The Department of Communication and Culture and University of Calgary Film Society Present

Wednesday, November 24: Sons of Perdition

Sons of Perdition
Wednesday, November 24 – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Sons of Perdition follows three boys after they leave the isolation of Colorado City and join an underground network of exiled FLDS teens. Condemned to hell by their community, many of the boys turn to drugs and alcohol. With limited educations and rarely a stable address, the obstacles are enormous. All the boys have big dreams—starting with the hope of attending high school—but what they want most is contact with their families. For one teen in the film, this means numerous attempts to help his fourteen-year-old sister escape before an arranged marriage. With unprecedented access, Sons of Perdition takes audiences on a three-year-journey into the lives of these remarkable teens, providing the inside analysis to make this intimate portrait a big story—a timely, critical look at faith, family and religious exile in mainstream America.

Attendance is free for students and $10 for non-students. Non-students can also bring a donation for the SU Campus Food Bank instead of paying for admission. The food bank prefers donations of meal helpers (Sidekicks/Uncle Ben’s rice), canned pasta/chili, Kraft Dinner, peanut butter, dry pasta, canned veggies and/or beans, canned salmon/tuna, dry soup (Mr. Noodle/Ichiban), cereal, or pasta and tomato sauce.

Please note that the SU Campus Food Bank CANNOT accept Expired Food.

SOP_Sam Sidewalk

Directed by Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten 2010
Sons of Perdition official website

Updated: November 3, 2010 — 11:57 am

Wednesday, October 27th: Enemies of the People

Enemies of the People
Wednesday, October 27th – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Rob Lemkin

The Khmer Rouge ran what is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now.

In ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE the men and women who perpetrated the massacres – from the foot-soldiers who slit throats to the party’s ideological leader, Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two – break a 30-year silence to give testimony never before heard or seen.

Unprecedented access from top to bottom of the Khmer Rouge has been achieved through a decade of work by one of Cambodia’s best investigative journalists, Thet Sambath.

Sambath is on a personal quest: he lost his own family in the Killing Fields. The film is his journey to discover not how but why they died. In doing so, he hears and understands for the first time the real story of his country’s tragedy.

After years of visits and trust-building, Sambath finally persuades Brother Number Two to admit (again, for the first time) in detail how he and Pol Pot (the two supreme powers in the Khmer Rouge state) decided to kill party members whom they considered ‘Enemies of the People’.

Sambath’s remarkable work goes even one stage further: over the years he befriends a network of killers in the provinces who implemented the kill policy. For the first time, we see how orders created on an abstract political level translate into foul murder in the rice fields and forests of the Cambodian plain.

We have repeatedly used the expression ‘for the first time’. This is because Sambath’s work represents a watershed both in Cambodian historiography and in the country’s quest for closure on one of the world’s darkest episodes.

The United Nations and the Cambodian government have set up a tribunal to try the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge for international crimes. Brother Number Two’s trial is expected to start in 2010.

The trials are widely expected to deliver a form of justice but fewer expect the truth finally to come out through this process.

Sambath says: “Some may say no good can come from talking to killers and dwelling on past horror, but I say these people have sacrificed a lot to tell the truth. In daring to confess they have done good, perhaps the only good thing left. They and all the killers like them must be part of the process of reconciliation if my country is to move forward.”

Attendance is free for students and $10 for non-students. Non-students can also bring a donation for the SU Campus Food Bank instead of paying for admission. The food bank prefers donations of meal helpers (Sidekicks/Uncle Ben’s rice), canned pasta/chili, Kraft Dinner, peanut butter, dry pasta, canned veggies and/or beans, canned salmon/tuna, dry soup (Mr. Noodle/Ichiban), cereal, or pasta and tomato sauce.

Please note that the SU Campus Food Bank CANNOT accept Expired Food.

Updated: October 14, 2010 — 1:48 pm

Wednesday, September 29th: Life 2.0

Life 2.0
Wednesday, September 29th – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Jason Spingarn-Koff

Life 2.0 follows a group of people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world Second Life. They enter a new reality, whose inhabitants assume alternate personas in the form of avatars. The film is foremost an intimate, character-based drama about people who look to a virtual world in search of something they are missing in their real lives. A young woman in Detroit becomes a star designer of virtual clothes and houses; an American and a Canadian fall in love online then struggle to build a real life together; a man creates the avatar of an 11-year-old girl who he believes is an expression of his subconscious.

The results are unexpected and often disturbing: reshaping relationships, identities, and ultimately the very notion of reality.


Updated: September 14, 2010 — 1:28 pm

Wednesday, March 31st: Garbage Dreams

Garbage Dreams
Wednesday, March 31st – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Mai Iskander 2009, 79 minutes

Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village, on the outskirts of Cairo. It is the home to 60,000 Zaballeen, Arabic for “garbage people.” Far ahead of any modern “Green” initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

AL GORE, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Academy Award winner and former Vice-President of the United States, says: “‘Garbage Dreams’ is a moving story of young men searching for a ways to eke out a living for their families and facing tough choices as they try to do the right thing for the planet. Mai Iskander, the director, guides us into a ‘garbage village,’ a place so different from our own, and yet the choices they face there are so hauntingly familiar. Ultimately, ‘Garbage Dreams’ makes a compelling case that modernization does not always equal progress.

