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Foreign Film Series

Welcome to the Foreign Film Website!

About Foreign Films

We are glad that you are visiting here to learn about foreign films at Riderwood. On the second and the fourth Wednesday of each month at seven p.m. on Channel 972 you may watch films that have been produced outside the United States. The critically acclaimed films all have subtitles or are close captioned, whether the dialogue is in English or another language. We will list upcoming films on this web page, so remember to visit us again.

Suggest A Film

We welcome your recommendations of films that you would like us to screen. Send your recommendations to Nancy Pawliger, Foreign Film Committee Chairperson. Riderwood residents can contact Nancy  at foreignfilms@riderwoodlife.com.


Films That Question, “Is This Justice?”

Our next series is themed “Is This Justice.”  We hope you find these films to be enlightening as well as entertaining. Look forward to post-screening discussions led by Riderwood Resident, John Szabo. Anticipate the discussion of things to think about: the current challenges faced when laws and orders conflict with personal beliefs.

May 25 – 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, 222, 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:foreignfilms@riderwoodlife.com.


Record Movies on Channel 972

Learn how to record programing on Riderwood TV, Channel 972:

    • How-To record Channel 972.
    • Help – TV – learn about accessing programing with commonly used remotes for Comcast / Xfinity.