Still frames from various movies in the series

International Film Series

Virtual Viewing and Discussion

How to participate

Access the films through the Kanopy film streaming service. Kanopy is available through the Boston Public Library's ecard program and many local public libraries (Sandwich, Mashpee, Woods Hole, Wellfleet, P-Town). If your local public library doesn't offer Kanopy, all residents of Massachusetts can register for a BPL ecard.

If interested in participating in the virtual International Film series, contact Cindy Pavlos at and you will receive the weekly Zoom link for the discussion.

Fall 2021 Schedule

Still from the film: Ixcanul

Ixcanul | Guatemala | 2015

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of Kaqchikel speaking Mayans on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Immersing us in its characters' customs and beliefs, Ixcanul chronicles with unblinking realism a disappearing tradition and a disappearing people.

Director(s): Jayro Bustamante | 92 minutes | Kaqchikel and Spanish with English subtitles

Still from the film: The Cakemaker

The Cakemaker | Germany/Israel | 2017

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Thomas, a young German baker, is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man who has frequent business visits in Berlin. When Oren dies in a car crash in Israel, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers regarding his death. Under a fabricated identity, Thomas infiltrates the life of Anat, his lover's newly widowed wife, who owns a small cafe in downtown Jerusalem. Thomas starts to work for her and create German cakes and cookies that bring life into her cafe. Thomas finds himself involved in Anat's life far beyond his anticipation. To protect the truth he will stretch his lie to a point of no return.

Director(s): Ofir Raul Graizer | 110 minutes | German and Hebrew with English subtitles

Still from the film: Luxor

Luxor | UK/Egypt | 2020

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan, a talented archaeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.

Director(s): Zeina Durra | 86 minutes | English with closed captions

Still from the film: Ilo Ilo

Ilo Ilo | Singapore | 2014

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family – troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middleclass and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale's antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again.

Director(s): Anthony Chen | 100 minutes | Chinese, Mandarin, and Tagalog with English subtitles

Still from the film: The Country Doctor

The Country Doctor | France | 2016

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

This social dramedy stars Francois Cluzet as a devoted and revered countryside doctor whose life gets rocked by a middle-age woman who has come from the city hospital to earn her chops. Challenging each other with opposite views on medicine, the pair eventually bonds and learns from one another. Nominated for Best Actor (Francois Cluzet) at the Cesar Awards. Nominated for an Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Director(s): Thomas Lilti | 103 minutes | French with English subtitles

Still from the film: The Return

The Return | Russia | 2003

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, The Return is a mixture of psychological thriller and road movie, telling the story of two young brothers who must cope with the sudden and unexplained return of their father after a 12-year absence. The three embark on a road trip that becomes a background for self-discovery and the destruction of deeply rooted emotional investments. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes.

Director(s): Andrey Zvyagintsev | 111 minutes | Russian with English subtitles

Still from the film: 35 Shots of Rum

35 Shots of Rum | France | 2008

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2021

From renowned director of High Life, Claire Denis' sublime 35 Shots of Rum is the moving story of a father and daughter whose close-knit, tender relationship is disrupted by a handsome young suitor. Sumptuously filmed and featuring an evocative score, 35 Shots of Rum casts a unique spell. Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

Director(s): Claire Denis | 101 minutes | French with English subtitles

Still from the film: A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair | Denmark | 2012

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen's heart and starts a revolution. An intriguing love triangle between the Danish King Christian VII, the royal physician and the young Queen Caroline Mathilde. Academy Award nominee.

Director(s): Nikolaj Arcel | 138 minutes | Danish with English subtitles

Still from the film: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night | Iran | 2014

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps, and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of hopelessness, where a lonely vampire stalks the town’s unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom … blood red.

The first Iranian Vampire Western, Ana Lily Amirpour's debut feature basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the surrealism of David Lynch.

Director(s): Ana Lily Amirpour | 101 minutes | Farsi with English subtitles

Still from the film: The Man Who Sold His Skin

The Man Who Sold His Skin | Syria | 2021

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sam seeks to escape the Syrian War, but in order to travel to Europe to reunite with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the world's most prominent contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2021 Academy Awards.

Director(s): Kaouther Ben Hania | 104 minutes | Arabic with English subtitles

Still from the film: Citizens of the World

Citizens of the World | Italy | 2019

Zoom Discussion Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Three retirees decide to move away from Rome to find a better standard of living in a country where their meager pensions will go that much further. Planning for the trip sees the trio trawl the pubs and restaurants of a sun saturated Rome and discover that even at an old age they can still learn one or two lessons about themselves and life.

Director(s): Gianni de Gregorio | 92 minutes | Italian with English subtitles