The Summer Foreign Film Festival kicks off at the Westfield Memorial Library on Monday, July 2 with all films showing at 2:00 and 6:30 p.m. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.
On the roster is “A Fantastic Woman” on July 2 (Spanish, 104 minutes); “The Fencer” on July 16 (Estonian, 99 minutes); “The Women’s Balcony” on July 23 (Hebrew, 96 minutes); “Loving Vincent” on July 30 (English, 95 minutes); “The Midwife” on August 6 (French, 117 minutes); and “Loveless” on August 13 (Russian, 127 minutes).
“A Fantastic Woman” tells the story of Marina, a transgender woman who works as a waitress and moonlights as a nightclub singer. Bowled over by the death of her older boyfriend, she is thrown out of their apartment by his family and forbidden from attending the funeral. She fights to be the fantastic woman she has become.
In “The Fencer,” Endel, a young Estonian, flees from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past. He is forced to return to his homeland, where he starts a sports club for children. When they want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, he must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or disappoint them by putting his safety first.
“The Women’s Balcony” explores what happens after the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem collapses, leaving the rabbi in shock and his wife in a coma. The congregation falls into crisis, but then charismatic young Rabbi David appears. He seems to be a savior until he slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control of the temple. Can the rift created between the men and women be resolved?
The life and controversial death of Vincent Van Gogh is the subject of “Loving Vincent.” Told by his paintings and by the characters that inhabit them, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture. The intrigue unfolds through interviews with the characters closest to Vincent and through dramatic reconstructions of the events leading up to his death.
Two of French cinema's biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama, “The Midwife,” about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, free-spirited mistress of Claire's late father.
“Loveless” tells the story of Zhenya and Boris who are going through a vicious divorce marked by resentment, frustration and recriminations. Already embarking on new lives, each with a new partner, they are impatient to start again, even if it means threatening to abandon their 12-year-old son, until he disappears after one of their fights.
The movies are free and open to the public.
Founded in 1879, the Westfield Memorial Library—the community’s destination for discovery and ideas—engages minds, entertains spirits and facilitates lifelong learning for people of all ages. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and closed on Sunday for the summer.
For more information call 908.789.4090, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter “Library Loop,” or stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street for a copy of the award-winning quarterly newsletter “Take Note.”