A film series showcasing meaningful films from around the world that explore who we are and how we might be. The themes of the films are often further examined in audience discussions with award-winning writers and directors.
Directed by Steve Hoover
Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay and devote his life to them.
WINNER - Grand Jury Prize, Documentary, Sundance 2013
WINNER - Audience Award, U.S. Documentary, Sundance 2013
WINNER - Audience Award, Hot Docs 2013
“Documentaries don’t come any bigger-hearted thanBlood Brother, a highly worked yet non-manipulative first feature for Steve Hoover that requires no string-pulling to achieve its inspirational impact.” —Dennis Harvey, Variety
The Levan Cinema of Substance Series is co-sponsored by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Blood Brother opens in L.A. on Friday, October 25.
Wednesday, October 23rd, 7:00 PM
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
Written by Guy Davidi
An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, Cameras was shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son. The footage was later given to his Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit. The filmmakers’ collaboration, structured around the violent destruction of each one of Burnat’s cameras, follows one family’s evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify and lives are lost. “I feel like the camera protects me,” he says, “but it’s an illusion.”
“[A] rigorous and moving work of art.” — A. O. Scott, New York Times
2012 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection and winner, World Cinema Directing Award
Monday, February 4, 7 PM
A film by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz
USC Norris Cinema Theatre
An evening with director Steve James and two Chicago members of Ceasefire, Eddie Bocanegra and Ameena Matthews
Winner of over a dozen awards including Best Documentary, 2012 Independent Spirit Awards and voted top documentary of 2011 by National Critics Polls
The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three "violence interrupters" who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. The film, from acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. The Interrupters follows Ameena, Cobe and Eddie as they go about their work, and while doing so reveals their own inspired journeys of hope and redemption. The film's titular subjects work for the innovative organization CeaseFire. It was founded by epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, who believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: Go after the most infected and stop the infection at its source. One of the cornerstones of the organization is the Violence Interrupter program created by Tio Hardiman. The Interrupters- who have credibility on the streets because of their own personal histories- intervene in conflicts before they explode into violence.
Wednesday, March 7, 7 PM (Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112)
Co-sponsor: USC School of Cinematic Arts
On a whim, Mija enrolls in a poetry class at the local cultural center and begins a personal quest to find the perfect words to describe her feelings. When her world is turned upside down by the discovery of a monstrous crime, it is Mija’s unique and touching poetry that allows her to defy the weight of shame and distance herself from a painful proximity to violence.
“With an understated visual style and perfectly paced narrative, [writer-director Lee Chang-dong’s] Poetry has created a portrait of a woman who has, by the end, become an extraordinary vision of human empathy.”
—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Tuesday, October 25, 7 PM (Ray Stark Family Theatre)
Prix Chalais Winner, 2010 Cannes Film Festival
Best Documentary Grand Prix, 2010 European Film Awards
Centerpiece, 2011 Documentary Fortnight, The Museum of Modern Art
Top 10 Best Movies of 2010, Sight & Sound
Critic’s Pick, The New York Times
Director Patricio Guzman travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth. Atop the mountains of the Atacama Desert, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.
The Atacama Desert is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the military coup of September 11, 1973.
So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families’ histories.
Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the Chilean women, Nostalgia for the Light is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.
For more information and to see the trailer click here
Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?
Roko Belic, director ofthe Academy Award® nominated "Genghis Blues" now brings us HAPPY, a documentary that combines interviews with leading scientists who research happiness and real life stories from ordinary and extraordinary people across 14 countries. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts to Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
Screening followed by Q&A with Roko Belic
Images (Clockwise from left) District 9; Adrien Belic, Director: Beyond the Call; Poster: Beyond the Call;
Joe Berlinger, Director: Crude; Michael Renov (Professor of Critical Studies) & Alex Gibney (Director, Taxi to the Dark Side);