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Conscientious Projections presents ELENA
May 8, 2017 @ 7:15 pm
Conscientious Projections spotlights films that address topics of social and political significance. In addition to a screening of the film, academics, journalists and activists will join us to discuss relevant issues and provoke a discussion of what each of us can do to affect change.
With the purpose of keeping these screenings accessible to all, tickets are available on a pay-what-you-can basis. (Our suggested donation is $10.) Proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.
Five years later, reports of the a new Cold War dominate the headlines, and governing Democrats are sounding the alarm bells for proper investigations of President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to the Russian government. Russia, for its part, is allied with Syria’s Assad and with Iran – two of the United States’ professed adversaries – and is also waging war in Crimea, a territory internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. Russian president Vladimir Putin is also stoking the flames of speculation that he is attempting, through cyber warfare and other means, to destabilize the West. Put it all together, and the United States – or at least those to the left of its president – seems to agree that Russia is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe.
Is it all overblown? Is Russia a threat to the United States and the world? What are Putin’s objectives? Is a U.S. president aiming to improve relations with Russia a step toward peace or toward a destabilized West? And what is life actually like in Russia, for the ordinary citizens? How does their society compare to ours, and what roles or responsibilities do U.S. and Russian citizens have? More immediately, what, if anything, can we expect of President Trump with regards to Russia, and vice-versa?
Joining us to discuss these questions is Tony Wood, author of Chechnya: The Case For Independence and editor of New Left Review and contributor to the London Review of Books. To facilitate discussion, we will be watching Andrei Zvyagintsev Elena. Praised by Jim Hoberman as “the most vivid evocation of Moscow’s contemporary society” and for “[mapping] a world ruled by ingratitude and the absence of justice,” Elena observes the differing rituals of Russia’s elite and proletariat classes and the nurse who bridges the two worlds.
Dir. Andrei Zvyagintsev. 2011. 109 min.
Stick around after the film! Redeem your ticket at the bar for $2 off any drink.