BELMONT - Sometimes we need to take a harder look beyond our own experiences and see movies that "make us care," says Raouf Jacob, who organizes the annual Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston, this year taking place March 22-24.
Showcasing films that spotlight issues of human rights around the world, the 2019 Global Cinema Film Festival will again be held at the Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont.
Now in its fourth year, the festival features independent films from the U.S. and a number of foreign countries, as well as talks with the directors, a red carpet event and more. It's an exciting weekend of films that opens a window into worlds far different from our own, and often take the audience out of their comfort zones.
Jacob, a documentarian on a mission to show films that put a spotlight on human rights abuses, fled civil war in the west African nation of Sierra Leone as a child in 1999. He first moved to Newton with his family and later Watertown where he graduated from high school. Now, with his wife and producer Lara M. Moreno, he helms his own film company, Worldwide Cinema FRAMES (WCF), that produces and distributes films.
The opening night film on March 22 at 7 p.m. is "América," from the U.S. and Mexico, by director by Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside, that touches on the universal-to-every country topic of elder care. In Mexico, three young boys care for their 93-year-old grandmother, América, after she is injured in a fall and the boys' father is charged with elder neglect. When their father is jailed, the boys face challenges as they learn to take care of their grandmother in "An astonishingly tender, intense observational film," according to the international film magazine Sight & Sound.
Also on Friday, a Colombian film, "LAPU," by Juan Pablo Polanco and César Alejandro Jaimes, takes us to a high desert where a young indigenous Wayuu woman "exhumes her cousin's remains in order to meet her for the last time. Through a sensory journey this ritual leads her to confront death and blend the world of the dreams with the world of the living," according to a press release. The film recently had its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Although the title of a documentary feature film being shown Sunday, "My Father Is My Mother's Brother," directed by Vadym Ilkov, sounds like something straight out "Game of Thrones," it's actually a touching portrait of a family: a young underground artist who takes care of his niece as his sister's mental health declines.
Also being shown Sunday, "The Disappearance of My Mother," a 2019 Italian documentary directed by Beniamino Barrese, makes its Massachusetts premiere at the film festival. The director's mother, Benedetta Barzini, once a well-known model who uncovered the industry's dark secrets, is now in her 70s and tells her family she intends to totally retreat from the material world. Her son uses the camera to preserve his mother's story and the film becomes a collaborative project between the two.
Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston
WHEN: March 22-24
WHERE: Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont
TICKETS: $12 individual tickets; $50 all-access pass