Oregon holds its own at global film fest
Touted as Oregon's largest and most culturally diverse event by host Northwest Film Center, the 42nd Portland International Film Festival — PIFF 42 — takes place March 7-21.
There'll be films made by Oregon filmmakers, such as Jan Haaken and Irene Taylor Brodsky.
It starts with "Amateurs" by director Gabriela Pichler.
The story, via Northwest Film Center: The lightly fictional small town of Lafors, Sweden is potentially due for a big upgrade as the German megamart chain Superbilly picks their newest location. The Lafors city council, in direct competition with a neighboring town, seeks to differentiate itself and lure in Superbilly by making a promotional video extolling the quaint hamlet's virtues. But when local government employee Musse (Fredrik Dahl) has the brilliant idea to enlist local teens to make the video, two young immigrant students, Aida (Zahraa Aldoujaili) and Dana (Yara Ebrahim Eliadotter), take it upon themselves to film their reality and uncover the real Lafors, warts and all.
It shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., and Regal Fox Tower, 846 S.W. Park Ave., and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Regal Fox Tower.
From Haaken, professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, "Our Bodies Our Doctors" is about a controversial topic — abortion, and specifically abortion providers. It screens at 8:45 p.m. Friday, March 8, and 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Whitsell.
What it's about: The film highlights a significant group of individuals in the highly politicized world of women's reproductive health rights: the doctors and nurses who have taken an oath to provide safe and ethical procedures for those who need their help. While threats of violence remain commonplace, and religious control over health care expands, these quiet heroes continue to do their jobs with strength and compassion.
And, Portlander Brodsky has made another film, "Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements," set to screen at Whitsell at 5:45 p.m. Friday, March 8, and noon Saturday, March 9.
The movie's content: Twelve years after her award-winning documentary "Hear and Now," Brodsky once more turns the camera on her family, documenting the gifts and challenges that come with being deaf. Brodsky's teenage son Jonas, who was born with the ability to hear before going deaf as a boy, retains his hearing due to cochlear implants. Jonas also is a budding pianist, and has chosen to learn Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" for a recital. Jonas' grandparents, Paul and Sally Taylor, who are both deaf, help Jonas by offering him a channel to relate to the world through music, all the while facing their own new trials as age takes its toll.
For a full PIFF schedule, see www.nwfilm.org. Tickets are $10-$14 (opening night $20-$25).