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Film Series Got ‘Milk’

The 30th annual Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s film series will continue at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 with Claudia Llosa’s “The Milk of Sorrow” in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of the Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Winner of the Golden Bear for best picture at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival and Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, “The Milk of Sorrow” reflects the legacy of sexualized violence.

Gently paced and exquisitely shot, its story—tinged with magical realism—tells of an anxious young woman finding her way in the world after the death of her mother and Peru’s grim decades of civil strife with the Shining Path insurgents. Plumbing the generational reverberations of trauma, which the indigenous population believes is passed along through a mother’s milk, Llosa, the niece of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, explores the possibility of female empowerment in a culture suffocated by superstition and poverty.

The Village Voice said the film is “filled with unforgettable images of incongruity, destruction, and, finally, healing.”

The theme of this year’s series is “Compassion: The Radical Challenge.” It is based on Karin Armstrong’s book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.” The book will be available at the film showings.

Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Film Institute and a coordinator of the series, said the theme is intended “to bring to our attention the most recent book of the most acclaimed scholar of comparative religion in the West. Armstrong exhorts us to understand that even though faith has been exploited to justify horrific atrocities in the world, the fundamental idea in religion challenges us to understand that compassion is inseparable from humanity.”

Admission to all films in the series is free. The series is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and donations from the public.

For more information contact Winn at or (405) 208-5472.

The last film in the series will be March 4 with Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Sansho the Bailiff.”