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Premieres


January 19 (Wednesday) 7 pm
January 20 (Thursday) 7 pm
January 23 (Sunday) 8 pm
January 24 (Monday) 7 pm

with Director Haskell Wexler in Person with members of the Bus Riders Union (all seats $10)

Bus Rider's Union

Directed by Haskell Wexler and Johanna Demetrakas
US 1999, video, color, 87 min.
With Della Bonner, Kikanza Ramsey, Eric Mann

A 1998 editorial in Time magazine made the claim that the city of Los Angeles "might just have the most inept public-transport system on the planet earth. . . . The neglected bus system, which still handles 91% of all transit riders,is now roughly as efficient as travel by burro." Academy Award–winning cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, Latino) has now fashioned a new documentary tracing three years in the life of a group of bus-rider activists passionately engaged in the struggle to bring affordable, safe, and adequate mass transit back to their city. What might at first sound like a well-intentioned but rather parochial subject for a film has resulted in a truly inspiring lesson in how working-class, predominantly minority citizens forge an effective social movement and how, like Rosa Parks and the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycotters of the 1950s, a group of committed individuals can successfully challenge the powers that seek to control their lives.

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February 4 (Friday) 9:30 pm
February 5 (Saturday) 9:30 pm

The Humiliated (de YDMYGEDE)

Directed by Jesper Jargil
Denmark 1998, video, color, 83 min.

One of the team of cinematographers on Lars von Trier’s The Idiots, Jesper Jargil took advantage of his unique access to von Trier’s working methods to tape this behind-the-scenes portrait of the making of the film. Comple-mented by access to von Trier’s own audio diary, The Humiliated paints a complex picture of the controversial director as an emotional, manipulative, vulnerable, and yet utterly focused artist deeply engaged in the intense creative process necessary to bring his visions to life.

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February 15 (Tuesday) 6:30 pm
February 25 (Friday) 9:30 pm
February 27 (Sunday) 8:30 pm

Berlin-Cinema

Directed by Samira Gloor-Fadel
Switzerland/France 1999, video, b/w and color, 107 min.
With Wim Wenders, Jean Nouvel
French and German with English subtitles

This engaging nonfiction work focuses, as its title suggests, on two subjects: the meaning of cinema and the changing cityscape of Berlin. The former is addressed off-screen by the voice-over musings of Jean-Luc Godard and onscreen by the no less evocative reflections of German director Wim Wenders, who takes us on a stroll as the city of Berlin comes into intellectual focus. The French architect Jean Nouvel assists by tracing construction sites of future buildings, while Godard is heard probing the relation between German and European histories. With grace and assurance, Berlin-Cinéma addresses the ongoing social and formal dialogue between architecture and the cinema. 

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700