Friday, March 2, 2018

Whitworth's annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival celebrates 10 years this weekend

Lineup includes offerings from Spike Lee and Asghar Farhadi, and a documentary from Whitworth grad David Van Wie

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 11:04 AM

click to enlarge Do the Right Thing
  • Do the Right Thing

The annual film festival founded by and named for beloved Whitworth University professor Leonard Oakland celebrates its first decade this weekend with a diverse and provocative trio of movies.

The festival kicks off tonight at 7 with a screening of Iranian master Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman, last year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Part character study, part mystery, it's about a married couple whose sense of security is shattered when the wife is attacked by an unknown assailant, and the husband takes it upon himself to figure out why it happened. Farhadi (About Elly, A Separation) is one of world cinema's most distinctive voices, and The Salesman is a remarkable and suspenseful piece of work.

Showing at 7 pm on Saturday, March 3, is the new documentary Detroit Under S.T.R.E.S.S., directed by Whitworth alum David Van Wie. It focuses on the short-lived, ominously abbreviated S.T.R.E.S.S. (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets), a crime-fighting initiative that employed police decoys and specifically targeted African-American populations. Van Wie will be on hand to discuss his film.

The fest wraps up on Sunday, March 4, at 3 pm with the 1989 Spike Lee joint Do the Right Thing, one of the best films of the last 30 years that remains a lightning rod for controversy and debate. Unfolding over a single sweltering afternoon in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood, Lee's vibrant urban allegory examines the roiling racial tension between a white pizzeria owner (an Oscar-nominated Danny Aiello) and his mostly black clientele. You'll be amazed how relevant it still seems, despite being a vivid time capsule of the late '80s.

All screenings at the Leonard Oakland Film Festival are free and open to the public and will be held on the Whitworth campus (300 W. Hawthorne) in the Robinson Teaching Theatre.
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