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16, 18 OCTOBER

Secret Ballot, 2001
Babak Payami (Iran)

16 OCTOBER AT 7:00 PM, CINÉMA 2 - duration 100 min

A soldier on guard in an unusual post along a deserted beach wakes up and discovers that this will not be an ordinary day for him… This is election day, although nobody knew and nobody expected it.
A ballot box is parachuted from the sky and a young woman lands on the beach of a desert island. To the amazement of the soldier, the woman is a government officer, in charge of the mobile polling station and responsible for voting on the island. The soldier initially rebels:  he expected an election officer, but not a woman! Despite himself the soldier is involved in the election adventure; orders from superiors force him to accompany the agent, with a rifle and military jeep, through those dusty desert lands. The woman, obstinately and stubbornly, actually moves mountains to collect votes. Through a series of surprise encounters along the way, the two characters find themselves in absurd situations. Many things can happen in one day, above all when two such different characters meet and are attracted by each other. It is sundown and the woman who came from the sea returns via the sky and the lonely man discovers that that secret ballot contained much more than he would have imagined.

Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival, 2002

Blackboards, 2000
Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran)

18 OCTOBER AT 7:00 PM, CINÉMA 2 - duration 85 min

Following an aerial bombardment in Iranian Kurdistan, school-teachers wander from village to village in search of pupils. One of them comes across a group of teenagers illegally crossing the Iran-Iraq border. He tries to teach them to read and write but none of them is really interested. Another meets a group of old people trying to reach the district of their birth on the other side of the frontier, hoping to be able to end their days there. None of these, either, have any desire to learn to read and write, except perhaps for a young widow... The teacher falls in love with her and follows the group towards the frontier.

Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, 2000