With generous support from the Open Society Foundations CIES 2017 is pleased to present a Film Festivalette that will be running across our conference. The festivalette opens Sunday evening March 5th and concludes Thursday evening March 9th after our Closing Ceremony. All screenings will take place at the Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Athens Room, 2nd Fl. (South Tower).
THE CIES 2017 EDUCATION FILM FESTIVALETTE offers a selection of films that are more about education outcasts than education outcomes. The 2017 program also includes a panel discussion Rediscovering reality in representation: images of education in international film, which examine the intersections between cultural theory, social aesthetics, film studies and comparative international education through a set of ‘cases’ featuring international films and film makers; and two pre-conference workshops under the rubric Images of education in international film: work or play? that focus on using narrative and documentary film to teach comparative and international education. In the first workshop presenters from the Rediscovering Reality in Representation Panel discuss images of education in Chinese-Language, Iranian, Korean and David MacDougall’s films about schools in India. In the second workshop participants will talk about and demonstrate how they use film in their teaching.
The festivalette films reveal how the casual violence of everyday exclusion destroys lives, damages societies and makes the world less equal. We don’t always need a war to achieve this. The program includes eight documentaries and three narrative films. Zhu Shengze, Mark Cousins and Bahman Ghobadi democratize documentaries by giving cameras to children. Their young apprentices gather secret and knowing images of inner-migration in China in Out of Focus (2013); of a Kurdish village fixed on the memory of its bombardment in The First Movie (2009); in Life on the Border (2015), of camps for refugees on the Syria-Iraq border whose futures consist only of memories.
In If I exist, I am not another | Si j’existe, je ne suis pas un autre (2014) Marie-Violaine Brincard and Olivier Dury immerse themselves in a re-orientation class for young migrants in their Paris neighborhood of Saint Denis for six months before they bring out a camera. When they finally start to film, the result is pure pedagogical voyeurism shot in still frames with no voice over. We become part of the class.
Four films are more about trash than education. Hannah Polak doggedly visits a monstrous landfill site outside Moscow for fourteen years to film Something Better to Come (2014); she follows a family and a girl who grows up on camera and lives there all that time. Yasser Kareem crafts his landfill-site story in Iraq with the children who scavenge there. Kingdom of Garbage (2014) is a short film about a girl on a garbage dump who longs to go to school. Cheik Oumar Sossoko’s The Garbage Boys (1986) is a fictional story about a young boy in Mali who is not allowed into school because he is too poor to bring a desk with him; he decides to collect garbage to earn the money. Mai Iskander’s documentary Garbage Dreams (2009) follows three teenage boys growing up in Cairo’s garbage village as they learn about life and think about the future.
Documentarians, Sylvia Stevens and Laura Ogden, prove faithful interlocutors in their representations of Roma segregation in Educating Igor (2015) and curriculum reform in Timor- Leste in Scripting Change: Education reform in Timor-Leste (2016).
The only feature-length narrative, Correction Class | Класс коррекции (2014) is not viewing for the faint hearted but it is unmissable. Ivan Tverdovskii manages to say something true and terrible, if fragilely hopeful, about modern Russia and a segregated class for young people whose pain is their alienation rather the afflictions that occasion it.