We all negotiate borders, whether they are drawn on a map or more subtly defined by economic status, race, or gender. What compels us to cross borders – or choose to live within them?
This fall, a new film discussion series at the Niobrara County Library explores some invisible borders in American life. Each of the five popular Hollywood films in the “Border Lines” series is accompanied by a free meal and followed by audience discussion.
All films will be shown at the library on Monday evenings in September and October at 6 p.m. The free series is sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council with major funding from the “We the People” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Border Lines kicks off in Lusk on Monday, September 10 with a screening of the 2004 Stephen Spielberg movie The Terminal (PG-13), starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film humorously explores the plight of Viktor Navorski, an Eastern European traveler stranded for months at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Viktor gradually surmounts the language barrier to build unlikely alliances among the airport’s multi-ethnic work force.
The meal and movie both start at 6 p.m., followed by discussion facilitated by Deane Tucker, who is an instructor at Chadron State College. Discussion will also include participants at the Wyoming Women’s Center.
Next in the series is Lone Star ?, a John Sayles film set on the US-Mexican border that will be screened on Monday, September 17. When Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) investigates a 30-year-old murder, he uncovers secrets that challenge the borders between fact and truth, love and enmity, and the town’s Anglo minority and Hispanic majority.
On September 24 the series continues with North Country (2005, R), which stars Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron. The movie, based on an actual class-action lawsuit, follows the experience of a young woman (Theron) who suffers sexual harassment when she takes a job at a Minnesota iron mine.
The fourth film in the series, Mississippi Masala (2004, R) stars Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury as a pair of star-crossed lovers. He is African American, she is an Indian immigrant born and raised in Uganda. The film will be shown on Monday, October 1.
“Border Lines” wraps up on October 8 with Smoke Signals (1998, PG-13), based on a short story by acclaimed American Indian writer Sherman Alexie. As they journey away from their Idaho reservation, two friends find themselves crossing the borders between the Indian and non-Indian worlds and between the claims of memory, storytelling, and emotional truth.
For more information on the series, contact Debbie Sturman at 334.3490.
Other communities hosting the statewide series are Cheyenne, Evanston, Gillette, Jackson, Laramie, Riverton, and Rock Springs. The Wyoming Humanities Council is presenting the series in conjunction with the 2007-08 Wyoming tour of the Smithsonian exhibition “Between Fences.”
For a full statewide schedule of the “Border Lines” film series and the “Between Fences” tour, visit the Wyoming Humanities Council website at www.uwyo.edu/humanities, or contact Grants Coordinator Jenny Ingram, (307) 721-9247.