BYU hosting a series of cultural films



    Students can get a taste of the Latin American culture in a film series being presented monthly by the Harold B. Lee Library this semester.

    “Central Station,” the first of four newly released films to be shown, can be viewed on Jan. 20, at 3 p.m., in the library auditorium, Room 1080.

    “We’re supposed to be an international university, but we really don’t do as much as we ought to do,” said Mark Grover, Latin American Studies bibliographer for the library.

    Grover said the films are being shown to create an interest and understanding of these countries.

    Ronald D. Dennis, professor of Portuguese and recently returned Brazil mission president, said it is difficult to generalize Latin Americans.

    He said, compared to Americans, they are more open and friendly.

    “Brazilians are a very fun-loving people,” Dennis said. “They like their carnival, they like to dance.”

    This project began last year with a series of Argentine films and will continue next year with a series from Mexico.

    Grover said they are being shown in the library auditorium in hopes that it will inspire curiosity about the library’s collection.

    BYU has strong ties to Brazil and the Portuguese language. There are 26 missions in Brazil and BYU sponsors the largest Portuguese department of any university in the United States.

    Dennis said BYU has over 500 students enrolled in the classes while an average university program will only have 40 students.

    Despite the numbers, Grover said BYU could do more to educate students about other cultures.

    Grover said the films in the series would be presented with a 15-minute background and explanation to introduce the movie and the culture.

    “Central Station” is a recently released award-winning film, never before shown at BYU. It will have subtitles.

    Staring Fernanda Montenegro, it is the story about a retired teacher who supports herself by writing letters at a train station in Rio de Janeiro for the illiterate.

    When one of her clients is killed, her life is changed drastically as she helps the client’s son find his estranged father.

    “It’s an incredibly positive movie about a woman coming to grips with who she is and getting rid of some of the harsher parts of her life,” Grover said.

    Grover said all the movies were chosen because they were good movies with acceptable ratings. They also displayed a lot of scenery and Brazilian culture.

    Following “Central Station” are “O Pagador de Promessas” on Feb. 17, “O Quatrilho” on March 16, and “Four Days in September” on April 6.

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