Film Series

Neuland/ New Beginnings

Mondays, September 18, 25 + October 2

Williams College Center for Foreign Languages German Austrian Film Festival

The three films focus on crisis situations that result in life-changing moves. The first two films investigate exile from Nazi Germany in South America and Turkey. The third film thematizes gay first love and a young man's dramatic family history.

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Center of My World/ Die Mitte der Welt

Starring: Bendix Hansen, Sarah Fuhrer, Louis Hofmann

In German with English subtitles

Love is at the center of Phil’s world, and it’s really screwing things up for him. Whether it’s love for his slightly loony mother Glass and his fraternal twin Diane (who suddenly aren’t speaking), love for his gorgeous new boyfriend Nicholas (who may not love him back), or love for his best friend Kat (who may have eyes for Nicholas), love is making a royal mess of everything. With such adorably dysfunctional and odd people around him to set highly questionable examples, what is a gentle and trusting young soul like Phil supposed to do when all hell breaks loose? CENTER OF MY WORLD skips gleefully from past to present, bringing Phil up to this point in his off-kilter fairytale life. It’s a bright, colorful whirl of images that reveals both fantastic patterns and a deeply human story. Joyful, funny, and sometimes sad, this film is for everyone who has ever looked for love, who has found it, or who can’t figure out exactly what to do with it.

  • Director: Jakob M. Erwa
  • Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Refreshingly candid and admirably complex.”

– Hollywood Reporter

The Department of German-Russian, The Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Williams College, The Embassy of the Federal Republic of German in Washington, DC, The Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and The Dively Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity of Williams College

Special Showing

Beatriz at Dinner

Wednesday, October 11 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Williams College Davis Center Social Change Film Series.

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Beatriz at Dinner

Starring: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny

Beatriz at Dinner is the third collaboration between director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White (The Good Girl). They effectively make us uncomfortable squaring off a Mexican-born massage therapist against an arrogant billionaire over a dinner party.

Beatriz is a Los Angeles massage therapist and holistic healer who drives to the seaside mansion of her client Kathy. When her old Volkswagen breaks down, she receives a friendly invitation from Kathy to stay for a seemingly innocent business dinner. As the guests arrive and the wine starts to flow, Beatriz finds herself in an escalating war of words with Doug Strutt, a ruthless real estate mogul who cares more about money than people.

  • Director: Miguel Arteta
  • Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Dark Comedy

“This is neither a simple satire of privilege nor a mock-provocative comedy of diversity and its discontents. It’s about a clash of values, about unresolvable contradictions.”

– New York Times

Shown as part of the Williams College Davis Center Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

The Training of Poe

Monday, October 16 at 7pm

Post-film Q&A with director Bella Vendetta and star Chelsea Poe

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Bella Vendetta presents The Training of Poe

Starring: Chelsea Poe

The Training of Poe is an award-winning trans lesbian leather lifestyle BDSM documentary following multiple AVN-nominated and Trans 100 recipient Chelsea Poe as she travels to the mountains of western Massachusetts to slave train with Mistress Bella Vendetta.

This film showcases real kinky, queer life in western Massachusetts and features consent, communication, harm reduction and aftercare.

This film has not been rated, but it is strongly recommended only folks aged 18 years of age and older attend due to nudity and strong sexual content.

A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to Tapestry Health. Sliding scale fee starting at $5

  • Director: Bella Vendetta
  • Rating: This film has not been rated, but it is strongly recommended only folks aged 18 years of age and older attend due to nudity and strong sexual content.
  • Genre: Documentary

The Training of Poe is an official selection for the Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival, the Seattle Erotic Cinema Film Festival and the San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Fest.

This event in sponsored in part by Yana Tallon-Hicks Sex & Relationship Counseling and Oh My Sensuality Shop of Northampton, MA.

Special Showing

Paris Noir

Wednesday, October 18 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Williams College Africana Studies course: Black Migrations: African American Performance at Home and Abroad. Film will be followed by a discussion with Julia Browne, founder of Walking the Spirit Tours - The Original Tours of Black Paris. Free and open to the public.

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Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

Starring: Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker

Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light is the most comprehensive and compelling documentary existing on the remarkable migration of pioneering African Americans to France and the impact both cultures had on each other.

Driven by the brutal segregation and limitations in the United States, Black American poets, writers, intellectuals, artists, musicians, and entertainers able to get to France were thrilled by their first feeling of absolute freedom. That's where our story begins.

