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Ashland Street Cinema Sunday, April 09, 2017 - 6:40 pm  add this block to your calendar  RUSH
7 minutes
Director(s): Robin Polak

Oregon Premiere

Alone, a little boy walks through a toy store full of people speaking in a strange and incomprehensible language. A beautiful woman, shopping with her young daughter, finds a way to communicate with him without words. He whispers something to her that she is not prepared to hear. 

Director’s Statement: Robin Polak 

When I came from the Czech Republic to Germany, my parents and I didn’t own anything other than an old suitcase. We applied for political asylum and I came to kindergarten without knowing a single German word. I still haven’t forgotten this special feeling of not being understood or being able to communicate with anyone. The refugee topic is now more relevant than ever and, of course, it deeply concerns me given my own past. However, far from a morality tale the true purpose of my movie is to bring this specific feeling to life and a bit closer to our privileged reality.

High Chaparral
Short Documentary
9 minutes
Director(s): David Freid
Sweden, USA

Oregon Premiere

A theme park celebrating America’s mythic Wild West in wintery Sweden becomes a welcoming, but temporary home for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war. Subtitles

Director’s Statement: David Freid 

As a child of the 80s, with an impressionable head for headline news and charity infomercials, I grew up learning that the Amazon is in trouble, that Ethiopians are starving, that icebergs are melting, and that the Middle East conflict is constant and absolute. I’m older now, not much seems to have changed, and I’ve got a serious case of bad news fatigue. But there is some good too, and for a few hundred people looking for safety from war, it only takes a handful of Swedish/Lebanese/Syrian cowboys to do something meaningful.

A Thousand Mothers
Short Documentary
39 minutes
Director(s): Kim Shelton
Myanmar, USA

Oregon Premiere

Set in an ancient nunnery above the majestic Irrawaddy River, A Thousand Mothers is an unprecedented look at the lives of Buddhist nuns in Sagaing, Myanmar. While the choices available to girls and women there are quite limited, this film poetically reveals the unexpected opportunities offered to them at the nunnery and the deep grace and dignity of a life dedicated to service. Subtitles  

Director’s Statement: Kim Shelton 

On a Buddhist retreat in Myanmar, I met a young nun. Each morning we quietly walked the monastery gardens, holding hands. I wondered, “who are these women with shaved heads and pink robes?” In making this film, I was deeply moved to discover “a thousand mothers,” a remarkable community of women, living a life of service, kindness, and generosity. May they be an inspiration to you too.

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