The Knickerbocker Theatre at Hope College is presenting a series of foreign films to liven up the winter months.
The four films are "The Wide Blue Road," "Cool and Crazy," "Kandahar" and "The Vertical Ray of the Sun."
"The Wide Blue Road" continues through Saturday, Feb. 16, with shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly.
The film stars a young Yves Montand as Squarico, a simple fisherman who struggles to keep his family out of poverty.
Squarico lives on the Italian coast with his wife, daughter and two sons. He is a maverick among his fellow fisherman, using high explosives to enhance his catch. Although he helps his colleagues as he can, he resists joining with them in a co-op designed to fight a greedy wholesaler. He finds himself in trouble with the coast guard, and when he sinks his boat to avoid capture he must find a way to save his family from ruin.
"The Wide Blue Road" is unrated (suitable for older teens), and has a running time of one hour and 40 minutes. The film is in Italian with English subtitles.
"Cool and Crazy" runs Monday-Thursday, Feb. 18 21; Monday-Tuesday, 25-26; and Thursday, Feb. 28. There will be shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly, except for Thursday, Feb. 21, when there will be a show at 9 p.m. only.
A documentary, "Cool and Crazy" focuses on the Berlevag Male Choir, which director Knut Erik Jensen discovered by accident in the middle of a snowstorm. Berlevag is a small fishing village in northern Norway. The 30 or so members of the choir, mostly fishermen and ranging in age from 29 to 96, sing songs based on their culture.
The film follows the choir as it makes a trip to Murmansk. Meanwhile, the audience is treated to the choir's powerful and emotive songs among the stirring arctic landscape, and gets to know the men who make up the group.
"Cool and Crazy" is unrated, and has a running time of one hour and 45 minutes. The film is in Norwegian with English subtitles.
"Kandahar" runs Friday-Saturday, March 1-2, and Monday-Thursday, March 4-7, with shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
In the film, director Mohsen Makhmalbaf follows a woman's struggle to save her sister in Afghanistan. Nafras is a Canadian journalist who fled the nation when she was a teenager. She receives a call from her sister, who still lives in Kandahar but has decided to commit suicide because the atmosphere and Taliban regime have become so oppressive. Determined to help her sister, Nafras returns to the land of her birth. Prohibited from traveling alone, and swathed in the traditional burqa, Nafras braves the dangers of a country full of desperate poverty, suffering and violence.
"Kandahar" is unrated (some scenes may be disturbing to children) and has a running time of one hour and 25 minutes. The film is in Farsi with English subtitles.
"The Vertical Ray of the Sun" runs Friday- Saturday, March 8-9, and Monday-Thursday, 11 14. There will be shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly, except for Wednesday, March 13, when there will be a show at 9 p.m. only.
A beautiful, languorous film about appearances, "The Vertical Ray of the Sun" was directed by Tran Nu Yen- Khe ("The Scent of Green Papaya"). Set in modern-day Hanoi, it follows three sisters who live in close proximity, amongst a community of artists and writers. When the sisters meet to prepare a banquet on the anniversary of their mother's death, they reminisce about their parents' harmonious relationship. But, a memory of a mysterious man casts a shadow on the image of their parents as well as their own relationships.
"The Vertical Ray of the Sun" is rated PG 13 and has a running time of one hour and 50 minutes. The film is in Vietnamese with English subtitles.
Closed on Sundays, the Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St. Tickets are $5 for regular admission, and $4 for senior citizens and students.
Additional information about the films may be obtained by calling the Knickerbocker Information Line at (616) 395-7403.