Saturday, February 16, 2008

Francophone - Saturday

The 3rd Annual Francophone Film Festival continues today with two FREE films.

Au-delà de la haine
Beyond Hatred (2005)
5:00pm, Wilson 402 Auditorium - FREE
Dir: Olivier Meyrou, 86 min.
Speaker: Carlos Fagundo, French Department
Twenty-nine-year-old François Chenu, openly homosexual, was murdered on the night of September 13, 2002 in a park in Reims, France by three skinheads. Olivier Meyrou’s camera follows François’ parents, sisters and brothers as each member tries to deal with his or her grief. In the course of filming, the family changes. The grief is gradually replaced by a desire to understand the murderers, who come from socially and culturally underprivileged families. The young murderers were exploited by right-wing radical groups. As a filmmaker, Meyrou did not want to make a documentary about homophobia, but a universal film about tolerance and intolerance. He arrived in Reims before the skinheads’ trial in order to meet the attorneys for both parties, but especially François’ family. His tact and sensitivity lead them to accept him. After a few months Meyrou brought his camera along. Soon, all those involved forgot that the camera was there and spoke with great dignity and natural authority, and without the least tendency to pathos.

Le plafond de verre
The Glass Ceiling (2004)
7:30pm, Wilson 402 Auditorium
Dir: Yamina Benguigui, 52 min.
Speaker: Majida Bargach, French Department
“The Glass Ceiling” is an American sociological expression referring to the invisible, impalpable barrier that prevents women from reaching the same level as men in their careers. Using this metaphor, Yamina Benguigui examines the integration of immigrants in the workplace. For her, the comparison between immigrants and women is relevant because they face the same challenges: the issue is not necessarily about finding work, but about being hired for positions of responsibility that correspond to their educational backgrounds. The film provides deeply moving testimonies of qualified students who, because of their obviously foreign last names, were not called back for job interviews. Some chose to fight for jobs for which they are qualified, others gave up and accepted positions with less or no responsibilities. Yamina Benguigui also interviews experts who discuss the reasons behind discrimination, which include France’s colonial past as well as deeply entrenched corporate practices, and the difficulty that individuals of foreign origins face.


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