Foreign film event aims to broaden student horizons

By Bonnie Berger

A contemporary German film will show at 7 p.m. today in Bennett Auditorium as part of the World Cinema Series.

The film, “Rosenstrasse,” recounts the experiences of one Jewish family in Germany during World War II.

“It’s a modern film from 2003 talking about a historical event from 1943,” said Dr. Jennifer Good, associate professor of German and co-founder of the World Cinema Series. “It’s very well done. People will recognize it as being beautifully done. [Students] will learn from the family about this historical event.”

A foreign film event held every Tuesday, the World Cinema Series provides students with the opportunity to experience different cultures and historical occurrences through the medium of film.

Initiated by Good and Dr. Cristian Bratu, associate professor of French, several years ago, the program started out as a European film series. However, Good and Bratu soon heard from other professors within the Modern Foreign Language department desiring to participate as well.

“We now put out a call at the end of each semester to include other departments,” Good said. “There’s a lot of interest in getting to show a film that you may not use in class but you’d like to expose to a bigger audience.”

Films are apt tools many professors use to expose students to the history they are studying, Good said.

“In MFL, we’re talking all the time about how important it is to learn about the culture you’re learning about,” she said. “Films are very accessible. People think of it as entertainment so they might come to a film that might teach them something.”

Professors also incorporate these viewings into their curriculum, occasionally utilizing them as opportunities for extra credit.

The Woodlands junior Sara Lemister attended several showings for her French class in the past. One such film, a French comedy, proved to be entertaining.

“I was exposed to French culture, history and different parts of French geography,” Lemister said. “It was helpful to my overall understanding of the class.”

Another such participant, Baylor alum Armon Bakhtiari, attended a Russian drama for his class.

“I don’t think Russians have comedies,” Bakhtiari joked. “I like movies so I thought it was a beneficial use of a relatable subject – cinema.”

Films are not solely reserved for students learning a foreign language and are open to the entire student body.

“We would welcome any students that are interested in learning more about the world,” Good said.

Next week’s film, “Dark Blue World,” is a Czech drama depicting a World War II-era love triangle. Nine more films will be shown this semester.

All films are shown with English subtitles.

For more information about the World Cinema Series and upcoming movies, e-mail