The Knickerbocker Theatre at Hope College will show four films through April 6 during its Winter Film Series, continuing the theatre’s tradition of showing new independent and foreign films for West Michigan.
The series will feature the Swedish biopic “Becoming Astrid” on Jan. 14-19; the documentary “Far From the Tree” on Jan. 28-Feb. 2; the animated documentary “Day of the Western Sunrise” on March 11-16; and the Icelandic comedy-drama “Woman at War” on April 1-6. All films are at 7:30 p.m.
“Becoming Astrid,” running Monday-Saturday, Jan. 14-19, depicts the early years of Swedish author Astrid Lindren, the author of more than 100 children’s books, including the Pipi Longstocking series. Teenage Astrid breaks free of the confines of her conservative upbringing in rural Sweden, accepting an internship at a local newspaper and later becoming pregnant after attracting the attention of the newspaper’s editor. After reluctantly leaving her son, Lasse, in the care of a foster mother, she goes into self-imposed exile in Stockholm. When the foster mother falls ill, Astrid uses her imagination and flair for storytelling to reconnect with her son, establishing a newfound courage that will later form the foundation of her work. The film is in Swedish with English subtitles and is not rated.
Showing on Monday-Saturday, Jan. 28 - Feb. 2, “Far From the Tree” follows families in which parents and children profoundly differ in a variety of ways. The documentary is based on Andrew Solomon’s New York Times best-selling book “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity” and offers a look at how families are meeting extraordinary challenges through love, empathy and understanding. The Huffington Post said that “the film shines a bright light not just on these different families: It also portrays a more universal vision and offers a map for all of us seeking to discover the wonder of others.” The film is not rated.
The series will then turn on Monday-Saturday, March 11-16, to “Day of the Western Sunrise,” which is a documentary produced by Zeeland native Keith Reimink that follows three survivors from a Japanese tuna fishing boat who were fishing off the coast of the Marshall Islands when the U.S. detonated Castle Bravo, the first in a series of hydrogen weapon tests. The film adapted a Japanese storytelling method known as “kamishibai,” which means “paper drama,” to intimately retell the fishermen’s story of enduring endless medical tests, radiation sickness and loss. Paying homage to this Japanese art form, all the film’s scenes consist of individual drawings with paper texture being animated in a 3D environment. The film is in Japanese with English subtitles and is not rated.
“Woman at War” will conclude the series on Monday-Saturday, April 1-6. The film tells the story of Halla, an independent woman in her late 40s, who declares a war on the local aluminum industry to stop its operations in the Icelandic highlands. In the midst of her dangerous, and at times, illegal, activism, a long-forgotten application to adopt a child from Ukraine is approved, and Halla is faced with the challenge of having this new addition to her life while still fighting for her cause. The film is in Icelandic, English, Spanish and Norwegian with English subtitles, and is not rated.
Tickets for the individual films are $7 for regular admission and $6 for senior citizens, Hope College faculty and children. Tickets will be sold at the door.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.