Each year the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences invites countries to submit a single film for consideration in the competitive category of Best International Film.  This year 92 films have been accepted for competition and for the 16thconsecutive year, the Smith Rafael Film Center offers a sampling. This is a rare opportunity to view some of the most distinguished and award-winning works in international cinema.

Series curated by Joāo Federici and Karen Davis. Film screening dates and times to be announced Dec. 17th.

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HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA

AFGHANISTAN

Friday, January 4  •  5:30

Filmed in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, during several bomb attacks, this powerful movie follows three different women, facing their destiny alone. This unforgettable portrait was disqualified by the Academy after submission, however, we believe this film deserves your consideration. Director Sahraa Karimi (Afghanistan 2019) 86 min.

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PAPICHA

ALGERIA

Friday, January 4   •   7:30

Algiers, 1997. Young Nedjma refuses to allow the oppressive Algerian Civil War to prevent her from pursuing her passion for life and fashion design. Prohibited from release in Algeria, this significant film has received rave reviews from many international festivals. Director Mounia Meddour (Algeria 2019) 105 min.

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THE INVISIBLE LIFE

BRAZIL

Saturday, January 5  •  3:00

Considered a front runner for Oscar ® gold, The Invisible Life follows two devoted sisters raised in 1950s Rio de Janeiro who are forced to live apart, pursuing their dreams while never giving up hope of finding each other. Director Karim Aïnouz (Brazil 2019) 139 min.

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ANTIGONE

CANADA

Saturday, January 5  •  5:00

A riveting reinvention of Sophocles’ tragedy, in which teenage Antigone fights for justice – for her family, her peers, and for the rights of immigrants in 21st-century Montréal. Winner, Best Canadian Feature, Toronto International Film Festival. Director Sophie Deraspe (Canada 2019) 109 min.

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MONOS

COLOMBIA

Saturday, January 5  •  7:15

This Sundance Special Jury Awards 2019 winner is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. A vivid, cautionary tale, this unsettling look at human nature in the wild features an astonishing ensemble cast of brilliant rising stars. Director Alejandro Landes (Colombia 2019) 102 min.

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THE PAINTED BIRD

CZECH REPUBLIC

Sunday, January 6  •  2:00

Based on Jerzy Kosiński’s seminal novel, this beautifully filmed black and white 35mm saga follows a young Jewish boy struggling to survive as he traverses Eastern Europe during the brutal years of WWII. Venice’s UNICEF award-winner features a stunning performance from nine-year-old Petr Kotlar alongside veteran actors Harvey Keitel, Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, and Julian Sands. Director Václav Marhoul (Czech Republic 2019) 169 min.
Warning: This film contains scenes of graphic violence.

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THOSE WHO REMAINED

HUNGARY

Sunday, January 6  •  8:00

A 16-year-old Holocaust survivor reaches out to a grief-stricken doctor in this lyrical testament to the power of healing love in the midst of conflict, loss, and trauma. Telluride Film Festival selection. Director Barnabás Tóth (Hungary 2019) 83 min.

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A WHITE WHITE DAY

ICELAND

Monday, January 7  •  5:30

A story of grief, revenge, and unconditional love in a remote Icelandic town, classic thriller tropes converge with stunning cinematography and a distinctly Nordic sensibility. Winner, Cannes Critic Week Award for Best Actor. Director Hlynur Pálmason (Iceland 2019) 109 min.

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THE TRAITOR

ITALY

Monday, January 7  •  8:00

The stranger-than-fiction tale of Tommaso Buscetta, a Sicilian crime boss who became the 20th century’s most famous state’s witness against the Mafia. Bellocchio’s visceral epic is a tale for the ages. Winner, Italian Golden Globes: Best Actor, Best Director. Director Marco Bellocchio (Italy 2020) 135 min.

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ADAM

MOROCCO

Tuesday, January 8  •  5:30

Set in Casablanca, Adam celebrates sisterhood and motherhood through the story of two women, a pregnant homeless woman and an aloof grieving widow, whose chance meeting will change both their lives. Touzani’s first feature premiered at Cannes and triumphed in prestigious festivals around the world. Director Maryam Touzani (Morocco 2019) 98 min.

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OUT STEALING HORSES

NORWAY

Tuesday, January 8  •  7:45

A powerful post-WWII saga of shared and split loyalties between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, neighbors and nations. Based on Per Petterson’s best-selling novel, and starring Stellan Skarsgård. Winner, Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution, Berlin. Director Hans Petter Moland (Norway 2019) 122 min.

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BEANPOLE

RUSSIA

Wednesday, January 9  •  5:30

This ferocious and brilliant film by 27-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov had audiences buzzing at Cannes and emerged as a must-see on the festival circuit. Set in 1945 post-war Leningrad, the film depicts two young women attempting to restore purpose to their lives after fighting on the frontlines. Director Kantemir Balagov (Russia 2020) 130 min.

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PAIN AND GLORY

SPAIN

Thursday, January 10  •  5:30

In a career-defining performance, Antonio Banderas plays a once-beloved filmmaker (a proxy for Almodóvar himself) looking back reflectively upon his life. Winner, Best Actor, Cannes; World Cinema Audience Award, MVFF42. Director Pedro Almodóvar (Spain 2019) 112 min.

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AND THEN WE DANCED

SWEDEN

Thursday, January 10  •  7:45

Set within the competitive world of Georgian dance, Levin Akin’s film is a courageous coming-out and coming-of-age tale, and a vibrant celebration of life. Winner, Grand Prix and Best Acting, Odessa International Film Festival. Director Levan Akin (Sweden 2019) 113 min.

 

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THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

UNITED KINGDOM

Thursday, January 10  •  7:45

The transformative journey of a teenaged Malawian boy who is determined to save his father (BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave), family, and community from drought and starvation. Winner Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, Sundance. Director Chiwetel Ejiofor (UK 2019) 113 min.

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