• International Film Series Promotes Cultural Diversity

Chiaroscuro Film SeriesChiaroscuro, an international film series in Grand Rapids, is in its fourth season of presenting  excellent films.  (http://www.chiaroscurofilmseries.org/)  Chiaroscuro’s mission is to promote cultural diversity and awareness through the presentation of international films and round table discussions for the benefit of students and members of the community.

On six Sunday afternoons beginning in January and continuing through April, Chiaroscuro (pronounced kee-ar-oh-skyur-oh) will show an extraordinary selection of foreign films under the theme “Finding Home.” Each of these films reflects some aspect of the process by which people of various origins and cultures find a new place to call their own, whether by their own choice or by someone else’s.

Each feature film is preceded  by the showing of a locally produced film. Following the main feature film, a panel of experts discusses the film for about 20-minute.  Kathy Hanenburg, who chairs Warner’s Immigration practice, and Homayune Ghaussi, an associate in our Southfield office, will be panelists at the second movie in the series, In This World, on February 8.  Following the panel discussion, wine and snacks are served, giving movie goers the opportunity to chat further and to view the art work at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, where the film series takes place.

Each film begins at 2:30 p.m at the UICA at 41 Sheldon SE, in Grand Rapids.  (Map

Warner Norcross’s Entertainment Law Group is among the sponsors of  the 2009 Chiaroscuro fim series.

Here are the six movies scheduled for 2009:

  • Sunday, January 18 Golden Door (Italy 2007) At the dawn of the 20th century, Sicilian widower Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) leaves behind everything he knows to pursue a better life in America in this elegiac immigrant’s tale. Details and trailer
  • Sunday, February 8 –  In This World  (Great Britain 2002) Two Afghan cousins become refugees and embark on a clandestine overland odyssey that takes them from Pakistan to London in this gripping documentary film from director Michael Winterbottom. Details and trailer.
  • Sunday, February 22 – The Daughter of Keltoum (France/Tunisia 2001) Brought up by an adoptive Swiss family, 19-year-old Rallia experiences culture shock after she returns to her native Algeria. (Netflix) Details and trailer.
  • Sunday, March 8 – Fraulein (Germany 2006) Three women in Zurich have one thing in common: a life they left behind in Yugoslavia. Reza has spent 30 years reinventing herself as a single businesswoman. Mila, her employee, longs to return home. Ana, new to Switzerland, comes to Reza looking for work — and maybe to shake things up at the café Reza runs.  Details and trailer.
  • Sunday, March 22 – Bolivia (Argentina 2001) Freddy, a Bolivian exile who’s left his loved ones behind to try his luck in Argentina, takes a job as a cook in a Buenos Aires restaurant, where he befriends an odd cast of characters who become his surrogate family.  Details.
  • Sunday, April 26 – Code Inconnu (Frand 2000) On a bustling Paris street corner, four separate lives intersect, setting into motion a stunning film by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Haneke. Carefully interweaving the stories of a promising actress, her photojournalist boyfriend, a young teacher of African descent and a Romanian illegal immigrant, Haneke crafts a compelling portrait of life in a fractured, lonely world. (Netflix) Details and trailer.