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2019 Summer Film Festival Line-up

SGS Summer Film Festival
May 17 2019

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Join us for our annual summer film festival. We will show 10 films from around the world that focus on the theme “Earth: Habitat for All.”  

The film festival will run most Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., from June 19 to September 4, and they will feature a post-screening discussion. 

Admission is free and open to the community.

Films will be screened in a new location this year—the Sapp Center Auditorium, Room 111 located at 376 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305. Please use the lower-level door on the left side of the Sapp Center for an accessible entrance. Click here for a map

Parking for Sapp Center

The nearest parking is located on Roth Way and Museum Way, or in the Roth Way Garage located on the corner of Roth Way and Campus Drive. The Sapp Center is a short 5 minute walk from the parking locations.  Parking is free across campus after 4:30 p.m.

Sign-up for the film festival mailing list.


Recovering Paradise Film Poster

June 19

Recovering Paradise

Directed by José Arteaga and Rafael Camacho (Mexico, 2017)

Q&A with José Arteaga and Rafael Camacho

Located on the coast of the state of Michoacán, Santa Maria Ostula suffered great violence from organized crime. The film documents the armed resistance of the indigenous community and their struggle to reestablish law and order in their homeland. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies


The Big City Film Poster

June 26



The Big City (Mahanagar)

Directed by Satyajit Ray (India, 1963)

Q&A with Anubha Anushree, Department of History, Stanford University

An eloquent commentary on non-Western urbanization and its impact on the environment. Set in mid-1950s Calcutta, the film follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati, who decides to take a job to help support their family. With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, renowned director Satyajit Ray builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the contemporary Indian woman. View the trailer.

Sponsored by Center for South Asia



July 10


Hadithi Za Kumekucha: Tunu

Directed by Jordan Riber (Tanzania, 2017)

Mashoto is a young man working in the fast-paced city when he gets word that his mother has died. He returns to the village and people he left behind to learn the lessons of nature, of the earth, and the roots that draw their nourishment from it. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Center for African Studies


Kon-Tiki Film Poster

July 17



Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Norway, 2012)

Q&A with Christophe Crombez, The Europe Center, Stanford University

The true story about legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. View the trailer.

Sponsored by The Europe Center


Human Flow Film Poster

July 24


Human Flow

Directed by Ai Weiwei (Germany, 2017)

Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Program in International Relations


Motorcycle Girl Film Poster

July 31


Motorcycle Girl

Q&A with Professor Usha Iyer, Film and Media Studies, Stanford University and Mashail Malik, Ph.D. candidate, Political Science, Stanford University

Directed by Adnan Sarwar (Pakistan, 2018)

Based on the boundary-breaking motorcycle journeys of Zenith Irfan who, at 20 years of age, is the first Pakistani woman to have made a solo motorcycle journey through the northern regions of the country. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies


The White Meadows Film Poster

August 14


The White Meadows

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2009)

Q&A with film writer and director Mohammad Rasoulof (via Skype)

In this dreamlike film, Rahmat the boatman navigates the brackish waters of a coastal land, collecting the heartaches and tears of its inhabitants. But he remains powerless against their misguided attempts to appease the gods and make the land green again, whether by offering a bride to the sea or forcibly "treating" the eyes of a painter who sees in different colors. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies


White God Film Poster

August 21


White God

Directed by Kornél Mundruczó (Hungary, 2016)

A story of the indignities visited upon animals by their supposed “human superiors,” this film is a brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe. When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed 'unfit' by the state, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. Failing in his efforts to find his beloved owner, Hagen joins a canine revolt against their human abusers in this brutal but stirring fantasy. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies


Plastic China

August 28

Plastic China

Directed by Jiu-Liang Wang (China, 2016)

This film documents a plastic recycling facility in a small town dedicated to the business of processing plastic waste. The facility is operated by two families: the family of the owner and a family of employees. Eleven-year-old Yi-Jie works alongside her parents while dreaming of attending school. Kun, the facility’s ambitious foreman, hopes for a better life. Plastic Chinaexamines global consumption and culture through the eyes and hands of those who handle its refuse. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies 


Tomorrow Film Poster

September 4


Tomorrow (Demain)

Directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent (France, 2015)

Climate is changing. Instead of showing all the worst that can happen, this documentary focuses on the people suggesting solutions and their actions. View the trailer.

Sponsored by the France-Stanford Center