This semester’s Lifelong Learning Film Class at St. Mary’s College of Maryland is run in conjunction with “Between Fences,” a traveling Smithsonian exhibition at the college’s Boyden Gallery. Each film is a profound exploration of the boundaries that define us and divide us. The non-credit film course open to all meets every last Tuesday of each month starting January 25 in Cole Cinema from 7-9:30 p.m. English professor Robin Bates introduces the films and leads a discussion afterwards. Cost is $10. The films are:
“La Grande Illusion” (Jean Renoir, 1937). In one of the most humane films ever made about war, Renoir charts the relationship between French and German soldiers, upper-class and lower-class officers, workers and Jews, and any number of other contentious dividing lines.
“A Touch of Evil” (Orson Welles, 1958). Welles’ film noir masterpiece begins at the shadowy border between Mexico and the United States but that’s only one of the permeable boundaries in the film, the most noteworthy of which is the line between law and criminality.
“Bread and Chocolate” (Franco Brusati, 1974) taps into the tradition of Charlie Chaplin’s little tramp in this bitter sweet film about Italian immigration into Switzerland and their love-hate relationship with their wealthy neighbor to the north.
“Goodbye, Lenin” (Wolfgang Becker, 2003). In this award-winning comic drama from Germany, a woman in a coma awakes following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her son, worried that her health won’t handle the shock of the news, tries to maintain the illusion that the two Germanys are still divided.