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World Cinema Series Host Professor Gac-Artigas Shares Her International Film Picks

Even though events were cancelled at Monmouth University for the remainder of the semester, the World Cinema Series (WCS) is still turning at home. Outside of the two films “Persepolis” and “Mustangs” that were supposed to be screened this semester, WCS Co-Host Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature Priscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D. shared her favorite international films everyone should catch at home.

The first being 2017’s “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile, which won Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars. You can stream it here. Gac-Artigas shared her insight on the film, “It is the story of a transgender woman, Marina, a waitress during the day, nightclub singer during the night, and the discrimination she has to endure when her older lover with whom she recently moved in, Orlando, dies of an aneurism and she is the prime suspect of his death.”

Gac-Artigas continued, “You can see the reaction of a homophobic society who denies Marina the basic human right of bearing farewell to the man she has loved for three years when his family forbids her to attend the funeral and how Marina manages to fulfill her goal of being with him one last time.”

Another excellent film to watch while at home is 2017’s “Niñas araña” or “Spider Thieves” from Chile. You can check it out here. Gac-Artigas gave her opinions on the film with, “If as many other people in the world you were surprised by the social explosion in Chile at the end of 2019 you may find some answers in this film based on real-life events from 2005. The film tells the story of three thirteen-year-old girls living in a slum on the outskirts of Santiago, capital of Chile. They long to escape poverty, and to do it they climb up balconies of empty rich neighborhood buildings to enjoy amenities, food, and clothing far from their miserable real-life conditions, sometimes stealing some valuable items as well.”

“The film is a portrait of the enormous wealth inequality that grew in Chile in the last 30 years or so which exploded in 2019 with the rise in the price of a subway ticket. It also shows the role of the media in a global market that promotes among underprivileged people, especially youngsters, an unreal lifestyle only experienced by a small percentage of the population,” Gac-Artigas concluded.

As we stay at home and binge watch our shows, it’s nice to get a break in the action and watch something completely different. Films have the magic to transport us to different places, which we could all use right now. And luckily, the World Cinema Series still has us covered.