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Modern Languages Film Series showcases stories from around the world

Michigan Tech’s Modern Languages Department is hosting its annual Modern Language Film Series, a collection of foreign films that represent the languages taught by the department. The first film in the series was Balloon, a German-language film which was shown on Feb. 23. The French and Spanish films will be shown on Mar. 16 and Mar. 23, respectively. 

The Film Series is an annual event where the Modern Language department shows contemporary films which share a common theme. One film is chosen in all three of the department’s languages: German, French, and Spanish. This year, the connecting theme is social justice, and the selected films are Balloon, Synonyms, and Identifying Features, which have all received critical acclaim. Balloon, the German-language film, is a dramatization of the historical escape of two families from East Germany to West Germany, by hot air balloon, during the Cold War. Synonyms, the French film, tells the story of an Israeli man living in Paris, while the Spanish film, Identifying Features, focuses on a Mexican woman looking for her son, who went missing while crossing into the United States. 

According to Professor Leyre Alegre-Figuero, one of the series organizers, the goal of the series is to help provide access to a film experience from a different cultural perspective which might otherwise be unavailable. Alegre-Figuero highlighted this when discussing the selection process, saying that “one of the things that we try to do is find films that are recent… that we think will be relevant or interesting to showcase a different point of view or something from a different region or country.”

The films are shown for free at 7:00 p.m. in Fisher 135. They are shown in their original foreign languages with English subtitles.

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