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Film Series Opens with ‘Ida’

by Rod Jones

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series will open its 34th year at 2 p.m. Sept. 20 with Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida”in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Admission to all eight films in the series is free. The series is supported in part by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and endowments through OCU and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

The theme of this year’s season is based on Viktor Frankl’s classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”Harbour Winn, director of the series, said the theme is intended to help participants come to understand the purpose of suffering.

“The films in this series stress the importance of an individual’s attitude to existence,” Winn said. “Even when life seems restricted by external forces, we can choose the attitude with which we live and make meaning, to find value.”

In “Ida,” a young woman in 1960s Poland prepares to take her vows to become a nun, but discovers dark secrets of her familial past. This intersection of the personal with momentous historic events makes for what many consider one of the most powerful and affecting films of recent years.

“Ida” won the Oscar Award for best foreign language film last year. It was one of the two most requested films on last year’s Film Institute evaluation forms. The New Yorker called it “solemn filmmaking, devoutly restrained and unshakably purposeful. We expect its austerity to fend us off, but no; it gathers us in and forbids us to look away.”

A discussion session follows each film screening for those who wish to participate. Other dates and films in the series are:

* Oct. 4, Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu”

* Oct. 18, Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu”

* Nov. 1, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night”

* Jan. 24, Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow-Up”

* Feb. 7, Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox”

* Feb. 21, Asghar Farhadi’s “About Elly”

* March 6, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan”

For more information about the series, call (405) 208-5472 or visit okcu.edu/film-lit.

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