FAMS is pleased to offer events in support of its academic mission, including screenings by established and burgeoning filmmakers, guest lectures by critical historians and theorists, and workshops/lectures by writers and producers working in film, television, video and new media.

Please note: The FAMS calendar also features film screening opportunities sponsored by other departments on the Amherst College campus. 

Upcoming Events

Thu, Oct 3, 2019

"Kirchblüten - Hanami" ("Cherry Blossoms", Doris Dörrie, 2007; 127 min)

Touching tragicomic drama about marital love and dysfunctional families: Trudi always wants to take her ailing husband on a spiritual pilgrimage to Japan's Mount Fuji; when she dies unexpectedly, he decides against all odds to undertake the journey on his own.

"Kirchblüten - Hanami" ("Cherry Blossoms", Doris Dörrie, 2007; 127 min)

Touching tragicomic drama about marital love and dysfunctional families: Trudi always wants to take her ailing husband on a spiritual pilgrimage to Japan's Mount Fuji; when she dies unexpectedly, he decides against all odds to undertake the journey on his own.

Thu, Oct 10, 2019

Headshot of Brett Story

Helene Keyssar Lecture: "Everything Is in Everything: Geography, Documentary and the Political Imagination" with Brett Story

Brett Story is a non-fiction filmmaker and geographer whose work focuses on capitalism, ideology and the production of space. She is the director of the recent feature documentaries "The Hottest August" (2019) and "The Prison in Twelve Landscapes" (2016), and is the author of "Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power Across Neoliberal America".

In this talk, Dr. Story will explore the relationship between research and creative practice, arguing for a non-fiction cinema that incites the radical imagination. With reference to select scenes from her own documentary films as well as other visual material, Story will discuss geography as a cinematic method, the dynamic between rigorous research and aesthetic form, and the political stakes of trusting one’s audience.

Thu, Oct 17, 2019

"Der Himmel über Berlin" ("Wings of Desire", Wim Wenders, 1987; 128 min)

This acclaimed, exhilarating film about Berlin before the fall of the Wall features the lonely angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) roaming the city streets to provide comfort to mortals in need. When he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artists, he is faced with a difficult decision: Give up love? Or lose his eternal wings forever? A magnificent film of sublime beauty and optimism.

"Wings of Desire" Book Talk with Christian Rogowski

This acclaimed, exhilarating film about Berlin before the fall of the Wall features the lonely angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) roaming the city streets to provide comfort to mortals in need. When he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artists, he is faced with a difficult decision: Give up love? Or lose his eternal wings forever? A magnificent film of sublime beauty and optimism.

Tue, Oct 22, 2019

"Wings of Desire" Book Talk with Christian Rogowski

Filmed in 1986/87 in still-divided Berlin, Wim Wenders's "Wings of Desire" is both a utopian fairy tale and a fascinating time capsule of that late Cold War moment. Together with legendary French cinematographer Henri Alekan (who had worked on Jean Cocteau's "La Belle et la Bête" of 1946, among many other films) and Austrian author Peter Handke (with whom he had collaborated before), Wenders created a multilayered filmic poem of dazzling complexity: the skies over Berlin are populated with angels bearing witness to its inhabitants' everyday concerns. One falls in love with a beautiful young woman, a trapeze artist in a traveling circus, and decides to forfeit his immortality. Wenders's groundbreaking film has been hailed as a paean to love, a rumination on the continued presence in Berlin of a troubled German history, as well as an homage to the life-affirming power of the cinematic imagination. Christian Rogowski guides the reader through the film's many aspects, using archival research to bring out new insights into its making and meanings.

Christian Rogowski is a G. Armour Craig Professor in Language and Literature in the Department of German at Amherst College.

Wed, Nov 6, 2019

"La Manuela" film screening

LA MANUELA is a movie about exile and self-reinvention. In august 2015, Manuela Lavinas Picq, a french-brazilian journalist and university professor, was arrested at a demonstration in Quito, Ecuador. That same night, her work visa was revoked and she was taken into custody. Manuela was forced to leave Ecuador, where she had lived for the last decade, losing her home, work and lover. This film tells the trajectory of an activist who defends the causes of indigenous peoples with a lot of identity.

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

"Das Verspechen" ("The Promise", Margarethe von Trotta, 1994; 115 min)

In the early 1960s, two young lovers from East Berlin attempt to escape to the West: Sophie manages to flee, but Konrad remains behind. What will happen to their relationship and their joint child when, after decades of separation, they meet again after the fall of the Wall (thirty years ago, on November 9, 1989).

"Das Verspechen" ("The Promise", Margarethe von Trotta, 1994; 115 min)

In the early 1960s, two young lovers from East Berlin attempt to escape to the West: Sophie manages to flee, but Konrad remains behind. What will happen to their relationship and their joint child when, after decades of separation, they meet again after the fall of the Wall (thirty years ago, on November 9, 1989).

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

"Transit" (Christian Petzold, 2018; 102 min.)

Gripping drama that updates to the present the acclaimed 1943 novel by Anna Seghers about refugees from Nazi Germany. A young man assumes the identity of a deceased writer, hoping to escape Europe through the port of Marseille. Here, he meets the writer’s wife, who – unaware of her husband’s death – involves the man in her own efforts to flee.

Featured Article

Still from Milagroso Azul (Miracle Blue) by Joyzel Acevedo '15
Still from Milagroso Azul (Miracle Blue) by Joyzel Acevedo '15

Political yet Personal: Student Documentaries Explore Torture and Immigration

A former military police officer attempts to reconcile his love for music with the memory of hearing it used as a weapon while stationed at Guantanamo Bay. An immigrant family from Cuba mourns the loss of their wife/mother/grandmother thousands of miles from the place they know as home. These are the real stories behind two documentaries filmed, edited and produced by Ashley Blasczyk '15 and Joyzel Acevedo '15 as part of their Film and Media Studies senior thesis projects.

Read more