The Global Village comes to Flint

Jan 13, 2006

The Fourth Annual Global Issues Film Festival brings the world community to Flint, exploring topics important to all of us.

From genetically engineered food to gun violence and corporate ethics, the Global Issues Film Festival sponsored by Kettering University and Mott Community College brings global issues home and looks at locally-related issues with fresh eyes. Literally messages in a film can, these documentaries will educate and inspire viewers with their stories of courage and hope, warnings of potential danger and open analyses of hard truths.

This year's festival features 10 films, sponsored by the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, the Greater Flint Arts Council, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mott Community College and Kettering University.

Utilizing a new format, the festival will be shown in two parts with five films being shown at Kettering Feb. 1 through 4, and five films being shown at Mott in October. Both parts of the festival will feature appearances by one of the featured filmmakers. The films at Kettering will be presented in the McKinnon Theater in the Academic Building at the corner of Third and Chevrolet Avenues, and include:

"The Future of Food," Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., Q & A with director Deborah Koons Garcia at 8:30 p.m.
Directed, written and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia ( USA, 2004)
90 minutes

There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America -- a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat. Deborah Koons Garcia, the widow of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, spent three years researching and making an investigation into the health and environmental issues surrounding genetically engineered crops. The documentary "provides an excellent overview of the key questions raised by consumers as they become aware of genetically modified food."

"Argentina: Hope in Hard Times," Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m.
Directed by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young (USA, 2005) 74 minutes
What would you do if you lost your job, they closed the banks so you couldn't access your savings, and the government seemed unable to help? In Argentina they stormed supermarkets for food; the police gunned down 30 people in just one day. But what happened next was truly extraordinary. This film joins in the processions and protests, attends street-corner neighborhood assemblies, visits workers' cooperatives and urban gardens, taking a close-up look at the ways in which Argentines are picking up the pieces of their devastated economy and creating new possibilities for the future. Winner of the CINE Golden Eagle, San Diego Latino Film Festival, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival, Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, Sin Fronteras Film Festival, Boston International Film Festival and Port Townsend Film Festival.

"Guns and Mothers," Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., Talk Back Session at
8 p.m.
Directed by Thom Powers (USA, 2003) 53 minutes
Guns and Mothers is the work of a filmmaker who, having grown up in the early 80s in Detroit-then the "Murder Capital" of the nation-wanted to explore from both sides of the highly controversial issue of gun control in America. Thom Powers uses two contrasting stories to portray why individuals become so passionate in their standpoint on gun control that they dedicate their lives to fighting on behalf of it: Frances Davis, who lost all three of her sons (and two nephews) to gun violence, and Maria Heil, a "Second Amendment Sister" who believes that maintaining (or achieving) real safety rests upon the right to bear arms. No matter what your position on the issue, watching Guns and Mothers fosters an understanding of the otherside, which otherwise often goes unheard (or more correctly, unlistened to).

"Globalization is Good," Saturday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m.
Directed by Johan Norberg (United Kingdom, 2003) 50 minutes
The world is an unequal and unjust place, in which some are born into wealth and some into hunger and misery. Swedish writer Johan Norberg takes the viewers on a journey to Taiwan, Vietnam, Kenya and Brussels to see the impact of globalization, and the consequences of its absence. This film makes the case that the problem in the world is not too much capitalism, globalization and multinationals, but too little. In 2001, Johan Norberg published the book "In Defense of Global Capitalism," as a counter to the adversaries of globalization. He has received several awards, including "The distinguished Antony Fisher International Memorial Award" from the Atlas Foundation and a gold medal for THE best book from the German Hayek Foundation.

"The Corporation," Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2:10 p.m., Talk Back Session for both films at 4:30 p.m.
Directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott (Canada, 2003) 145 minutes
150 years ago, the business corporation was a relatively insignificant institution. Today, it is all-pervasive. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today's dominant institution. This documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts, and possible futures of the modern business corporation. Taking corporation's legal status as a "person" in the U.S. legal system to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" Winner of 25 international awards including the 2005 Genie Award for best documentary, 10 Audience Choice awards including the Audience Award for Documentary in World Cinema at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Films to be shownin theMott Community College Regional technology Center Oct. 20 and 21 include:
"A Decent Factory," a film by Thomas Balmes, about how some corporations are balancing profit-making with social morality.
"Selling Sickness," a film by Catherine Scott, about the unhealthy relationship between society, medical science and the pharmaceutical industry.
"Stealing a Nation," a film by John Pilger, about how the British government expelled the population of a group of islands so the U.S. could build a military base.
"Red Hook Justice," a film by Meema Spadola, about the community justice movement that started in Brooklyn, designed to help break the cycle of violence and crime with young people.
"Boys Will Be Men," a film by Tom Weidlinger, about growing up male in America, and how boys become men. How do boys learn courage, the difference between right and wrong and the meaning of love? What hurts them, makes them violent and sometimes kills them?

Information about times and location of the screenings at Mott Community College will be available in September.

Written by Dawn Hibbard