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The 39th Portland International Film Festival: THE FENCER

Fleeing from Russian secret police in early 1950’s, a young Baltic dissident leaves Leningrad to settle in the small coastal village of Haapsalua, Estonia. There, he finds work as a school gym teacher and becomes a father figure to his students by teaching them his great passion—fencing. 178 more words

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Reel Music 33: LANDFILL HARMONIC

A testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit, LANDFILL HARMONIC follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. 207 more words

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Reel Music 33: THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA w/ live score by Grammy-nominee Tom Peters

We welcome Los Angeles composer and bassist Tom Peters for a live performance of his score for Vertov’s classic city symphony. Demonstrating his famed “kino-eye” theory, which endows the movie camera with the flexibility of the human eye, Vertov’s groundbreaking film retains the infectious exuberance that has made it an enduring classic. 250 more words

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Q&A with SON OF SAUL director Laszlo Nemes

We’re hosting a special member preview of SON OF SAUL this Wednesday, January 20 at 7pm. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the movie chronicles the story of Saul, a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of Jewish prisoners forced to assist the Nazis in the disposal of gas chamber victims. 1,810 more words

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Reel Music 33: THE AMAZING NINA SIMONE

Nina Simone (1933-2003) defied labels—musical, sexual, or political—and today enjoys a popularity and recognition never realized in her lifetime. Lieberman’s extensively researched film draws upon interviews with dozens of friends, family members, band members, lovers, and fellow activists, who not only recall her astounding musicianship and genius, but her fearless demand for respect–whether from segregationists, record companies, or audiences. 218 more words

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Reel Music 33: CONCERTO: A BEETHOVEN JOURNEY

Over the course of four years, director Phil Grabsky followed celebrated Norwegian concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’ attempt to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of music ever written for piano: Ludwig van Beethoven’s five piano concertos. 243 more words

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From Bombay to Bollywood: 50 Years of Indian Cinema - MOTHER INDIA

Unabashedly patriotic, MOTHER INDIA is an epic celebration of the indomitable spirit that weathered seemingly insurmountable hardships following the country’s independence from Britain. Allegorically told through the many trials and tribulations faced by Radha, a poor village woman (played from youth to old age by charismatic superstar Nargis), the story follows its heroine as she weathers the storms of abandonment, destitution, floods, and fires with the same steely, selfless resolve. 108 more words

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