Modern Language Film Series to present A Fantastic Woman

Aemili Lipzinski, Pulse Editor

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When the snow is piled higher than the windows on your house and you’re starting to think that maybe building an igloo wouldn’t be that difficult after all, it can be easy to feel like we’re more isolated than we really are up here at Tech.

Michigan Tech is home to people from all over the world and boasts a diverse and interesting modern language curriculum for interested students to partake in.

Of course, Tech works hard to provide culture in many forms for its variety of students ranging from art displays to plays to the ever impressive 41N Film Festival. While culture might not be at the forefront of Tech’s agenda, it certainly has a lot going on beneath the surface.

The Modern Language department has put together a series of international films for modern language students and cinephiles alike to enjoy for free. The head of this idea, Dany Jacob, explained that they were attempting to work with the Film Board to create an International Film Series for the spring semester and many of these films were intended to be shown, but the series was regrettably postponed due to a lack of funds.

While this event has a lot of appeal for modern language students, the films are carefully chosen to appeal to a wider audience with beautiful movies being shown for free to bring the event to students all over campus and in the community.

Jacob says, “We are trying to appeal to a much wider audience, [anyone] who might not know where to find access to foreign language films or who might be too hesitant to pay for a movie online or on DVD without first having an exposure to the style, genre or simply dealing with subtitles.” Foreign films can seem daunting with not only a language barrier but potentially a culture barrier as well.

In reality, not watching foreign films places you at a disadvantage as you are missing out on some amazing and heart-wrenching films that address issues and ideas from an entirely new but still relevant viewpoint.

“The other goal of the spring series is to complement the 41N Film Festival which takes place in fall by providing the community with hand-selected, critically acclaimed foreign language movies,” Jacob says. These films aren’t just any foreign language film, they have all the intensity and complexity that we love in the films that are brought to Tech each fall for the film festival.

“We try very hard every year to bring forth new films that highlight both linguistic and cultural aspects while providing an overall theme.” These films include Tech’s platform of cultural exchange and acceptance which has been prevalent in this year’s speakers and films shown around campus.

This week’s film is A Fantastic Woman, an Academy Award-winning film from Chile and will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

The movie portrays the story of Marina, a trans woman who has fallen in love with and moved in with an older man named Orlando. Just when everything seems right, Orlando falls seriously ill and dies. Marina is barred from his funeral by Orlando’s transphobic ex-wife as well as a variety of other dangers associated with her attempting to confront her new reality without her loved one, including being forced out of her apartment that she had shared with Orlando by Orlando’s son Bruno as well as altercations with police and hospital staff who raise suspicions because of Orlando’s sudden death.

This film deals not only with the complexities of life as a transgender woman but also with the struggles of losing a loved one quite suddenly and trying to find your place again when you’ve been uprooted. Marina’s struggles to make her way in her life, avoiding the threats and physical manipulations of those around her, bring a difficult-to-swallow truth to light in the way that we might treat other people without thinking about what they are dealing with.

The ending of this movie, rather than bittersweet or sad, allows us to look hopefully toward the future, the shining thought that things will get better echoing in our minds.

The film will be shown tonight in Walker 134 at 7 p.m. This event is free for students and community members alike and is open to anyone interested in viewing the film. This film is rated R for language, sexual content, nudity and a disturbing assault.

*Note: This story ran Feb. 28