“Dinner and a Movie” Film Discussion Series

  • Date(s): Monday, January 26th 2015 - Monday, April 27th 2015
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Niobrara County Library

The Dinner & Movie winter film discussion begins on Monday, January 26 at 6 p.m. The series, “Cinema and the Sacred” features four films in which people are grappling with an issue within their religious community. A light meal is served at each of the films and discussion is led by Deane Tucker, PhD, Chadron State College. Participants at WWC may also join the discussion via Skype.

The first film, “Little Buddha,” rated PG, is a story about the quest of a group of monks, led by Lama Norbu, to seek out the reincarnation of his great Buddhist teacher, Lama Dorje. Lama Norbu and his fellow monks believe they have found a candidate of Dorje’s reincarnation in a Seattle boy named Jesse Conrad. While Jesse is fascinated with the monks’ way of life, his parents are wary, and that turns into near-hostility when Norbu wants to take Jesse back with him to Bhutan to be tested. Jesse’s father later decides to go to Bhutan with his son, after one of his close friends and colleagues commits suicide, coming to realize that there could be more to life than work and money.

“A Serious Man,” rated R, will be featured on Monday, February 23. Jewish physics lecturer Larry Gopnik is a serious and a very put-upon man. His daughter is stealing from him, his pot-head son only wants him around to fix the TV aerial and his useless brother Arthur is an unwelcome house guest. Both Arthur and Larry move into a motel when Larry’s wife Judy wants a divorce and moves her lover into the house. With lawyers’ bills mounting, Arthur’s criminal court appearances and a land feud with a neighbor, Larry is tempted to take the bribe offered by a student to give him an illegal exam pass mark. The rabbis he visits for advice only dole out platitudes. Still God moves in mysterious and not always pleasant ways.

On Monday, March 30, “Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story,” an Egyptian film that features a loving young married couple with great careers will be shown. Karim is about to be appointed as editor-in-chief of a governmental newspaper. Hebba is the hostess of much appreciated TV programs about female victims, e.g. daughters who are buried alive because of improper behavior or people drowning when attempting illegal immigration to Europe. Karim is told that he will only be appointed if his wife avoids political topics, so he persuades her to make programs on ordinary people instead. But her “non-political” programs become even more repugnant to the authorities. The film is unrated and 134 minutes long.

The 1986 PG rated film “The Mission” starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons will be shown on Monday, April 27. This Cannes Film Festival winner recounts the true story of two men – a man of the sword and a man of the cloth – both Jesuit missionaries who defied the colonial forces of mighty Spain and Portugal to save an Indian tribe from slavery in mid-18th-century South America. Mendoza is a slave trader and colonial imperialist who murdered his own brother and seeks penance for his sins by becoming a missionary at Father Gabriel’s mountaintop mission.