Winter Film Series 2022

Admission is FREE, but registration is required. Call 603-539-5176, or fill out this online form to reserve your seat.

There will be two showings for each movie: one on Saturday at 2pm, and one on Sunday at 4pm. Seating is limited to 20 for each showing and will be distanced. Masks will be required.

There will not be popcorn or soup suppers this year, but there will be discussion time after the film.

If you have any questions, email Chris at director@freedompubliclibrary.org. A big thank-you to Peg Scully for providing the movie summaries!
 
 

The Father (UK, 2020)

Saturday, January 22 & Sunday, January 23

Anthony Hopkins plays an octogenarian gentleman living comfortably in an attractive London flat attended to by caregivers (the latest of whom he has just dismissed) and by his middle-aged daughter who has come to tell him she’s leaving the country for Paris. (Or is she?)  You were expecting an ordinary sad tale of decline? Not this one.  This story is told from the point of view of the person experiencing the confusion, bewilderment, and sometimes terror that accompany dementia, and according to a NYT review “it’s stupendously effective and profoundly upsetting……perhaps the first movie on this subject to give me chills.”  Both a mystery and a psychological thriller, this film shows how people, places, and even time fall away for ones with dementia   Even we, the viewers, while able to follow the plot more or less, are sometimes wondering where and when we are.  Hopkins daughter, Anne, (Olivia Colman), is replaced by another… (Olivia Williams)  Anne’s husband is portrayed at different times by different men.  Even the set elements are subtly rearranged so that even we are not sure which is true.  Hopkins gives an astonishing performance. As his character becomes more and more disoriented, he changes from passive to enraged, from playful to cruel, and he’s terrified.  “There is no sugar-coating this movie…it’s compassionate yet unsparing” in its portrayal of a proud man brought down by things beyond his control.
 

Luzzu (Malta, 2021)

Saturday, February 5 & Sunday, February 6

Jesmark is a hard-working Maltese fisherman faced with a difficult choice.  He can repair his leaky old luzzu (a colorful wooden fishing boat) and continue the old way fishing as his father and grandfather did before him eking out a meager living insufficient to pay the bills….or he can decide to work with a sinister black-market operation trying to dominate the industry as it decimates the Mediterranean fish population and thus the livelihoods of the local fishermen who depend on it. Director-writer-editor Alex Camilleri has filmed his quasi-documentary movie with mostly non-actors in the voice of the neo-realist films of Rossellini and deSica. Luzzu received the Sundance Special July Award for Camilleri’s work and that of first-time actor, Jesmark Scicluna, whose work as he struggles making his decisions is riveting. This gripping drama observes a world of rapid social and economic change that doesn’t make sense to him anymore.  You understand this world through the lens of the camera as it records the sights, sounds, rituals and tasks of the fishermen and you watch that world slipping away.  In Maltese with English subtitles.

In the Heights (USA, 2021)

Sautrday, February 19 & Sunday, February 20

Glowing reviews have praised this dazzling musical, based on Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical stage play of 2005 (he’s in this one too in a lesser role), which pays tribute to the diverse Latinex communities of upper Manhattan, and is the gorgeous big-screen event returning to satisfy movie-lovers’ longing for Hollywood extravaganzas.   We follow a main character, Usnavi, (Anthony Ramos) during a sweltering New York City summer day, as the fabulous young cast entertains us with songs and dances and people go about their daily lives setting their hopes and dreams to music.   Magical realism and fabulous special effects can’t help but thrill you.  One bit evokes the Busby-Berkeley magical effects of the ‘30s; another, the centerpiece of the film, is about a $96,000 lottery ticket and what the money will mean to whoever is lucky enough to win it.  Hundreds covet the prize in an astonishing dance (and swim!) number.   Harsh realities of life in the Heights are part of the story, though, and Miranda’s music and hip-hop lyrics have been updated to make some hard-hitting statements about the injustices of this era which have been experienced by the characters.  They all get to tell their stories in the buoyant atmosphere of this slice of Manhattan.  It’s a joy to behold.
 

Minari (USA, 2020)

Saturday, March 5 & Sunday, March 6

Minari is a leafy green vegetable (sometimes called water celery) which is popular in Korean cooking and which flourishes in Arkansas creek beds.   It gives title and meaning to this beautiful new film about a Korean couple, Jacob and Monica Yi and their two children, originally from South Korea, who move from California to take up farming. They work as chicken sexers in a local poultry plant, but Jacob’s entrepreneurial ambitions are to fulfil his dream of growing Minari , to bring a taste of home to the thousands of Korean immigrants relocating to the States.  With quiet intensity the story of the struggle to grow the business in rural isolation of Arkansas unfolds.   The arrival of grandmother, Soonja, adds drama and comedy to the action as the children are put off by her weird eating and drinking habits, and her old country ways.  This familiar story of an immigrant family contains many of the dramatic moments you expect—the family is made well-aware that they are different, but that realization works two ways, as the habits and customs of the locals are shown to be equally puzzling, and differences are generally appreciated.   All the actors are first-rate, but Yuh-Jung Youn, the scene-stealing grandmother, is especially effective as she imparts wisdom, mischief, and memories to the family.  This modest, simple film has big things to say about the lives and experiences of ordinary simple people.
 

Four Good Days (USA, 2021)

Saturday, March 19 & Sunday, March 20

 Mila Kunis play a daughter struggling to recover from heroin addiction and Glenn Close is the mother who can no longer trust her.    When Molly (Kunis) asks Deb (Close) to allow her to detox at home, Deb resists, knowing all too well the clever strategies Molly has used in the past to get her way.  Although she tries to summon the willpower to keep Molly out, she finally gives in, and after a few days, the drugs out of her system, Molly visits her doctor who makes an offer----there is a monthly shot available that would block the effect of the opioids and help her to kick the habit for good.    All Molly has to do is stay clean for four more days, during which she will live at home with Deb who will keep an eye on her.   The ensuing drama provides suspense and tension as the character who was once an endearing and beloved child, is now an untrustworthy manipulator who inspires dread and even fear. But Kunis’ sensitive portrayal also conveys the self-loathing and pain of the addict whose only way to combat it is to get high.  Other excellent performances, Stephen Root as Deb’s second husband and Joshua Leonard as Molly’s ex-husband add to the powerful story and give a glimpse of what Molly’s life could have been.
 
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Parasite (South Korea, 2019)

Saturday, January 8 & Sunday, January 9

This marvelously entertaining, often humorous, and ultimately deeply disturbing film addresses a lot of universal issues: class, dignity, poverty, and inequality in a masterpiece of visual language.  The director, Bong Joon Ho, introduces us to a struggling family of four, the Kims, who fold pizza boxes for a living and find additional cash by stealing to supplement their meager income.  Their fortunes turn around when the son, Ki-Woo, takes a job as an English Language tutor to the daughter of a wealthy couple, the Parks.   The polished perfection of an upper class life makes clear to Ki-Woo (who has now become “Kevin”) and later, his family, the drabness of their existence.   The Kims plot and succeed, by lying, cheating and planning clever ruses, in acquiring other jobs in the Park family, getting rid of the other servants, and creating a rather pleasant lifestyle.   But there are unsettling incidents that foreshadow unpleasant things to come, and suddenly everything changes as the film rushes towards violence and horror in the haunting final scenes. In Korean with English Subtitles.