Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flickers #7: Waiting to Inhale, at Indie Film Cafe; The Kite, Global Lens Series; Traitor opens

The Indie Film Café, a series of socially conscious documentary films held at The Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg, continues tonight at 8 with Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and The Law. The 2005 film, an examination of the controversy over medical marijuana in the U.S., screens at 8 at the arts venue, 620 First Avenue South.

Click here for the trailer.

Waiting to Inhale runs 74 minutes. Admission is $5, or $3 for members. For more information, call 727-895-6620 or email

The Gasparilla International Film Festival's Global Lens Series continues Friday night at the University of Tampa with The Kite. The film, a Lebanese-French co-production initially released in 2004, is a romantic drama touching on Middle Eastern political issues.

Here's the official synopsis, courtesy of the Global Film Initiative: "In director Randa Chahal Sabbag's 'fairytale for troubled times,' sixteen-year old Lamia must cross a border checkpoint between Lebanon and Israel to marry a man she has never met. Neither she nor her betrothed are eager to consummate a marriage to a stranger-a matter further complicated by Lamia's surprising admission that she is in love with the Israeli soldier guarding the border. Sabbag's enchanting drama about marriage and tradition is underscored by delicate symbolism and artful references to politics of Lebanon's territories that have been annexed."

Sabbag, born in Tripoli to an Iraqi mother and a Lebanese father, made her feature-film directorial debut with 1991's Sand Screens. She was later vilified in the press at home when she refused to accede to the request by the Ministry of Interior that she make edits to her second film, 1998's A Civilized People. The latter movie was a black comedy about the Lebanese Civil War. The tide turned in 2004, when she was honored with a Chevalier of the Order of the Cedar, for her artistic contributions to her country.

"I have lived my entire life engulfed in conflicts," she told one interviewer. "I never could escape this state of alert, this feeling of constant danger ... never could escape war. With this film, I wanted to learn how to put an end to my anger."

Click here to watch a clip from the film.

The Kite (photo, above) will be shown at 8 p.m. at UT's Reeves Hall. The soundtrack is in Arabic, with English subtitles. Admission is $8 for the general public, and free to all Gasparilla Film Festival members (must make reservations 24 hours in advance, to

The Global Lens Film Series represents a partnership between the Gasparilla Film Festival and the Global Film Initiative. Sponsors for this film include Knopik Varner Moore, The Studio@620 and radio station WMNF, 88.5 FM.

Opening wide today is Traitor, a terrorism-themed action thriller starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. The movie was written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, best known for penning the screenplay for The Day After Tomorrow. Odd note about its parentage: funnyman Steve Martin is credited with hatching the story.

The film "tells a good, snakelike story, slithering in some unpredictable directions," according to Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips.

A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, calls Traitor "a somber, absorbing and only moderately preposterous new thriller (that) … manages an impressive feat of economy, condensing a vast and sometimes contradictory compendium of post-9/11 fears and anxieties into 110 swift minutes."

No comments: