ACE Film Fest explores cultural diversity

On Saturday Sept. 17, Newton Hall hosted the annual Geneseo Alliance for Community Enrichment film festival, a group of film showings promoting cultural diversity.

Each year the groups and organizations of ACE hold a film festival showing movies from the different countries and communities that the groups represent. Every organization in ACE nominates and votes for a film to be shown in the festival and the top four get screened.

This year the four selections not only tackled a variety of subjects, but excellently showcased differences in style and culture. Many of the selected films barely got any sort of distribution to American movie theaters. During its run in 2010 for example, South Korea's Mother was never showing in more than 50 theaters across the country.

Between film screenings, an expo was held where each organization had its own booth complete with pictures and posters. The expo provided students with opportunities to learn about the different cultural groups found at Geneseo.

Each club was excited about the opportunity to not only promote itself, but to open students' eyes to other cultures.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for each of our cultural clubs to showcase both the negatives and positives of our culture through the medium of movies," said senior Kye Shibata, president of the Japanese Culture Club.

All of the films screened incorporated different languages and were shot in various locations around the world. Here is a quick overview of the films shown:


(2009, South Korea)  

Kim Hye-ja gives a riveting performance as the titular mother desperately trying to prove her son's innocence after he's accused of murdering a high school girl. The film uses a muted color scheme and a minimal amount of music, taking a subdued approach to the murder mystery genre. Providing many twists and turns including a shocking ending, this is an intense drama about a mother's will to protect her son.


(2002, Canada, Mexico and the United States)

This splashy and luscious biography about the renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo won rave reviews and acclaim when released back in 2002. It stars Selma Hayek in the title role with an Oscar-nominated performance. With director Julie Taymor's colorful approach and Hayek's incredible performance, the film is a wonderful concoction of visual splendor.  

Infernal Affairs

(2002, Hong Kong)

Americans may know this film best as "the movie on which The Departed is based." That's right. The Departed is actually a remake of this highly popular Hong Kong crime drama. Starring the famous Hong Kong actors Tony Leung and Andy Lau, the film follows a police officer who goes undercover and infiltrates a gang. Combining swift pacing and deft storytelling, Infernal Affairs won a plethora of awards in Hong Kong. The film appeared at No. 30 on Empire Magazine's "100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.


(2010, Mexico and Spain)

Biutiful doesn't appear to be a very beautiful movie. In fact, it is a very depressing film. It stars Javier Bardem as Uxbal, a single father just diagnosed with terminal cancer who struggles to deal with all the parts of his life as he comes to terms with his fate. Bardem's performance is so powerful that he received an Oscar nomination – a rarity for a non-English-speaking film. This harrowing movie will certainly have audiences talking long after the credits roll.u