Love Foreign Films? The Penn Museum is Having a Monthly Foreign Film Series!
September 2016—Our language and our culture are deeply intertwined, so much so that some may say language is culture. How is that? This fall through spring, the Penn Museum’s Second SundayCulture Film Series explores aspects of translation, accents, culture, and language through a range of documentaries that connect with extraordinary people and diverse locales around the world: from a Chinese-owned diner in the Canadian Plains, to hip hop culture in New Zealand, to Korean children at a school for the deaf in California. The Language is Culture series is co-sponsored by the 2016-2017 Penn Humanities Forum on Translation.
Language is Culture films run the second Sunday of each month, October through March (no January program). Each film or set of short films is introduced by faculty from the University of Pennsylvania and other universities, and followed by open discussion. All programs, free with Penn Museum admission donation, begin at 2:00 pm in the Museum’s Rainey Auditorium.
This year’s lineup:
November 13: Quechua Language Program
Quechua: The Fading Inca Language (2010)—Dir. Gabina Funegra (19 min, Peru); and newly translated short Quechua dramas from YouTube
This series of shorts explores the recent resurgence of the Quechua language. One of the largest language groups in Latin America, Quechua, suppressed and maligned for hundreds of years, is now enjoying a revival of esteem and usage thanks to specific governmental policies and the enthusiasm of students from as far as Paris and Tokyo. Americo Mendoza-Mori, Quechua language professor at Penn, introduces the program.
December 11: Accents & Idioms*, or “Separated by a Common Language” Program
The Deadly Ponies Gang (2013)—Dir. Zoe McIntosh (63 min, New Zealand)
Hip hop culture has been claimed around the world and translated into many hyper-local contexts. In this hilarious “documentary,” Clint goes on a mission to get some teeth for his mate Wayne, with the help of rapper The Rhymestone Cowboy and others in rural New Zealand. [*This show is not recommended for young children due to language and brief nudity.] Introduced and discussed by Dr. Bethany Wiggin, Instructor of German language, Penn Environmental Humanities Director, and Topic Director of the Penn Humanities Forum Translation theme for this year.
February 12, 2017: Deaf Culture Program
Making Noise in Silence (2015)—Dir. Mina T. Son (19 min, United States); and excerpts from other short films on deaf culture and language
What are hearing people missing by not being able to sign with deaf people? What parts of deaf culture are hard to translate? What is an accent in American Sign Language? These and many other questions will be addressed in this program of short films. Filmmaker Mina Son attends the program, which is introduced by Jami Fisher, American Sign Language program coordinator in Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania. ASL interpreters will be on hand.
March 12: Irish Program and Series Finale
In the Name of the Fada (2008)—Dir. Patrick Comer (40 min, Ireland)
An Irish American comedian makes it his mission to learn Irish/Gaelic language well enough to crack people up, in this episodic piece from Irish National TV. A series closing reception open to all features an Irish tea party. Dr. Joseph Lennon, Villanova University, and Vicki Brady, Irish Fulbright scholar, lead discussions after the film.