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January 26 – February 19, 2017

Cinema of Resistance

At a time when so many feel called to resist the White House’s attacks on numerous fronts, we at the HFA feel compelled to do our part. Cinema has always been a method of examining the world as it is, with the possibility of raising understanding, inspiring change, and imagining other possibilities. Cinema of Resistance is a monthly series of films that embraces these alternate possibilities, animated by the spirit of protest and designed to call out oppression and demand justice. These screenings will be designed to spark discussion, beginning in our theater directly after the screening.

Discussion with Steven Brown and Jack Leng
Friday January 26 at 7pm

The Gleaners and I
(Les glaneurs et la glaneuse)

Directed by Agnès Varda
France 2000, 35mm, color, 82 min. French with English subtitles

Once again using the documentary format as a jumping-off point for an expressionistic diary in which her own life intercedes, Varda, with a handheld digital video camera, searches for modern-day gleaners in rural France and the alleys and dumpsters of Paris. Varda expands the definition of a gleaner to include herself, someone who gleans images and stories from the world around her. True to form, The Gleaners and I functions as a kind of diary, a poetic exploration of gleaning, poverty, and the history of gleaning in France. Print courtesy Zeitgeist Films.

After the film, Steven Brown of First Church Shelter in Cambridge and Jack Leng of the Boston Area Gleaners will moderate a discussion. This film is also screening as part of the Agnès Varda retrospective.

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Theo Anthony in Person
Monday February 19 at 7pm

Rat Film

Directed by Theo Anthony
US 2017, DCP, color, 82 min

“It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore,” notes the philosophic Baltimore exterminator Harold Edmond. “Always been a people problem.” This exhilarating, circuitous documentary creatively excavates the layered, sometimes shocking and often bizarre depths of that reasoning. Born and raised just outside of the city and currently a resident, director Theo Anthony adopts Baltimore’s number one pest as his gateway to an infinite labyrinth of sociological, political, racial and behavioral theories and investigations. In the midst of an eccentric, entertaining assortment of hunters, owners and charmers of the rat, Anthony turns to key social science experiments—in which these ubiquitous lab animals star as human proxies—with disturbing implications for city populations. Meanwhile, the history and potential future of Baltimore is overlayed via urban planning maps, disorienting Google Earth views and an impenetrably cool voiceover. As the rat’s path strangely crisscrosses with the segregation and racism inherent in Baltimore’s design, the film itself deviates from any authoritative, unified point of view. Bent on subverting and destabilizing itself at every turn, Rat Film expands its circles to incorporate vaster and trickier questions, answering them by asking them. DCP courtesy Cinema Guild.

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