, the film tells the dramatic story of Zola, a young and talented Lebanese singer trying to break free from her ex-husband’s control, and Mathieu, a French attorney accused of espionage.

For more information, visit, or contact Zulema Moret, GVSU associate professor of Spanish and coordinator of Latin American Studies, at 616-331-2286, or

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