Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Film: Vodka Lemon (2003), 101 min

Wed, September 28, 2011 | PAI 4.42

7:00 PM

Film: Vodka Lemon (2003), 101 min

Film: Vodka Lemon (2003), 101 min

September 28, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall, corner of 24th and University Ave.

Winner of Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, Vodka Lemon is a bittersweet concoction with a kick. In the snowy badlands of post-Soviet Armenia, village life is nearing subsistence level. As one character says, the only thing the Russians have left for them is the one thing they didn’t have before – their freedom.

Forced to sell off possessions while awaiting money from his son, Hamo, a former Red Army officer, can only count on one thing: daily trips to the cemetery to commune with his late wife. There, Nina, a beautiful widow, tends her husband’s grave. On the bus back to the village, a tender romance blossoms.

The miracle of Vodka Lemon, the third feature by exiled Iraqi Kurd director Hiner Saleem, is that this portrait of an abandoned community is so magically upbeat. With its stunning, blinding-white vistas, its lovely Armenian score, and its Iosseliani-esque whimsy, the film celebrates its quirky characters and, at its heart, s a Chagall-like vision of love among the ruins

All movies are free and have English subtitles!

Supported by the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the Center for European Studies


October 5, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall

Film: Kontroll (2003), 106 min

A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, his fellow inspectors, a rival ticket inspection team, and a tale about love…

The Budapest subway system, the world’s second oldest, is a dark, labyrinthine netherworld as vast and various as the city above it. Of the hordes of people who can be found there, most are passing through on their ways to better, brighter places, where sunlight shines and fresh breezes blow. But, there are those who spend most of their lives underground – the beleaguered ticket inspectors or “controllers,” who are assigned in teams to various sections of the systems, and whose thankless job it is to ensure that no passengers ride without paying. Deployed by those in control – unseen authority figures who monitor the trains and travelers on massive grids and screens – these inspector teams are a much-despised lot. Who, on his way to work or to an appointment, wants to be stopped and asked for a receipt? And who, having sneaked though a turnstile, wants to be apprehended by pretty officers who represent power at its most powerless? 


October 12, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall

Film: Khadak (2006), 101 min 

Set in the frozen steppes of Mongolia, a young nomad is confronted with his destiny after animals fall victim to a plague that threatens to eradicate nomadism.

“Khadak is a magical-realist fable that tells the epic story of Bagi, a young nomad shepherd who confronts his destiny to become a shaman. After a plague strikes their herd, Bagi and his family are relocated to a mining town. There, he saves the life of Zolzaya, a beautiful performer/coal thief. When Bagi discovers the plague was a government lie fabricated to eradicate nomadic life, he and Zolzaya incite a revolution. Bagi’s shaman powers help rally his people, but will they ever be able to return to their former lives?”


October 19, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall

Film: Fuse/Gori Vatra (2003), 105 min 

In this bitingly funny story set in Bosnia two years after the civil war, a small town is turned upside down as it prepares for a visit by President Bill Clinton. Seizing the opportunity, the entire community falls all over themselves to create a squeaky clean image before his arrival. But a ruthless marketer and an unhinged former police chief threaten to ruin things for everyone.


October 26, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall 

Film: Brother/Brat (1997), 96 min

From Russian acclaimed director and writer Aleksey Balabanov comes a story of revelation and internal conflict. Danila goes Petersburg to start a new life but is instead pulled into a criminal life when his brother asks him to kill someone. Having killed, he fears killing is easier than living for him…


November 2, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall  

Film: The Legend of Rita/Die Stille nach dem Schuß (2000), 101 min

A striking German political thriller set in the later years of the Cold War.

Rita Vogt is a radical West German terrorist who abandons the revolution and settles in East Germany with a new identity provided by the East German secret service. She lives in constant fear of having her cover blown, which unavoidably happens after the German re-unification.


November 9, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall

Film: Peter/Piter (2006), 84 min

Masha, a dj for a popular Petersburg radio, is preparing for her marriage while Maksim, a young architect, is offered a job in Germany. Both, though, are unsure whether these are the right paths for them. Masha worries she is not truly in love, and Maksim fears living in Germany will destroy his chances of fulfilling his dream of building a monumental building in Petersburg. Who knows what their lives would have been had Masha not lost her cell phone, and Maksim been the one to find it…


November 16, 2011 • 7:00 PM • PAI 4.42 Painter Hall

Film: Solaris/Solyaris (1972), 167 min

From the acclaimed Russian director Andrey Tarkovskiy comes this classic space-age movie.

The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for seven years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence.


All movies are free and have English subtitles!

Supported by the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the Center for European Studies


Sponsored by: Center for Russian, East European, Eurasian Studies and Center for European Studies

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