This page highlights Foreign Films previously shown along with notes about the films.
Films About Life Changing Relationships
July 20, 2022 – Madame Rosa
July 27, 2022 – Nicky’s Family
By Martin Schock, MD.
The Foreign Film Committee continues to present films with the theme of Life Changing Relationships. We hope you enjoyed the first two films in the series, The Intouchables, and Mango Dreams. We continue this theme with Madame Rosa to be shown Wednesday July 13, 2022, at 7 p.m. on Riderwood TV channel 972. [Rescheduled to July 20 due to technical issues.]
Madame Rosa is a movie about love, kindness, and sensitivity. Adopted from a 1975 novel, “The Life Before Us” by Romain Gary, it tells the story of a retired prostitute living in a sixth floor walkup in the Pigalle district of Paris. Madame Rosa is a Jewish Auschwitz survivor who is a foster mom to other prostitutes’ children. Momo, an Algerian Muslim, is the oldest and her favorite child. She raises him as a Muslim to be faithful to his heritage. Momo and Madame Rosa become very close.
As Madame Rosa ages and her illnesses become worse, she has a fear of hospitals and desires a quiet death. She has Momo promise not to become a prostitute and to do the right thing. Momo promises to see that her wishes about the end of her life are carried out. Their love and sincerity significantly affect each other’s life. Madame Rosa won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1978 and Simone Signoret won the French César Award for Best Actress.
The fourth film in our Life Changing Relationships series will be Nicky’s Family which will be shown on July 27 at 7:00 p.m. It will be followed by a discussion of all four of the films by Riderwood resident, Kathy Rushing. Please plan to join us.
By Martin Schock, MD.
Nicky’s Family is a Czechoslovakian docudrama film directed by Matej Minac, and written by Patrick Pass and Joe Schlesinger. Released in 2011, the film records the story of Nicholas Winton prior to the outbreak of World War I. In 1939, he was a 29-year-old Christian English stockbroker on vacation in Czechoslovakia when he observed the changes being made after the Nazi takeover of the country. There was tremendous anxiety and fear in the population because of the Nazi imposed laws against Jews and non-Germans.
At the time, there were no governmental agencies or organizations to help individuals leave the country and go to safe areas. The film shows how one sensitive and concerned person can make a difference. Nicholas Winton single handedly organized and carried out the relocation of 669 endangered Jewish children and placed them with British host families. He developed a transport to bring children to safety and convinced parents to give up their children to strangers in order to save the children’s lives and futures.
The film won the Best Documentary Film at the 35th Montreal World Festival and other documentary awards around the world. There will be a discussion of the four Life Changing Relationship films on Thursday July 28, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. on Channel 972 and simultaneously on Zoom . We invite you to participate in the discussion on Zoom.
The films will be discussed by Riderwood resident Kathy Rushing. As a clinical social worker, Kathy did family, marriage, group, and individual counseling and worked with clients of varied backgrounds and ages from four years of age to 90. Kathy and her husband raised three children and are grandparents of seven, ages four to eleven.
Please join us on Channel 972 on Wednesday night to see the film and Thursday morning on Channel 972 and Zoom for an enlightening discussion. For more information about current, and upcoming films, go to Riderwoodlife.com. We welcome suggestions of foreign films that you would like to view. Send suggestions and comments to
Films About Life Changing Relationships
June 8, 2022 – The Intouchables
June 22, 2022 – Mango Dreams
Notes on The Intouchables and Mango Dreams
By Nancy Pawliger, Chairperson, Foreign Film Committee
Has a person unexpectedly affected your life? Would your life have been different if you had not encountered this person?
In June and July, the Foreign Film Committee will present four films in which two people meet and, unexpectedly, affect each other in social, emotional, and life-affirming ways. The films,The Intouchables,, Mango Dreams, Madame Rosa , and Nicky’s Family, all have English subtitles and will be shown on Channel 972 at 7:00 p.m.
The Intouchables, based on a true story, broke box-office records in France and Germany and won several awards. Wealthy, aristocratic, French businessman Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was 42 when he became a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident. While interviewing candidates to be his aide, he meets Driss who needs to show that he is pursuing a job so he can receive unemployment benefits. Phillipe offers Driss the job as his aide for a trial period of one month, Driss accepts the challenge and changes Phillipe’s boring life.
With clashing personalities, different outlooks on life, and sarcastic back and forth word play, new experiences occur for both men. As a film critic wrote, “A stranger entering the lives of others to present a simultaneously bad and beneficial influence is the ideal setup for equal parts comedy and drama that is not easily forgotten.” The film also gives the audience permission to laugh with, not at, people with disabilities, and see their lives as they have never seen them before.”
