The theme for the 2016 Venice Buddhist Film Festival is “Intolerance.” The Film Festival will run on four consecutive Sundays, March 13 through April 3 at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. See times below.
A short discussion will follow each film. For more information about the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Film Festival, contact Richard Modiano.
March 13, 12:00 Noon
Grave of the Fireflies 火垂るの墓 Hotaru no haka (Japan, 1989)
Set in the city of Kobe during the final months of World War II, Seita and his sister Setsuko, parentless children, struggle to survive amid the ravages of war.
Winner of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival Animation Jury Award & Rights of the Child Award (1994).
March 20, 1:00PM
The Pianist (USA, 2002)
The film is based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was playing Chopin on a Warsaw radio station when the first German bombs fell. Szpilman’s family was prosperous and seemingly secure, and his immediate reaction was, “I’m not going anywhere.” We watch as the Nazi noose tightens. His family takes heart from reports that England and France have declared war; surely the Nazis will soon be defeated and life will return to normal.
Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (2003).
March 27, 12:00 Noon
Bad Day at Black Rock (USA, 1955)
John J. MacReedy (Spencer Tracy), a one-armed stranger, comes to the tiny town of Black Rock one hot summer day in 1945, the first time the train has stopped there in years. He looks for both a hotel room and a local Japanese farmer named Komoko, but his inquiries are greeted at first with open hostility, then with blunt threats and harassment, and finally with escalating violence.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Writing, Screenplay. (1956)
April 3, 12:30PM
American History X (USA, 1998)
This dramatic exploration into the roots of race hatred in America opens with a shocking scene of teenage Danny Vinyard racing to tell his older brother, neo-Nazi Derek, about the young blacks breaking into his car in front of the house, whereupon Derek gets his gun and with no forethought shoots the youths in their tracks.
Nominated for one Academy Award, Best Actor in a Leading Role. (1999)