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International Film Series returns to ECC for spring


Screen the best in foreign cinema this spring during the Elgin Community College Humanities Center's International Film Series. Held the first and second Friday of each month, the series is part of the center's effort to foster cross-cultural understanding through cinema.

Screenings are held in the Arts Center, Building H, Room H142, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to help support ECC study-abroad scholarships.

For more information about the film series and to view trailers of this spring's featured films, visit http://www.ecchumanities.org/ifs.

Nothing But a Man

7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7 and 14

Nothing but a Man is a story of black life in Birmingham, Ala.-in particular, the struggles of Duff Anderson, a young railroad worker and the schoolteacher he marries to carve a meaningful place for themselves. It is one of the most sensitive films about black life ever made in this country, especially during the apex of the Civil Rights Movement.

Ivan Dixon (best known from the 1960s television show Hogan's Heroes) gives a spectacular depiction of a strong, principled individual who will not bend over for any man, white or black. It's an early portrait of black pride, presented long before showing pride in being black was accepted.

Lincoln (who was still active as a singer on the jazz scene) gives a restrained, unmannered performance as Josie, a woman who stands steadfastly by her man, even when, out of frustration, he angrily pushes her away. Milton Williams gives a powerful performance as Duff's father, a rage-filled drunk who advises his son not to get married, but to stay loose and keep moving.

Searching for Sugar Man

7:30 p.m., Friday, March 7 and 14

In the early 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career with only two critically well received but non-selling albums. However, unknown to Rodriguez, his musical story continued in South Africa where he had become a pop music icon and an inspiration for youth alienated by apartheid.

After being rumored to be dead by suicide, a few fans in the 1990s decided to seek out the truth of their hero's fate. What follows is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found far more in their quest than they ever hoped, and a Detroit construction laborer discovered that his lost artistic dreams had come true after all.

The film won the Academy Award for "Best Documentary Feature" in 2012 and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for "Best Documentary."

Nostalgia for the Light

7:30 p.m., Friday, April 4

On mountain tops located in one of the driest places on earth, Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.

The harsh heat of the desert sun keeps human remains intact, including Pre-Columbian mummies, 19th century miners and the remains of political prisoners that "disappeared" after the military coup of September 1973. So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, the surviving relatives of those who disappeared are at the foot of the mountains searching for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families' histories.