Independent & World Films at the Library

Showing on Thursday, September 25, at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

The Past (France)

Like his previous film, the Academy Award winning A Separation, director Asghar Farhadi’s The Past begins with a deceptively straightforward divorce. Returning to Paris from Tehran to legally terminate his marriage after a four-year absence, Ahmad learns that his wife, Marie, has been living with another man, Samir. Divorce papers may be signed with minimal fuss but the past cannot be so easily buried, and once again the Iranian director creates an opportunity to showcase his striking ability to use multiple perspectives to tell an infinitely complex story.

During his stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie's relationship with her daughter Lucie and his efforts to improve their relationship soon unveil a secret from their past. Lucie explains that Samir’s wife is in a coma due to an attempted suicide—a suicide she believes to have been catalyzed by her mother’s affair with Samir. The story spirals, whodunit style, around the blame of the attempted suicide—and around and around—propelled forward and nudged backward as details of past events are revealed and contradicted. As each character attempts to offload their sense of guilt onto someone else, the director further examines the elusive nature of truth itself. As his characters are forced into moral gray zones, any notion of objectivity is weakened, allowing the viewer’s allegiances to shift freely from one person to another—even if none of them is particularly sympathetic. For better and worse, the presence of the even-tempered Ahmad sets the already precarious household off balance as he simultaneously mediates and instigates familial problems large and small. Farhadi is a consummate storyteller who uses grace and a fluid style to spin a tale in which no one is quite innocent.

In French and Persian/Farsi with English subtitles

Running time: 130 minutes

The Independent and World Films Series runs on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, with showings at 2:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Gainey Room. The focus for our series is foreign or world films, as well as independent films that are not widely distributed in the U.S.

All programs at OPL are free of charge. Like us on Facebook to see what we’re up to! As always, films shown at the library become part of our permanent DVD collection after the final showing.

See you at the movies!  MG

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Already Shown

2014

March 13: Blue Jasmine (U.S.)
March 27: 12 Years a Slave (U.S.)
April 24: The Book Thief (U.S.)
May 8: Wadja (Saudi Arabia)
May 22: Inside Llewyn Davis (U.S.)
June 12: Instructions Not Included (Mexico)
June 26: Stories We Tell (Canada)
July 19: Oranges & Sunshine (Australia)
July 24: Love is All You Need (Denmark)
August 14: Still Mine (Canada)
August 28: The Lunchbox (India)
September 11: Shun Li and the Poet (Italy)

2013

January 10: Beasts of the Southern Wild (U.S.)
January 24: Last Ride (Australia)
February 14: Foreign Letters (U.S.)
February 28: Elena (Russia)
March 14: Anna Karenina (Great Britain)
March 28: Tokyo Sonata (Japan)
April 11: Robot & Frank (U.S.)
April 25: Queen of Hearts (France)
May 9: Of Gods and Men (France)
May 23: A Late Quartet (U.S.)
June 13: The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)
June 27: Rust and Bone (France)
July 11: Teddy Bear (Denmark)
July 19: Codex (U.S.)
July 25: NO (Chile)
August 8: Smashed (U.S.)
August 22: Found Memories (Brazil)
August 28: The Lunch Box (India)

2012

January 26: Sarah's Key (France & U.S.)
February 9: Beginners (U.S.)
March 8: Incendies (Canada & France)
March 22: Made in Dagenham (Great Britain)
April 12: Take Shelter (U.S.)
May 10: The Piano in a Factory (China)
May 24: In a Better World (Denmark)
June 14: O'Horten (Norway)
June 28: Albert Nobbs (United Kingdom)
July 12: My Name is Khan (India)
July 26: The Woman on the 6th Floor (France)
August 9: Come Undone (Italy)
August 23: Footnote (Israel)
September 13: A Separation (Iran)
September 27: Another Year (U.K.)
October 11: Life Above All (South Africa)
October 26: The Devil's Backbone (Spain)
November 8: Train of Life (France)
December 13: Auntie Mame (U.S.)
December 27: Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon)

2011

May 19: Bomber (U.S./U.K.)
June 16: 1981 (Canada)
July 21: Only When I Dance (Brazil)
August 18: The Drummer (Hong Kong)
September 15: The Wind Journeys (Columbia)
October 20: If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (Romania)
November 17: The Colors of the Mountain (Columbia)
December 15: Holiday Affair (U.S.)