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Notre Dame Forum film series focuses on theme of war and peace

In the first of three spring semester Notre Dame Forum keynote events, the University of Notre Dame will host a weekly film series throughout February.

In the first of three spring semester Notre Dame Forum keynote events, the University of Notre Dame will host a weekly film series throughout February to reflect on the experience of war from a variety of angles: direct experiences of war, the plight of refugees from war zones, the perspectives of families of genocide victims and experiences of occupation. A short panel discussion featuring University experts will follow each film.

The Notre Dame Forum, hosted by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has been held annually since 2005, with events each year focused on a central theme of particular importance to the University, the nation and the larger world. This year’s forum theme is “War and Peace.” 

Films will be shown in the Browning Cinema of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. Each film screening is a free but ticketed event, with a one-ticket limit per person. Tickets will be available for pickup at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office one hour prior to the show. To guarantee a seat, attendees are encouraged to pick up tickets at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the film. In the event of a sellout, unclaimed tickets will be used to seat patrons waiting on standby.

Feb. 1: “The Hurt Locker”

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
With Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
Rated R, 131 minutes
In English and Arabic with English subtitles

Belonging to a set of films made with not much distance from the historical event featured, “The Hurt Locker” is set in 2004 and debuted in 2008 while the Iraq War carried on. That fusion of the past and present gave an immediacy to a film aiming to bring the high tension of the Iraq War to its (largely American) audience.

With its storyline following a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, “The Hurt Locker” won various prizes, including Academy Awards for best picture and best director.

Feb. 8: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (2022)

Directed by Edward Berger
With Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Rated R, 148 minutes
In German and French with English subtitles

Upon its release in 1929, Erich Maria Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” was adapted into a film directed by Lewis Milestone, which won an Oscar for best picture.

Nearly a century later, a new adaptation from Germany has arrived. The plot tracks the familiar story of a young German soldier who enlists in World War I with idealism that cracks when confronted with the brutal realities of trench warfare.

The film is a Best Picture nominee at the 2023 Academy Awards. 

Feb. 15: “For Sama”

Directed by Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
With Waad Al-Kateab, Hamza Al-Khateab, Sama Al-Khateab
Rated PG, 100 minutes
In English and Arabic with English subtitles

In a time of conflict and darkness in her home in Aleppo, Syria, one young woman kept her camera rolling while falling in love, getting married, having a baby and saying goodbye as her city crumbled.

The documentary “For Sama” unfolds as a love letter from al-Kateab to her daughter Sama. After debuting on the international film festival circuit, “For Sama” won more than 50 awards. It also received an Academy Award nomination in the best feature documentary category.

Feb. 22: “The Missing Picture”

Directed by Rithy Panh
Not Rated, 92 minutes
In French with English subtitles

Rithy Panh’s career has been marked by innovative approaches to making films about the unfilmable, particularly the impact of life under the Khmer Rouge. “The Missing Picture” exemplifies his work as it explores Panh’s quest for a photograph taken between 1975 and 1979 by the Khmer Rouge when they ruled over Cambodia. Using clay figures, archival footage and his narration, Panh relays the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge in an effort to uncover the truth.

See for more information.

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