Updated: March 5, 2010 — 3:45 pm

Wednesday, February 24th: We Live in Public


We Live in Public
Wednesday, February 24th – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Ondi Timoner
2009, 90 minutes

Ten years in the making and culled from 5000 hours of footage, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC reveals the effect the web is having on our society, as seen through the eyes of “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of”, artist, futurist and visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director Ondi Timoner (DIG! — which also won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2004 — making Timoner the only director to win that prestigious award twice) documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives.

Harris, often called the “Warhol of the Web”, founded, the first Internet television network during the infamous dot-com boom of the 1990s. He also curated and funded the ground breaking project “Quiet” in an underground bunker in NYC where over 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium. With Quiet, Harris proved how we willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire, but with every technological advancement such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, becomes more elusive. Through his experiments, including a six-month stint living with his girlfriend under 24-hour electronic surveillance which led to his mental collapse, Harris demonstrated the price we pay for living in public.

Updated: February 16, 2010 — 1:46 pm

Wednesday, January 27th: Kimjongilia


Wednesday, January 27th – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by N.C. Heikin
2009, 75 minutes

North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated nations. For almost 60 years, North Koreans have been governed by a totalitarian regime that controls almost all information entering and leaving the country. A cult of personality surrounds its two recent leaders: first, Kim Il Sung, and now his son, Kim Jong Il. For Kim Jong Il’s 46th birthday, a hybrid red begonia named kimjongilia was created, symbolizing wisdom, love, justice, and peace. This film draws its name from the rarefied flower and reveals the extraordinary stories told by survivors of North Korea’s vast and largely hidden prison camps. Interviewed in South Korea, where they now live, their experiences are interspersed with archival footage of North Korean propaganda films and original scenes that illuminate the contours of daily life for a people whose every action is monitored and whose every thought could bring official retribution. It’s a world where justice and peace are impossible.

First-time documentarian NC Heikin’s background as a dancer and performance artist has influenced her approach to this stylish and deeply moving rendition of modern-day torture and the search for recovery. Far from being a litany of travails or a simple indictment of a government’s actions, Kimjongilia is a totally original and ultimately inspiring consideration of the extremes human beings can suffer, and yet still hold out hope for a better future.

Updated: January 19, 2010 — 1:34 am

Wednesday, November 25th: October Country


October Country
Wednesday, November 25th – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Beginning and ending with Halloween, this intimate documentary follows four generations of the Mosher family for a year as they attempt to break the cycles of hard luck and bad choices that afflict them. The pressing issues of one generation-an unplanned pregnancy, a custody battle, a bad relationship-stir up and reinforce long-ingrained patterns of the past. As they turn the camera on his family, Donal Mosher and his co-director Michael Palmieri place us in the middle of an unfolding drama that artfully manifests the complex ways families can sustain us even as they continue to inflict damage.

The Mosher’s small town in the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York is almost as much of a character as the family, adding rich texture to the film. You can almost smell the smoke lingering in cramped apartments and feel the blistering wind blowing dried leaves across the asphalt. Judicious use of home movies adds to the sense of the unfulfilled promise of a family living a life they don’t deserve even if they made it for themselves.

Updated: November 3, 2009 — 7:59 pm

Wednesday, October 28th: No Impact Man

Colin at Market

No Impact Man
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 – 6:00PM
That Empty Space, MacEwan Student Centre

Directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein
2009, 93 mins.

Author Colin Beavan, in research for his next book, began the No Impact Project in November 2006. A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no long avoid pointing the finger at himself, Colin leaves behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption…no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray.
Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s film provides a front row seat into the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colin’s and Michelle’s struggle with this radical lifestyle change.
The Beavans

Updated: October 7, 2009 — 8:16 pm

Wednesday September 30th: New World Order


New World Order
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 – 6:00PM

Directed by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel
2009, 90 mins.

New World Order is a behind the scenes look at the underground anti-globalist movement. This growing movement targets the annual Bilderberg conference, and the 9/11 attacks as focal points in the alleged global conspiracy.

Alex Jones, a celebrity radio host, and underground cult hero, is the main character of the film. The film chronicles Alex (of Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly), and four other conspiracy theorists, on their ceaseless quests to expose the ‘massive global conspiracy’ that they believe threatens the future of humanity.


Updated: September 2, 2009 — 6:52 pm

Past screenings: 2008-09 season


William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Monday, June 8, 2009 – 7:00PM

EPCOR CENTRE’s, Engineered Air Theatre

Directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler

2009, 90 mins.

Contains Adult Content.

The late civil rights attorney William Kunstler was one of the most famous and controversial lawyers of the 20th century. He represented civil rights and anti-war activists, as well as accused terrorists and murderers. In William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler explore their father’s life, from middle-class family man, to movement lawyer, to the most hated lawyer in America.


Updated: August 31, 2009 — 10:32 pm
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