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Foreign film screening looks at LSA theme semester

By Emilie Plesset, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 10, 2014

The University community got a taste of classic film Monday evening when roughly 30 students, staff and Ann Arbor residents gathered to watch Golmaal (Confusion), a 1979 Bollywood comedy film. The movie follows the trials of a young man as he pretends to be his twin brother to avoid being fired by his traditional boss.

The movie screening was co-sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies, the department of Screen Arts and Cultures, the Cohn Fund and the Language Resource Center as part of the LSA Theme Semester Program, India in the World. This semester, Indian films are shown every Monday evening with each movie focusing on different political and social aspects of Indian history.

“They want to demonstrate how much of an impact that India and Indian culture has made on society,” said LSA seniorDustin Hartz, a student advisory board member. “The focus is to bring to light more aspects of Indian culture because many people are not familiar with them.”

Communication Studies Prof. Aswin Punathambekar coordinates the films screened each Monday. Punathambekar introduced the movie and explained how the film pokes fun at the Indian upper-middle class.

“By watching the movies I’ve picked up on more subtle elements and aspects of the culture that I hadn’t noticed before,” Hartz said. “Certain things I hadn’t noticed before are better explained through the context of watching a movie.”

Many students from Punathambekar’s class on Indian Media in the World attended the film screening.

Ann Arbor resident Jerri Jenista and her family have attended almost all the movies screened by the Theme Semester.

“We love Indian movies,” Jenista said. “It was funny. I love those old ‘70s clothes and furnishings.”

In addition to weekly film screenings, the Theme Semester hosts lecturers, art exhibits and music performances pertaining to Indian culture throughout the semester.

The program is hosting the Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art exhibit in UMMA and will host qawwali performer Asif Ali Khan on March 21.

The upcoming Fall 2014 semester will shift the focus to sports and their affects on the University.


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