Ragtag Cinema’s Passport Series brings international films to Columbia

The theater will spotlight a film from a different country for five weeks.

Ragtag Cinema’s annual Passport Series is back for its 12th season this fall. During the five-week program, the theater gives local moviegoers the opportunity to see new, critically acclaimed international films on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30. Each screening will be accompanied by an audience conversation facilitated by a moderator from or extremely familiar with the film’s setting. This year’s Passport films span continents and genres, from a South Korean romantic thriller to a Chilean historical drama— here’s what you can expect from them.

“Jeune Femme”

Showing: Oct. 10, Oct. 11 Passport’s first 2018 feature follows Paula (Laetitia Dosch), a woman who struggles to rebuild and maintain her life in Paris after her long-term boyfriend kicks her out of his apartment. “Jeune Femme” has been praised for its introspective and darkly humorous tone and for its all-female key crew. First-time French director Léonor Serraille picked up the Camera d’Or prize for best first feature at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

“Too Late to Die Young”

Showing: Oct. 17, Oct. 18

Set in Chile in 1990, “Too Late to Die Young” follows 16-year-old Sofía (Demian Hernández) as she and her friends grow up in a rural, artistic commune. Although the quiet, emotionally charged coming-of-age drama is set shortly after the country regained democracy, director Dominga Sotomayor Castillo focuses on lush, small moments between its adolescent leads and their community (notably, the film is produced by Rodrigo Teixeira, who also worked on last year’s “Call Me by Your Name”).

“Burning”

Showing: Oct. 24, Oct. 25

In renowned South Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s latest venture, aspiring writer Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) becomes entangled in a mystery when his former classmate Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo) goes missing. Chang-dong seizes the plot of the short story upon which “Burning” is based and adapts the themes of masculine insecurities and shifting class dynamics into a suspenseful, lyrical film. Local moviegoers may recognize American actor Steven Yeun (who, after being largely underused on AMC series “The Walking Dead,” has racked up a number of indie film credits in recent years) as Hae-mi’s wealthy, mysterious boyfriend.

“The Wild Pear Tree”

Showing: Oct. 31, Nov. 1

Turkish drama “The Wild Pear Tree” examines themes like economic desperation, young artists’ creative growth and religion’s place in modern life. In the film, recent university graduate Sinan (Dogu Demirkol) returns home to become a certified teacher and attempts to publish his first novel. As the protagonist navigates the state of his life and relationship with his gambling-addicted father, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who previously won the highest prize at Cannes for his 2014 film, “Winter Sleep”) crafts a visual and intimate vision of present-day Turkey.

“Asako I & II”

Showing: Nov. 7, Nov. 8

What would you do if someone who looked identical to your missing lover showed up and acted completely different? That’s the predicament that lead character Asako (Erika Karata) faces after her bad boy boyfriend Baku (Masahiro Higashide) vanishes and mild-mannered salaryman Ryôhei (also played by Higashide) appears in his place. “Asako I and II” is based off of the wildly successful 2010 Japanese novel “Netemo Sametemo,” and its premise is rendered realistic and open by director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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