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Traveling film festival comes to Little Theatre

March 23, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will host the Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival, the nation's longest-running showcase for international documentaries, Friday and Saturday, March 30-31, in the Little Theatre, located on the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street.

All shows are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Up to three tickets may be reserved per person per show in advance by sending your name, phone number, the title of the film you would like to attend and the number of tickets desired to WMU's Anthropology Student Union at wmuasu@gmail.com.

Margaret Mead Featured Films

Friday, March 30

6 p.m., "China Blue"--worker rights in China--"China Blue" (2005) takes the audience on a journey inside a jean factory, where the working conditions are harsh and unlawful by international standards. When the factory owner strikes a deal with a Western client and demands around-the-clock production to meet the deadline, a confrontation becomes inevitable. Shot in China, under difficult conditions, this is a deep-access account of how many clothes are made.

8 p.m., "Today's Man"--a young man deals with Asperger's syndrome--"Today's Man" (2006) tells the story of a sister's search to understand her brother's strange and extraordinary life. Nicky Gottlieb has grown from a genius child into a young man who doesn't quite fit into the world. At 21 he is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. The film follows Nicky as he struggles to leave the safety of his family's home and find his own place in the world.

9 p.m., "Flock of Dodos"--the evolution debate--"Flock of Dodos" (2006) is the first feature film to take an even-handed look at the intelligent design versus evolution clash. Filmmaker, scientist and evolutionary biologist Dr. Randy Olson explores the controversy over the teaching of evolution and the recently developed alternative, intelligent design. Olson, a native of Kansas, visits his home state and the community of Dover, Pa., which attempted to introduce intelligent design in science classes.

Saturday, March 31

3 p.m., "Sisters in Law"--women in Cameroon--A female judge-and-prosecutor team are the focus of "Sisters in Law" (2006), a documentary about a court located in Kumba, in southwest Cameroon. Together, the two mete out justice, handling tough cases of adultery, rape and abuse with an iron will and stern questioning of the suspects. It offers valuable insights into the workings of an African courtroom.

5:15 p.m., "A Map with Gaps"--a trip around 1970s Soviet Russia--"A Map with Gaps" (2006) is a 1972 travelogue spanning 26 days, 14 countries and 12,000 miles from Europe to Soviet Russia.

6 p.m., "Shooting Under Fire"--protecting journalism, the Israel-Palestine conflict--"Shooting Under Fire" (2005) joins Reinhard Krause, the German head of Reuters' Israeli photo bureau, during the last few weeks of his four-year placement in the country. It unveils both the people and the pressured processes of a news agency that produces the photos seen in papers around the world, highlighting the staggeringly fast digital technology, the difficult morals that await even the toughest of snappers, and the extreme lives that people lead in a land of war.

8 p.m., "El Inmigrante" -- Mexican-American immigration, with special guest Director David Eckenrode -- "El Inmigrante" (2005) examines the Mexican-American border crisis by telling the story of Eusebio de Haro, a young Mexican migrant who was killed during a journey north. The film presents a distinct humanitarian focus in which story and character take precedent over policy and empiricism.

The American Museum of Natural History's Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival encompasses a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction. The festival is distinguished by its outstanding selection of titles, which tackle diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range of issues and perspectives, and by the forums for discussion with filmmakers and guest speakers.

The Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival at the Little Theatre was made possible by WMU's Anthropology Student Union.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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