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International Film Festival Offers Powerful Lineup

Published: March 27, 2008
The University of Tampa’s International Film Festival will take place March 31 to April 3, offering a powerful lineup of films representing three different regions of the world.

The second annual event, coordinated by UT’s International Programs Office, will include screenings of three films in the Vaughn Center’s Reeves Theater. The films are selected from a list of 15 that are a part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.

“Film is a universal language and students can pick up a lot from these stories and maybe influence public policy and opinion,” said Brooke Pawlak, coordinator of International Programs. “It’s another way for us to add an international element to the UT experience. We hope that it will stimulate discussion among the UT student body.”

“White Light / Black Rain” features interviews with 14 survivors of the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some of whom have never spoken publicly before, as well as four Americans intimately involved in the bombings. The film will be screened on Monday, March 31, at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, April 2, at 8 p.m.

Sundance Film Festival winner, “Enemies of Happiness” is about Malalai Joya, who became one of Afghanistan’s most famous and infamous women in 2003 when she challenged the power of warlords in the country’s new government. Two years later, the 28-year-old ran in her country’s first democratic parliamentary election in more than 30 years. A survivor of repeated assassination attempts, she campaigned surrounded by armed guards. The film will be shown Wednesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. and Thursday, April 3, at 8 p.m.

 “A Lesson of Belarusian” follows the story of Franek Viacorka, who studies at an elite school established by his father to promote the Belarusian language. The school has been banned and operating underground since 2003, a victim of anti-democratic rule. Franek and his classmates express their critical attitude to the government by issuing an underground newspaper, recording music with activist lyrics, organizing an opposition concert and participating in a mass demonstration in Minsk’s main square. The film will be screened Monday, March 31, at 8 p.m. and Thursday, April 3, at 6 p.m.