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Film Series Returns for ‘Picturing Reconciliation’

"Frantz" film
Film still from 'Frantz'

Oklahoma City University’s 36th annual international film series will open at 2 p.m. Sept. 10 with director François Ozon’s 2016 film “Frantz.” All films in the series will be screened free to the public in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

This year’s series is based on the theme “Picturing Reconciliation.”

In a period when historians and world leaders are reassessing the first World War during its centennial, Ozon’s German/French co-production “Frantz” explores the subtle costs of that war in the lives of those who survived it.

Filmed in richly nuanced black and white, Ozon’s reimagining of Maurice Rostand’s post-World War I script for “Broken Lullaby” takes viewers back 100 years while offering a story that also transcends eras and wars. Anna is a young German woman mourning the loss of her fiancée Frantz, living with his kind parents, and trying to find a way to move on. When French veteran Adrien arrives in Germany to insert himself in their lives, his presence brings out tensions within the family and their community. As a veteran of the enemy army, Adrien forces Frantz’s loved ones into an emotionally complicated landscape, despite his charms. The story gives subtle revelations that raise questions about guilt, loyalty and the relevance of truth.

Film series director Tracy Floreani said she and her advisory committee wanted this year’s film series to take on a positive theme in light of the many global crises and cultural divides occurring throughout the world.

“All of these films deal with the idea of reconciliation in some way, whether people from warring factions trying to understand one another, or people treading the difficult terrain of forgiveness or acceptance,” Floreani said.

Films are also selected based on feedback and requests from audience members at past series. The films run throughout the academic year, from September through March.

A discussion session follows each film for those who wish to stay, and a list of theme-based recommended readings and podcasts will be available at each screening.

“In the past we’ve always screened eight feature films and then offered a separate documentary film series in the spring,” Floreani added, describing changes from years past. “We’ll now be screening more films and integrating occasional documentaries into the year-long series.”

Past series featured a book title as inspiration. That will be replaced this year by a constantly updated list of recommended reading and listening materials to take advantage of the variety of online interviews and podcasts related to each films’ theme, Floreani added.

The series will also launch a new annual film accompaniment called “Picturing Poetry,” a feature film or documentary about poetry in conjunction with the distinguished poet event that occurs the first week of April each year. A screening of Jim Jarmusch’s latest film “Paterson” will open the “Picturing Poetry” concept March 25 to accompany the visit of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Koumyakaa on campus April 4.

For more information, visit okcufilmlit.org, call 405-208-5707 or send an email to [email protected]

The Film Institute is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund for the University’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

Other dates and films in the series include:

  • Sept. 24 with “The Look of Silence” by Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Oct. 8 with “In the Name of the Father” by Jim Sheridan Oct. 22 with “Tanna” by Martin Butler and Brantley Dean
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