Film Screening : The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein



Please join the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures
& the Visual Culture Workshop
for a 10th anniversary screening of:

The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein (2001)
a film by John Gianvito

Tuesday, April 12 @ 7:30 pm
Angell Hall Auditorium D
168 minutes

“The best film of the past decade.” – Keith Uhlich and Kevin B. Lee, Time Out New York


“A powerful and moving act of bearing witness…I can’t think of many other American independent features in recent years that have mattered as much to me.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Set in New Mexico during the 1992 Persian Gulf War, this remarkable, politically charged film has a social reach and intellectual depth unusual in American independent cinema. Filmmaker John Gianvito weaves his epic narrative around the effects of the war through a reverse lens, focusing on the war’s reverberations in America. Fernanda Hussein is a Mexican-American mother separated from her Arab husband whose children are targeted due to anti-Iraqi sentiments. Interwoven are two other stories, one following a teenage boy, adrift in his anger, struggling to find a way to affect change; the other, the story of a returning soldier indelibly marked by what he witnessed and participated in. Melding fiction and documentary techniques with a mainly non-professional cast, Gianvito’s deft handling of the dilemmas at the center of the film is both ambitious and deeply resonant, particularly in light of current events in both the U.S. and the Middle East.

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