The Intouchables received the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix award given to the best film at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Award for Best Actor to both Francois Cluzet (Phillipe) and Omar Sy (Driss) in 2011. At the 2012 César Awards the film received eight nominations. Omar Sy received the César Best Actor Award for the role of Driss) and was the first French African actor to receive this honor. In 2012, it was announced that The Intouchables had been selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar for the 85th Academy Awards.
We hope you will take the opportunity to see The Intouchables and the other films in the series that highlight life changing relationships. Please let us know which foreign films you have enjoyed, and if there are foreign films that you would like us to show.
Films That Question, “Is This Justice?”
May 25, 2022 – A Cry in the Dark
- Watch on Channel 972, 11 a.m.
- May 26 – Virtual discussion of movies via Zoom:
Click here or view on Channel 972.
- Full sized flyer
Notes on A Cry in the Dark
by John Szabo
This is the fourth film in a series dealing with the theme of “Is it Justice?” The trial in this film is as captivating as the intense examination and analysis of the motives, thoughts, and emotions of the main characters and their societies.
“A Cry in the Dark” (Australia, 1988)
Directed by FRED SCHEPISI
Starring MERYL STREEP, SAM NEILL
Screenplay by ROBERT CASWELL AND FRED SCHEPSI, based on JOHN BRYSON’S book, “EVIL ANGELS”
This film faithfully chronicles the real case of a nine-week-old baby who disappeared from a campground near Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia in 1980. Lindy Chamberlain, the mother, is certain that she saw a dingo with something in its mouth running off, but an intensive search is unsuccessful. This turns into a media circus with gossip and rumors about the disappearance. The tide of public opinion turns against the Chamberlains because Lindy seemed too stoic and cold-hearted and false rumors about their religious faith, Seventh Day Adventism. Based on new witnesses, forensics experts, and circumstantial evidence, Lindy is charged with murder and her husband Michael as an accessory. The trial becomes a battle of the experts on the evidence. Lindy was convicted by a jury and sentenced to life imprisonment; Michael is given a suspended sentence. Three years later, a jacket identified as the one the baby wore at the time of disappearance is discovered. Lindy is released and the convictions were overturned.
The core themes of the movie are the media sensationalism, legal system shortcomings, and trial by public opinion. The latter is inferred through scenes of people following the trial from their homes, pubs, and workplaces, and even fights between those believing the Chamberlains and those convinced of their guilt. The director presents the terrible events in such a way that there’s never any doubt in the audience’s mind about what happened.
The film generally received favorable reviews but was a disappointment at the box office, a surprise considering the wide interest in the actual case. However, it swept the Australian awards and was nominated for many other awards. Meryl Streep’s stunning performance as Lindy as a woman who deliberately refused to allow insights into herself resulted in winning a number of awards for best actress and a nomination at the Oscars. Sam Neil was also commended as the tormented husband.
Conclusion of the “IS THIS JUSTICE?” SERIES
by Nancy Pawliger
The “Is This Justice?” series of four international films presented by the Foreign Film Committee is ending this week. We hope you saw the first three films in the series: A Man for All Seasons, Breaker Morant, and M. The concluding film in the series is A Cry in the Dark which will be shown on Wednesday May 25, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. on Riderwood TV Channel 972.
This Australian movie was released in 1988 and was written and directed by Fred Schepisi. It is based on a true incident in which a nine-week-old baby disappeared on a family camping trip near Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Australia. Even after an inquest did not find evidence of wrongdoing by the parents, law-enforcement officials found new witnesses, forensics experts, and circumstantial evidence and charged the mother, Lindy Chamberlain, with murder. She was found guilty in a jury trial and was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor. Eventually her story that her baby was carried off by a Dingo, a type of Australian wild dog, was believed and she, along with her husband, were found innocent.
A Cry in the Dark demonstrates the effects of media sensationalism, trial by public opinion and the shortcomings of the legal system. Meryl Streep portrays the mother, Lindy Chamberlain. She received many best actress nominations and awards for her performance in the film. The film also won numerous Australian movie awards.
The movie M and A Cry in the Dark will be discussed on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. The discussion will be led by John Szabo, Riderwood resident, who teaches conduct and ethics for attorneys at American University and George Washington University Law School. You may participate in the discussion and share your ideas by clicking via Zoom at Discussion, at 10:45 a.m. If you prefer, you can watch the discussion on Riderwood TV Channel 972 at 11:00 a.m.
We hope you will continue to join us each month on Foreign Film Night, the second and fourth Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. We encourage you to send suggestions of foreign films that you would like us to screen to Nancy Pawliger, Foreign Film Committee Chairperson at at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.