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FILMS & FILM PROGRAMS, CONT. Sumo East and West Sun, Apr 4, 7:30pm, 1h30, Bartell Theatre ORDER CODE: SUM (WISCONSIN PREMIERE) Despite increasing participation by non-Japanese wrestlers, sumo remains one of Japan’s most time-honored and insular traditions as well as its national sport. Prior to World War II, Japanese-Americans sustained an active sumo culture, especially in Hawaii, but abandoned it in the face of wartime anti-Japanese sentiment. Many wrestlers of Polynesian descent carried on the tradition. Today in Japan, sumo faces profound changes due to the influx of foreign images, ideas, and influences – foremost among them, the influx of Polynesian-American wrestlers. Fascinating and beautifully photographed, Sumo East and West explores the cultural changes facing sumo in Japan and takes us into the world of the Hawaii-born sumo superstars at the forefront of the controversial transformation of the sport. “This moving film is not a movie just for hardcore sumo fans....[it] can make you fall in love with sumo.” – ADCC News. Sumo will make its national broadcast premiere on many PBS stations later this spring.

Who I Became director Mike Siv (right): His trip in Refugee begins innocently, “Me and my homies, we’re going to Cambodia.”


Documentary Feature, USA, 2003, 70 min, Color, DigiBeta; Language: In English and Japanese with English subtitles; Director: Ferne Pearlstein; Producer: Ferne Pearlstein, Robert Edwards, Yoshi Muto; Production Co: SumoFilms, Inc.; Series: Asian American Cinema, Documentary

A rundown Glasgow bookshop is the setting for Lone Scherfig and Anders Thomas Jensen‘s witty and visceral ‘Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.’ Threads of Belonging Sat, Apr 3, 6pm, 2h, Cinematheque ORDER CODE: THB With filmmaker Jennifer Montgomery. (MADISON PREMIERE) Jennifer Montgomery’s portrait of Layton House, a fictional therapeutic community in which doctors live with their patients, examines the idealism and politicization of mental illness. Experimental therapies, power struggles, and individual arcs of mental illness converge, as the community strives to understand itself and determine its destiny. Based on case histories in the anti-psychiatry movement, the film was shot in documentary style with staged improvisations by a cast and crew that lived together during production. Milwaukee filmmaker Jennifer Montgomery’s work has been screened internationally in film festivals and museums; her films include Transitional Objects, Troika and Art For Teachers of Children. A Wisconsin’s Own Competition Entry. 2003 Chicago International Film Festival; 2003 Milwaukee International Film Festival. — JAMES KREUL

Experimental Feature, Narrative Feature, USA, 2003, 93 min, Color, DV Cam; Director: Jennifer Montgomery; Producer: Jennifer Montgomery; Cast: Stephanie Barber, Lori Connerley, Bruce Stater, Jenny Bass, Dave O’Meara, Kelly Mink; Series: Wisconsin’s Own Filmmakers, Experimental Film and Media; Sponsor: Wisconsin Film Office


Jennifer Montgomery’s Threads of Belonging examines mental illness. Ticket to Jerusalem Sat, Apr 3, 7pm, 1h45, Orpheum Stage Door ORDER CODE: TJ1 With introduction and Q & A by Mary Layoun, Professor, UW-Madison Department of Comparative Literature (Sat screening only). Sun, Apr 4, 1pm, 1h30, Orpheum Main ORDER CODE: TJ2 Ticket will continue at the Orpheum post-Festival, part of the “Global Lens” series. (WISCONSIN PREMIERE) In a Palestinian refugee camp north of Jerusalem, Jaber, a benevolent man in his 40s, earns a precarious living by running a mobile cinema, bringing entertainment to both children and adults. Due to the increasing conflict in the disputed territory, Jaber meets more and more obstacles – checkpoints, travel restrictions, permits that are difficult to obtain. But when he is asked to stage a screening in a house seized by Israeli settlers, Jaber’s faith in the restorative powers of cinema prevails. “Rashid Masharawi’s warm yet clear-eyed Ticket to Jerusalem largely sidesteps sentiment in favor of a tentative hopefulness.” – Mark Holcomb, Village Voice. Winner, Silver Pyramid, 2002 Cairo International Film Festival. — KATHERINE SPRING

Narrative Feature, Palestine, Netherlands, 2003, 85 min, Color, 35mm, 1.66; Language: In Arabic with English subtitles; Director: Rashid Masharawi; Producer: Rashid Masharawi, Peter van Vogelpoel; Executive Producer: Areen Omari; Screenplay By: Rashid Masharawi; Cast: Ghassan Abbas, Areen Omary, Anan George Ibrahim, Reem Ilo, Imad Farageen, Najah Abu Al-Heja; Production Co: Cinema Production Center, Silkroad Production; Series: Global Lens; Sponsor: The Evjue Foundation; Print courtesy of Global Film Initiative.


Water saturates El Valley Centro, the first installment of James Benning’s trilogy. Tony Hawk

The Vest

See Young Visions and Voices.

See Wisconsin’s Own (and Other) Shorts II: Comedy.

El Valley Centro

Volcom Amateurs

Thu, Apr 1, 9pm, 2h, Cinematheque ORDER CODE: EVC With filmmaker James Benning in person. (MADISON PREMIERE) The first installment of Benning’s “California Trilogy” reflects his interest in landscapes not only in physical, but also social and political, terms. El Valley Centro documents the Great Central Valley and provides insights into the politics of water in California. “I was driving through the Great Central Valley looking for places to film. I wasn’t going to start shooting for at least six months; I wanted to just look and listen – to get to know the Valley well before I would make images. But almost immediately I came across an oil well fire with flames high in the sky. I returned home for my Bolex [camera] and Nagra [sound recorder]. Determined that landscape is a function of time, I let a full roll of 16mm film [100 feet] run through the camera. At that moment I knew I would make a portrait of the Great Central Valley using 35 two-and-a-half minute shots.” – James Benning

See Young Visions and Voices.


Experimental Feature, USA, 1999, 90 min, Color, 16mm; Director: James Benning; Series: James Benning, Experimental Film and Media

The Watershed Sat, Apr 3, 11am, 1h30, Bartell Theatre ORDER CODE: WAT With filmmaker Mary Trunk in person. (MIDWEST PREMIERE) In this courageous autobiographical documentary, filmmaker Mary Trunk recounts how she and her seven siblings survived the trauma of losing both parents to alcoholism and divorce. In 1972, life seemed perfect in the Trunk’s upper-class suburban home in Long Island. Life began to unravel when they moved to Santa Barbara. Their father announced he no longer loved their mother and left; shortly thereafter, he was fired from his job, plunging the family into poverty. Overwhelmed by betrayal, their mother began to drink and took to her bed. Barely surviving on welfare and food stamps, the Trunk children struggled to take care of themselves and to live like normal kids. An official selection of the 2004 Slamdance Film Festival. — MARY CARBINE

Documentary Feature, USA, 2003, 78 min, Color, DV Cam; Director: Mary Trunk; Producer: Mary Trunk, Paul Sanchez; Series: Documentary

Profile for Wisconsin Film Festival

2004 Wisconsin Film Festival Film Guide  

2004 Wisconsin Film Festival Film Guide  


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