Few things capture the excitement of the imagination better than film. So many of the questions, concerns, and hopes that the Humanities collectively investigate are represented in that medium, so we sought out and established a partnership with the local independent film house – the Moxie. Working with the Moxie, we have chosen a blend of classic and contemporary films that highlight deep and enduring humanistic questions and themes. As a result of the partnership we produce a Moxie Film Series, directed by Dr. Kevin Henderson, that anchors great film to community-centered “after-view” Socratic dialogues with the audience. This effort is also supported by a grant from The Missouri Humanities Council.
Films begin at 1:00, and tickets are half-price (only $5)!
The Moxie is located in downtown Springfield, at 305 S. Campbell Avenue. We look forward to seeing you at the series this year!
Life is Beautiful (1997) won numerous awards, including the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Original Score and received nominations for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing. The film is a comedy and set during the Holocaust. It tells the story of a Jewish librarian who uses fantasy and humor to shield his son from the grim reality of the death camps. This excellent and funny film, however, raises significant questions about the nature of comedy. Some critics argued that the film sanitized the Holocaust, misrepresenting the horror of the events, what the Nazis’ victims endured, and the heroic actions of actual survivors. Other defended the film and believed it told a powerful story with humane values. In the post-film discussion, we will revisit this controversy and explore whether there are some limits comedy should not and cannot cross.
Winner of the 2004 Academy Award (and 2004 Golden Globe Award) for Best Foreign Film, Alejandro Amenabar’s Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) is beautifully filmed, deeply emotional, thoughtful, and provocative. It tells the (true life) story of Ramon Sampedro, a Spanish man who as a result of being paralyzed in a tragic diving accident, pursues a nearly thirty year battle to win the right to voluntarily end his life and die with dignity. A tour de force that captures us from beginning to end, the film raises powerful questions about the value of life, the morality of euthanasia, the nature and depth of our ethical obligations to others, and the role of the family. It is simply impossible to leave this film unmoved on a fundamental level.
Son of Man (2006) is a powerful retelling of the story of Jesus. South African director Mark Dornford-May stays true to the Gospel stories but transposes first century Judea’s extreme poverty, perpetual cycle of violence, and its depravity of corrupt politicians to a contemporary, Soweto-esque township in South Africa. This film is an innovative and visually stunning presentation of that well-known story. More than any other “Jesus” film, it transcends historical context by portraying the destitution of the time, while conveying the sliver of hope that began within a small circle of revolutionaries and spread to millions. The personal is political.
Contact Dr. Kevin Henderson, Director of the Moxie Film Series, with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-sponsored by The Moxie and: