BELFAST - For February's Friday Night Flix at the Belfast Free Library, Karen and Paul remind us about war's cost, before, during, and after. These films have been chosen to coincide with two events: this month's Camden Conference, theme on China, and Paul Sheridan’s Belfast Senior College class on alternative war films. All the movies are free and take place at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.
The first film of the month, on February 1 is “City of War: The Story of John Rabe” (2009). Rabe was a German businessman in China, who, during the Nanking Massacre of 1937-38, used his Nazi Party membership to create a protective International Safety Zone and in the process helped to save over 200,000 Chinese people. Although he was condemned by his own country, he is considered a hero by the Chinese. 134 min. In Cantonese, Mandarin, German, Japanese, English, Ukrainian with subtitles. Rated approx. PG-13.
The shadow of the Holocaust hovers over the second film “Remember” (2015) on February 8. An elderly Holocaust survivor, newly widowed and living in a nursing home, is offered the chance to find the Nazi guard from Auschwitz who he believes killed his family. In spite of his dementia, he goes on his search for revenge. The film is flawlessly acted by an all-star cast of older actors, including Christopher Plummer, Bruno Ganz and Martin Landau, and directed by Atom Egoyan. 94 min. In English and German with subtitles. Rated R.
On February 15 the film “Eye in the Sky” (2015) raises the issue of drone warfare – killing at a distance. Helen Mirren stars as the British commander of an anti-terrorist operation in Kenya. In the midst of a planned operation to kill known terrorists, suddenly a young girl enters the kill zone. The international team of operators must then decide their next moves – whether to continue or abort a mission that may save many lives at the cost of one innocent. With Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi. 102 minutes. In English and Somali with subtitles. Rated R.
The last film of the month “A Perfect Day” on February 22, follows a rag-tag international team of humanitarian aid workers whose assignment “somewhere in the Balkans” in 1995 shows us humanity and bureaucracy pulling in different directions in the aftermath of a still-raging war. Tim Robbins, Benicio Del Toro and Melanie Thierry and their interpreter (Fedja Štukan) are the main cast, who handle their less-than-glamorous job in a former combat zone the only way they can: with selfless bravery and a healthy dose of irreverent humor. In English, Serbian, Spanish, French, Bosnian with subtitles. 106 minutes. Rated R.