International Scholars Association hosts two-night movie event

Andy Moser

One of the films screened at the event.

Foreign films can be a turn-off for those who aren’t passionate about cinema. It’s difficult to get into something new and different, and reading subtitles can be distracting. Without making the effort, it’s easy to ask: why should I care?

On Monday and Tuesday night, students had the opportunity to discover just how powerful and important foreign films can be. The two-night movie event was organized by UNF junior Alicia Smith, president of the newly registered International Scholars Association.

On Monday, Smith screened the French film Fatima, about an Algerian Muslim mother who struggles to speak French to her daughters because she speaks Arabic. Overcoming cultural differences was a primary theme from the movie.

“It was very beautiful and touching,” Smith said.

Tuesday night, Smith screened El Lugar Más Pequeño, a documentary about the heartbreaking trauma suffered by the families who lived through the El Salvadorian civil war. Afterwards, attendees were treated to a discussion lead by Dr. Constanza Lopez who touched on President Trump’s recent comments about immigrants and the countries they come from. Lopez explained that she was concerned about this narrative because it lacks the proper historical context and understanding. Part of Smith’s goal is to help stretch that understanding to a wider range of people.

“Basically, what my club wants to do is spread knowledge and awareness of the international community,” Smith said. “Culture is all about history and the people. So, having people come out and see that for themselves…it gives them a sense of what’s outside America, because you don’t often see that.”

Smith also discussed the ability of film to supersede the language barrier to convey feeling, emotion and experience.

“Film is kind of a universal language. Even if you can’t speak the language that they’re speaking, you can see their faces,” she said. “I’ve always taken great solace in it.”

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