At the Intersection of Film and Culture

21 Mar


Before the light and airy University of Puget Sound venue saw sunset and darkness slowly settled, nearly 90 people gathered on Thursday to become acquainted with Norwegian words, win prizes, and bid on small auction items as part of the Sister City International Film Festival’s screening of the Norwegian film The Other Side of Sunday.

A jovial mature audience was cautioned to hang in there, past the film’s first 10 minute racey beginning.  Most of us in the audience had lived through the 60’s and needed no warning against any blush that may have come.

The venue, Commencement Hall, grew dark in a beautiful way, as a rare sunny afternoon outside turned to evening, then night. The film absorbed attention and was vivid in its portrayal of rural Norwegian life in a secular household of the 1950’s. 

This story was billed as a coming of age story about a Protestant minister’s daughter, but at its core there seemed a broader coming of age, women gathering courage, one generation after another, to find their own truth, freedoms and life apart from traditions of male dominance disguised as piety.  It was called a dark comedy, though that may be more in the Shakespearean sense, happy ending rather than laughs.

I thought this film was a treat and well worth seeing. I imagine there will be discussions among members of the audience in the days that come.


March 27: Featuring the sister city of Morocco with a screening of Defining Love, A Failed Attempt

Acting overlaps reality, bridging roles with those in one’s life. Hamza and Zineb travel to a remote area in the Atlas mountains in Morocco to research for parts they’re supposed to play in an upcoming rendition of the legend of Isli and Tisselt – a tale of two lovers whose tears are believed to have created the two lakes that bear their name. Zineb and Hamza, both emerging from failed relationships, meet Mohammad, a young shepherd, who is a dreamer. DEFINING LOVE is a meditative exploration of the invisible in our lives, with nature as its witness.

April 3: Featuring the sister city of Cuba with a screening of Esther, Somewhere

A year after the death of his wife Maruja, Lino Catala, a staid old man is approached by Larry Po, another quirky old man with multiple personalities. Larry confesses Lino that his late wife, Maruja, led a double life: by day an ordinary housewife, and by night an impressive bolero singer. From this moment on, the two elders join in a thorough search of Maruja´s past while trying to find the whereabouts of Esther Rodenas, the great love of Larry’s life. While following the trail of the women he loved, a friendship develops between the two that definitively transforms and shows them that life does not end in old age.

Where: University of Puget Sound, Commencement Hall, Tahoma Room (corner of N. 13th and Lawrence Street)
Time: Doors open at 6 pm, cultural program starts at 6:15 pm, film starts at 7 pm
Cost: FREE! Seats are limited to first come, first serve

More information about the 12th Annual Sister Cities International Film Festival is available at

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support this event through Arts Projects funding.


Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyThis review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Dane Meyer. Dane has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

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