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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Free Films @ UMFA on Wednesdays (SLC: Oct 13 - Nov 10)

--Virginia Catherall, UMFA Director of Public Programs, virginia.catherall@umfa.utah.edu,


October 5, 2010, Salt Lake City – The connection between art and anthropology will be explored through a free film and gallery tour series at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA), scheduled to take place at 5:30 pm on Wednesday evenings from October 13–November 10, 2010.

A collaborative project between the University of Utah Department of Anthropology and UMFA, the aim of this series is to expose visitors and students to a wide variety of cultures from around the world, and ignite a discussion regarding the relationship between art and anthropology. All films in this series contain adult content.

Beginning at 5:30 pm, attendees will participate in a free 30-minute tour of the UMFA’s collection, focusing on select artworks with a particular theme. Then at 6:00 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to view a film that highlights the same topic from an anthropological viewpoint. Following the program, an anthropologist will discuss the film.

Please see below for a synopsis of each of the five films. For more information, please visit www.umfa.utah.edu/calendar.


HaSodot (The Secrets), Israel, 2007
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm
Director Avi Nesher examines the relationships within an Orthodox Jewish Community when the beautiful and brilliant daughter of a rabbi, Naomi, befriends a rebellious girl named Michelle. Both girls are united through the common desires to escape decisions in life over which they have no control. Against their schoolmistress’s wishes, Naomi and Michelle decide to help an older woman named Anouk expunge her sins, even at the risk of their own futures within the stringent Jewish society.

Rabbit-Proof Fence, Australia, 2002
Wednesday, October 20 at 6:00 pm
Based on a true life story, this powerful film by Australian director Phillip Noyce was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Following the colonization of the Australian continent in the 1900s, the Aborigine population experienced something akin to what occurred in the United States following European settlement: displacement and assimilation. The film follows the plight of three half-caste children, Gracie, Daisy and Molly, who were taken from their families and placed in an institution where daily mistreatment and the erosion of their indigenous culture persuade them to escape and journey more than 1500 miles on foot back to Western Australia. Following what was called the “rabbit proof fence,” which was built to contain the overpopulation of rabbits in the country, they are pursued by a government agent (played by Kenneth Branaugh) who believes that he is acting in the girls’ best interests.

The Story of the Weeping Camel, Mongolia, 2004
Wednesday, October 27 at 6:00 pm
Co-directors Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni won the 2003 European Film Award for Best Documentary, and were recognized in 2004 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as Best New Directors for The Story of the Weeping Camel, a film centering around a nomadic family of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. When a newborn calf is rejected by its mother, two young boys, Dude and Unga, journey to a nearby town to seek a musician to perform a ritual called the “Hoos” ceremony in order to convince the mother camel to accept the colt. Along the way they discover new strengths within themselves and get their first taste of western culture. The filmmakers cast a real family of nomads and shot many of the events of the story as they occurred.

O Caminho das Nuvens (The Middle of the World), Brazil, 2004
Wednesday, November 3 at 6:00 pm
Documentary filmmaker Vincente Amorim chronicles the plight of a Brazilian family as they search for new beginnings in a country under change. Romao and his wife, Rose, decide to head from the northwest provinces of Brazil to Rio de Janeiro with their family of five. The main challenge that lies ahead is a 2,000 mile journey by bicycle. Along the way, they meet repeated hardships from the harsh conditions and interpersonal turmoil, as the parents continually clash with their eldest teenage son, Antonio, who becomes increasingly defiant to his parents as he comes of age.

Moolaade “Magical Protection” Somalia, 2004
Wednesday, November 10 at 6:00 pm
Director Ousmane Sembene won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for this controversial drama that tackles the traditional practice of female genital mutilation. Four girls scheduled for this ritual of purification escape the village elders and seek shelter with a sympathetic woman named Colle, who casts a powerful ‘moolaade’ spell of protection over them. Defying sacred village tradition, she refuses to lift the spell even while dealing with a drama concerning her own daughter who has fallen in love with the future tribe leader.


The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building on the University of Utah campus at 410 Campus Center Drive. General admission is adults $7, seniors and youth $5, children under 6 free, U of U students/staff/faculty free, UMFA Members free. Free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month. Museum hours are Tue – Fri 10 am – 5 pm, Wed 10 am – 8 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm; closed Mondays and Holidays. For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.

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