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MoMA Presents Global Lens 2009, A Touring Exhibition of Films from Developing Countries
Hong Qiwen as Liu and Zhao Benshan as Zhao in Luo Ye Gui Gen (Getting Home). 2007. © 2008 The Museum of Modern Art.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with the Global Film Initiative (GFI), presents Global Lens 2009, a touring film exhibition conceived to encourage filmmaking in countries with developing film communities. The selection of 10 programs, each from a different country, which include films developed with seed money from GFI, represents a concise survey of contemporary filmmaking from areas where local economic realities make such expensive and technology-driven endeavors a challenge. Accomplished, entertaining, and thought-provoking, the films are also deeply rooted in the social and political realities of the countries where their talented and resourceful makers live and set their stories. Several of the films will also be screened for participating educational institutions and schools in the New York area as part of an educational project between GFI and MoMA’s Department of Education.

Global Lens 2009 screens in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at MoMA from January 14 through 30, 2009, and is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

With three North American premieres, Global Lens 2009 continues the annual program’s goal of bringing international films and filmmakers greater recognition throughout the world. The premieres include Teresa Prata’s Terra Sonâmbula (Sleepwalking Land) (2007) from Mozambique, about an orphaned refugee of Mozambique’s civil war who searches for a woman he hopes might be his own mother. This film will have a weeklong run at MoMA. Also being presented in a weeklong run at MoMA is Nan Triveni Achnas’s The Photograph (2007), which is part of the burgeoning art-film movement in Indonesia and tells the story of Sita, a beautiful, spirited chanteuse and prostitute in a local brothel, who forms a friendship with a photographer. The third of the North American Premieres is Marat Sarulu’s Pesn’ Juzhnykh Morej (Song from the Southern Seas) (2008), from Kazakhstan, in which two couples who are neighbors, one Russian and one Kazakhstani, fall into a 15-year dispute that questions their different cultures and histories. It features sweeping vistas as it examines the clashing of old and new worlds.

Global Lens 2009 includes a wide range of international films with vastly different directorial styles, geographic settings, and cultural narratives. Among them are Faouzi Bensaïdi’s What a Wonderful World (2006), a stylized, avant-garde Moroccan film with music-video aesthetics and experimental narrative techniques, about a traffic cop whose love affair with a contract killer is interrupted by an Internet hacker. In a Chinese film by Zhang Yang, Luo Ye Gui Gen (Getting Home) (2007), an aging construction worker shows his loyalty by toting his drinking buddy’s corpse hundreds of miles for a proper burial. Along the way, he meets a host of characters who embody aspects of China’s recent and rapid modernization. In Naghi Nemati’s debut feature, An Seh (Those Three) (2007), from Iran, three soldiers desert from the army and head off through the snow-covered wilderness of Northern Iran in search of freedom, resulting in a visual and emotional meditation on responsibility and sacrifice.

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