Conable film series sheds light on movies from around the globe

Event features conversations with Liberal Arts faculty

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The film Bashu: The Little Stranger tells the story of a young boy who loses his home and family during the Iran-Iraq War. The boy ends up escaping the region in the back of a truck and meets a young woman living in Northern Iran who speaks a different language and has different customs. The story continues as their friendship grows.

Films like Bashu: The Little Stranger are the centerpieces of RIT’s Conable Global Film Series, sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Barber B. Conable Chair of International Studies, history department and international studies program. The series screens films from around the globe and hopes to engage moviegoers in discussions after each film, led by select Liberal Arts faculty members.

“The Conable Global Film Series offers the RIT community a unique forum for discussing the dynamics of global politics through the work of contemporary filmmakers,” says Rebecca Scales, assistant professor of history at RIT. “From small independent movies to Hollywood blockbusters, the films featured in the series grapple with controversial topics from the historical legacies of transatlantic slavery and Western colonialism in Africa and Latin America to the role of global capitalism and multi-national corporations in shaping small communities’ economic opportunities and access to natural resources. Several of the films wrestle with questions of racial, ethnic, gender and class identity and challenge us to think about cultural difference in new and interesting ways. We hope RIT students interested in encountering cultural diversity from around the globe will join us for these screenings.”

Babak Elahi, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts, will lead the discussion following the screening of Bashu.

“Differences of climate, language, race, ethnicity, culture and gender mark the complex relationship between the main characters, as the film delves into a nation’s trauma and its attempts to heal,” says Elahi. “Banned in Iran for its honest portrayal of the war and its focus on a female head of household, Bashu has become a classic of Iranian cinema and a critically acclaimed film globally.”

Films scheduled for this series are:

Bashu: The Little Stranger; discussion led by Babak Elahi, associate dean; Sept. 29, Max Lowenthal Hall, room 3215

Tableau Ferraille/Scrapheap; discussion led by Conerly Casey, associate professor of anthropology; Oct. 5, Louise M. Slaughter Hall, room 2230/2240

Smoke Signals; discussion led by Jason Younker, associate professor of anthropology; Oct. 27, Max Lowenthal Hall, room 3215

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; discussion led by Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, visiting assistant professor of English; Dec. 13, Golisano Hall, room 1400

Les Dieux Et Les Hommes/Of Gods and Men; discussion led by Philippe Chavasse, assistant professor of French; Jan. 11, 2012, Golisano Hall, room 1400

Amistad; discussion led by Benjamin Lawrance, Barber B. Conable Chair of International Studies; Feb. 7, Golisano Hall, room 1400

Tambien La Lluvia/Even the Rain; discussion led by Sara Armengot, assistant professor of Spanish; March 27, Golisano Hall, room 1400

Grave of the Fireflies; discussion led by Joseph Henning, assistant professor of history; April 17, Golisano Hall, room 1400

Indigenes/Natives; discussion led by Rebecca Scales, assistant professor of history; May 2, Louise M. Slaughter Hall, room 2230/2240

All films begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free of charge. Pizza and refreshments will be served at all screenings.

For more information about the Conable Global Film Series, contact Scales at 475-4244 or