Film is supposed to entertain and enlighten; it isn’t created to make you hungry, although with The Search for General Tso, that is a plus.
Slated to play April 24-26 at the Flint Institute of Arts, this documentary about Chinese food in America is also about the immigrant experience in America, as encapsulated through the iconic titular dish – a staple of Chinese-American restaurant menus, even though it isn’t precisely Chinese.
In a detective story of sorts – just who, or what, is General Tso? – director Ian Cheney examines how the chicken dish came to represent an entire nation’s cuisine – and fuel viewer appetites. Writes the Los Angeles Times: “This documentary uses food as an angle to something else: a look at … a melting pot … seasoned with adaptation, innovation and acceptance.”
During April, the FIA’s Friends of Modern Art film series also takes viewers into the legal system in Israel, to the beauty and peril of the French Alps, and through some of the best short films made in the world during the past year.
Playing April 2-4, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem depicts the long battle of an Israeli woman to obtain a divorce from a husband who cannot – or will not – agree to part from her. It was a Golden Globe Award nominee for best foreign film.
Coming to the museum April 10-12 is a program of Academy Award-nominated shorts, meaning the live-action and animated nominees for 2014. Included are the Oscar winners: the English live-action drama The Phone Call (with Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent) and the American animated short, Feast. Watch for a complete list of titles and presentation times at flintarts.org.
Force Majeure, coming to the FIA on April 17-19, is a Swedish entry that also was a Golden Globe finalist. This account of a family besieged by an avalanche in the Alps is “both funny and sad” (Chicago Tribune) and “an ice cold knockout” (Village Voice).
All FOMA series screenings are at 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays (and occasional Thursdays) and 2pm on Sundays. Tickets, available at the door, are $6 general admission, $5 for FIA members, and $4 for FOMA members. For more details, call the FIA at 810.234.1695 or visit flintarts.org.
The FIA also is continuing its special Bollywood Film Festival – featuring movies by and about the people of India – with screenings at 7pm on Thursdays and 5pm on Sundays. The climactic April entries are Water (April 9 and 12), Deepa Mehta’s acclaimed 1995 Oscar-nominated drama, and Patang (April 16 and 19), a new story of an extended family and the kite festival in their city.
For more information on these films and others, visit flintarts.org. Admission to the Bollywood screenings is free for FIA members and college students with valid ID; others can get in for $5 at the door.