Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Eastern European Films at Ames Public Library

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Fateless (DVD FOREIGN FAT)  In Hungarian with English captions.  140 min.  2004. 

A teenage Jewish boy from Budapest is sent to the concentration camps in 1944, which proves to be a more complicated emotional experience than he ever could have imagined.

Firemen’s Ball (DVD FOREIGN FIR)  In Czech with English captions.  73 min.  1967. 

In a small provincial town, the arrangements and events surrounding the firemen’s annual ball, honoring a retiring fire chief, go wrong at every turn.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, & 2 Days (DVD FOREIGN FOU)  In Romanian with English captions.  113 min.  2007. 

Two college roommates have 24 hours to make the ultimate choice as they finalize arrangements for a black market abortion.

Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams (DVD FOREIGN GRB)  In Serbo-Croatian with English captions.  90 min.  2007. 

In a beautiful and tender story, a single mother lives with her 12-year-old daughter in the Grbavica district of Sarajevo, an area once used as an internment camp during the Yugoslav wars.

Head-on (DVD FOREIGN HEA)  In Turkish and German, with English captions.  118 min.  2004. 

In this melodrama, a Turkish couple lives in Germany, torn between two cultures, tradition and modernity, survival and death.

I Served the King of England (DVD FOREIGN I)  In Czech with English or French captions.  119 min.  2009. 

A young restaurant worker does whatever it takes to become a millionaire, only to realize that by accomplishing his goal, he has wound up in prison.

If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (DVD FOREIGN IF)  In Romanian with English captions.  93 min.  2010. 

Silviu has two weeks left before his release from a juvenile detention center. When his mother, who abandoned him, returns to take his younger brother away – a brother Silviu raised – those two weeks become an eternity. While his cries for help fall on deaf ears, he is introduced to a beautiful social worker. Wild with desperation, Silviu is driven to a surprising act of defiance as he makes a last grasp for freedom.

In Darkness (DVD FOREIGN IN)  In Polish with English captions.  144 min.  2011. 

Leopold Socha is a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi-occupied city in Poland. When he encounters Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto, he hides them for money in the town's sewers beneath the activity of the city above. What starts out as a business arrangement turns into something unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha's conscience.

Just Sex and Nothing Else (DVD FOREIGN JUS)  In Hungarian with English captions.  95 min.  2008. 

Dora, an educated, sophisticated woman who works in theater, is fed up with men after discovering her fiance is already married. She has a series of sexual encounters in order to get pregnant and to raise the child alone.

Kanal - #2 (DVD FOREIGN KAN)  In Polish with English captions.  92 min.  1957. 

Beginning with the 56th day of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis during World War II, ragtag Resistance fighters hold the front line. They try to live a relatively normal life and even find time to play the piano. They achieve small victories, but must retreat into the sewers to survive. World-class director Andrzej Wajda’s trilogy, A Generation, Kanal, and Ashes and Diamonds remains one of the finest achievements of Eastern European cinema.

Katyn (DVD FOREIGN KAT)  In Polish with English captions.  121 min.  2007. 

20,000 people are massacred (interned Polish officers and civilians accused of treason by the Soviets) by the Soviet secret police at Katyń in spring 1940, followed by a cover-up. Four families are separated from one another in the confusion of September 1939, when the Soviets and Germans invade Poland, through the 1945 Soviet occupation when the truth of the massacre is suppressed.

Kolya (DVD FOREIGN KOL)  In Czech with English captions.  101 min.  1997. 

A confirmed bachelor is in for the surprise of his life when a get-rich-quick scheme backfires, setting off a wild set of circumstances and leaving him with a pint-sized new roommate.

Loves of a Blond (DVD FOREIGN LOV)  In Czech with English captions.  85 min.  1965. 

A young woman, like her friends, is very concerned with men and love. A reserve army group comes into town and she falls in love with a pianist, who after swearing eternal love, leaves for his home.

The Man From London (DVD FOREIGN MAN)  In Hungarian, English, or French, with English captions.  132 min.  2007. 

Lonely railway worker Maloin leads a simple life with his teenage daughter and high-strung wife at the edge of a sea. He barely notices the world, and has already accepted its slow and inevitable deterioration. His inner life is suddenly thrown into chaos after he stumbles upon a deadly business transaction that leaves him with a money-stuffed suitcase and guilty conscience for a crime he didn't commit.

Man of Marble (DVD FOREIGN MAN)  In Polish with English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish captions.  156 min.  1976. 

In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut. She studies his stint as a proletariat hero, how that heroism was created, and what became of him.

 

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