International film festival explores global responsibility

From March 25 until April 4, the Carnegie Mellon Humanities Center and the Pittsburgh Foundation are sponsoring the “Faces of Globalization” International Film Festival in conjunction with the Humanities Center theme of “Global Connections, Global Responsibilities.” Various lectures and the festival itself will work to define globalization. One of the lectures actually took place the day before the opening of the film festival; Maha Abdel-Rahman spoke about NGOs and the debate over the success of their efforts. This is the fourth year that Carnegie Mellon has helped to make the film festival a reality. Past topics have included “Faces of Democracy,” “Faces of Mechanization,” and “Faces of Realism.”

The director of the event, Jolanta Lion, expects the films he features in the festival to meet certain guidelines. “I search for recent film productions with artistic merit that bring to light dimensions of the festival topic,” Lion said. Features in the event are usually ones that have not been released to the public and would have never been shown in Pittsburgh if not for the festival. The 16 events range from documentaries to feature-length films that contain messages on issues such as global war and climate change. The first film, The Age of Stupid, premiered on Thursday, March 25 at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room at 7:15 p.m.

Since the festival draws attention to work in multiple fields and disciplines, several Carnegie Mellon professors will be speaking at the documentaries, including CIT professor Cliff Davidson of the civil and environmental engineering department and professor Roger Rouse of the history department. At the premiere of the festival, Davidson hosted a question-and-answer session focusing on the climate change of 2055 and the eventual end of all mankind.

Rouse is moderating a film entitled The Wondrous World of Laundry, which centers on the lives of Polish workers on the German border and their struggle to maintain their families in the midst of job uncertainty. Through dialogues with three Polish women, the documentary tries to answer the question stated by Rouse: “What happens to family life when people are increasingly pushed and pulled by transnational flows of capital and labor?”

This festival is intended to provoke thought and inspire action, as well as provide a source of entertainment for campus. Students, faculty, and the general public are encouraged to attend the film festival, especially since several of the documentaries are being shown on campus. Students are able to view all of the films, which are inspiring and emotionally engaging, for free. Students can experience new perceptions of globalization while experiencing much-needed relaxation during the second half of the spring semester.