About Against THe odds
Curated by Margaret Parsons, founder and director of the award-winning film program at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., this year's Glimmerglass Film Days explored the concept of resilience in natural and man-made worlds. Films uncover preserving Japanese sake traditions, tenacity of Babushkas in Chernobyl, deep links between African Americans and their ancestral pasts, and the founding of Greenpeace. We traveled to South America in search of lost shamans, drugs, and cultures, and examined many other struggles closer to home.
The rousing real-life tale of a proudly defiant group of women who have managed to live inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (“The Zone”)—the restricted area monitored by the Russian military after the 1986 nuclear power plant catastrophe where fallout contamination was highest and access tightly controlled—is one of the most resonant and warmly human stories of resilience ever recorded on film.
All the Time in the World, presented by filmmaker Suzanne Crocker with Q&A following the screening.
Canadian filmmaker Suzanne Crocker spent nearly a year in a cabin in the wilds of the Yukon outback. She and her family lived off the land with the supplies they portaged from home—but there was no electricity, no internet, no phone, no running water. The aim of this demanding exercise was to restore a fuller sense of reality and familial connection, and Suzanne had the conviction that leaving everything behind was the only way.
Guest speaker information coming soon!
Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente), Ciro Guerra, 2015, 125 minutes
Covering a span of three decades in the life of tribal shaman Karamakate, the story develops as two interlocked tales following the diaries of two explorers—German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg (1872-1924) and American ethno-botanist Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001), each of them seeking the elusive, allegedly hallucinatory, Yakruna plant.
Over brunch, watch and discuss this remarkable film, The Language You Cry In, about cultural resiliency and survival against the odds of the Gullah people of the Sea Islands. A distinctive traditional burial song in the Mende language of Sierra Leone had been preserved by a Gullah family in coastal Georgia.
Rams, Grímur Hákonarson, 2015, Iceland, 93 minutes
A quirky, earthy tale of two brothers, Rams tells the story of sibling sheep farmers Gummi and Kiddi, neighbors in rural Iceland who haven’t communicated in decades.
The Black Maria is back again this year with a powerful line-up of shorts from the thirty-fifth Black Maria Festival introduced by director Jane Steuerwald.
Japanese Fall Dinner Buffet, 5:30 – 7:30 pm @ Templeton, separate ticket
An engrossing sensory experience, The Birth of Saké focuses on a group of traditional makers of the ancient Japanese wine—prepared by fermenting rice and a brewing process more like that of beer—at the Yoshida Brewery in northern Japan.
Q&A with ornithologist Bill Evans will follow the screening
Songbirds were once thought to be spiritual messengers—singing sentinels who kept watch, and possessed the power to predict what lay ahead.
The Anthropologist, presented by filmmaker, Seth Kramer Q&A follows the screening
Close encounters with climate change as experienced in local cultures around the globe, was a topic that intrigued the makers of The Anthropologist. So Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger set out to document the travels of the noted anthropologist Susan Crate, an interdisciplinary scholar who works with indigenous people in Siberia, South America, and the Pacific Islands.
Laurie Anderson, 2015, 75 minutes
Besides her art and music-making, one of Laurie Anderson’s gifts to the world is her storytelling. In Heart of Dog, she tells stories about her dog Lollabelle—and in the process opens up magical ways of thinking about life, death, danger, friendship, hardship, family, art, music, and, of course, animals.