Film series at Gish Theater explores exile & migration across continents

2016 LAAPFF Portraits - PERSONA NON GRATA - Director, Cellin Gluck - Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA - Friday, April 22, 2016. Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador | LAAPFF | VCOnline


“Exile and Migration” will be the theme of International Film Series in the Gish Theater in Hanna Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus.

The films will be screened in the theater on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. except on April 13 when the film begins at 8.

The series explores exile and migration in feature films and documentaries from around the world, including from the US. The second film, “Earth” by Indian-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, will deal with “partition” that divided India and Pakistan in 1947. Another focuses on North African migration to West Germany in the 1970s. “The Second Migration” (African-American migration from the South to the Northern cities) will be featured in a documentary in addition to the Zainichi, Korean migrants living in Japan and affiliated with North Korea. A Cuban film, “Balseros,” about the rafters who attempted to migrate to the US, is also scheduled.

We end with a contemporary Senegalese film about migration via the Atlantic to Spain.

The films will be introduced by the filmmakers on March 22 and 29 or by BGSU faculty members.


On 22 March, the film viewing will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 in front of the Gish Theater in the hallway.  For the second film screening with the filmmaker present (March 29), a second reception will be held after the screening.

This is the last semester before the Gish will be relocated to the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Scheduled films are:


“Persona Non Grata” (2015) Directed by Cellin Gluck, Japan

Moving biopic about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, sometimes called a “Japanese Schindler,” who issued several thousand visas to Jewish refugees in Lithuania before 1941. The film made its U.S. debut at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in 2016.


“Earth” (1999) Directed by Deepa Meethe, Canada/India

This award-winning period drama is set in Lahore (Pakistan) during the 1947 partition separating India and Pakistan. One of the few films to explore the haunting ramifications of Partition, it focuses on the point of view of a young girl torn between allegiances.


“Montréal la Blanche (Montreal, White City)” (2016) Directed by Bachir Bensaddek, French Canada

The story about a former Algerian pop-star who has fled to Canada to escape the Algerian Civil War (late 1990s) and who finds herself in a taxi cab one Christmas Eve in Montreal with an Algerian cab driver and is forced to confront personal questions of assimilation and identity.


“Goin’ to Chicago” (1994) Directed by George King, U.S.A.

This documentary chronicles the Great Migration (1915 1960) by focusing on the personal struggles, including unemployment, sharecropping, and racism, of a group of African-Americans returning home to Greenville, Mississippi by bus from Chicago.


“Balseros (Rafters)” (2002) Directed by Carles Bosch & Josep Maria Domenech, Spain

This award-winning documentary tracks the lives of Cubans who fled Cuba by raft during the economic depression of so-called Periodo especial in the early 1990s. The transnational film gives insight into the “human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds.”


“Ali: Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)” (1974) Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (West) Germany

This award-winning drama explores the unusual love affair between a young Moroccan guest worker and an elderly German cleaning lady in West Germany of the mid 1970s.


“Dear Pyongyang” (2005) Directed by Yang Yong-Hi, Japan/South Korea

This deeply moving and intimate documentary features Zainichi (North) Korean immigrants living in Japan and their complex allegiances to family, host country, and their “fatherland.” A daughter interviews her parents as they return to Pyongyang to celebrate her father’s 70th birthday with her brothers.


“La Pirogue (The Dugout)” (2012) Directed by Moussa Touré, Senegal

A group of African men leave Senegal in a pirogue captained by a local fisherman to undertake the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic to Spain where they believe better lives and prospects are waiting for them.

Funding for the series is provided  by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Pallister Francophone-Canadian Lecture Series . Sponsors also include Department of World Languages and Cultures, Ethnic Studies in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Asian Studies, International Studies, Department of Theatre Theatre and Film, College of Arts and Sciences.