Weaving stories and themes from World War I, the Jazz Age of the 1920s up to the German occupation of WWII, this riveting document using rare photographs and stock footage, exciting period music, and stimulating commentary by leading experts.

  • Director: Joanne Burke
  • Runtime: 1 hour
  • Genre: Documentary

Shown as part of the Williams College Africana Studies course: Black Migrations: African American Performance at Home and Abroad

Special Showing

13th

Wednesday, November 8 at 7pm

Co-presented by Williams Reads and the Williams College Davis Center.

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13th

Starring: Angela Davis, Van Jones, Jelani Cobb

The title of Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.

  • Director: Ava DuVernay
  • Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“A miraculous cine-history of the criminalization of American blackness.... Few films shake and astonish like this one, even though nothing in it should be a surprise.”

– Village Voice

This film is co-presented by Williams Reads and the Williams College Davis Center as part of the Davis Center Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

The Last Dalai Lama?

Tuesday, December 5 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Davis Center Social Change Film Series.

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The Last Dalai Lama?

This documentary tells the story of the 14th Dalai Lama, who is full of compassion and humor in his ninth decade. His vast influence is shown through interviews with everyone from George W. Bush to the film’s accomplished composer, Philip Glass. The Dalai Lama confronts aging, the intersection of science and faith, and the question on everyone's mind: Will he be the last Dalai Lama?

  • Director: Mickey Lemle
  • Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“A surplus of wisdom and benevolence radiates from The Last Dalai Lama.”

– New York Times

This film is sponsored by the Williams College Davis Center as part of the Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock

Tuesday, February 13 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Davis Center's Social Change Film Series.

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Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock

Starring: Floris White Bull

The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film is a collab­oration between Indigenous filmmakers, Director Myron Dewey, Executive Producer Doug Good Feather and environmental Oscar Nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione. It is a labor of love to support the peaceful movement of the water protectors.

  • Director: Myron Dewey, Josh Fox, James Spione
  • Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

““Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock” not only serves as a vital record of one of the biggest protest movements since Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter, but its events are also fresh. That swift response, a wake-up call, in the form of a visual poem, is a testament to the filmmakers’ artistry, and urgency.”

– Indiewire

Shown as part of the Williams College Davis Center's Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

I Am Not Your Negro

Tuesday, March 6 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Davis Center's Social Change Film Series.

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I Am Not Your Negro

Starring: James Baldwin

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript.

Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

  • Director: Raoul Peck
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“A brilliant piece of filmic writing, one that bursts with fierce urgency, not just for the long-unresolved history it seeks to confront, but also in its attempt to understand what is happening here, right now.”

– Washington Post

Shown as part of the Davis Center's Social Change Film Series.

Special Showing

American Revolutionary

Tuesday, April 10 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Davis Center's Social Justice Film Series.

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American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Starring: Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover

The documentary film, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS, plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy—her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her—drives the story forward.

Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience — the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.

  • Director: Grace Lee
  • Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“In sharing her subject's life achievements, [Ms. Lee] raises meaningful questions and keeps them profitably open.”

– New York Times

Shown as part of the Davis Center's Social Justice Film Series.

Special Showing

Agents of Change

Tuesday, May 1 at 7pm

Shown as part of the Davis Center Social Change Film Series.

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Agents of Change

Starring: Danny Glover,

From the well-publicized events at San Francisco State in 1968 to the image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union at Cornell University in April, 1969, the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for black and ethnic studies programs, became a clarion call across the country in the late 1960's. Through the stories of these young men and women who were at the forefront of these efforts, Agents of Change examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses and in the country that led to these protests. The film’s characters were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, over 45 years later, many of the same demands are surfacing in campus protests across the country, revealing how much work remains to be done.

Agents of Change links the past to the present and the present to the past--making it not just a movie but a movement.

  • Director: Frank Dawson, Abby Ginzberg
  • Runtime: 1 hour 6 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“The film is full of fascinating, archival footage, but its most important point is the central role that black students played in the fight to reform American universities: most notably, they pushed for the expansion of Eurocentric curricula to include intellectual contributions of other racial and ethnic groups, for the hiring of more diverse faculty and better recruitment, and for more humane treatment of students of color.”

– Mother Jones

Shown as part of the Davis Center Social Change Film Series