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Global Peace Film Festival returns for its 11th year

Discover emotional and powerful films in 10 venues across the city

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


The Iran Job
(documentary feature, 90 minutes)
★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Directed by Till Schauder, The Iran Job presents two worlds that rarely collide: basketball and politics. The film is an interesting glimpse at an international athlete struggling with a foreign culture. “I really thought I had a great shot at making it to the NBA, but I didn’t make it,” says Kevin Sheppard, who played college ball at Jacksonville University, in Jacksonville, Fla. “Once I finished college, I received many calls from overseas teams, wanting me to play for them. So now I’m what you call a journeyman.” That journey leads Sheppard to sign a lucrative contract with a new team in the Iranian Super League. He is tasked with leading the group to the playoffs, but his greater challenge turns out to be adapting to a misogynistic culture while learning not to get involved in American-Iranian tensions. It’s a learning experience for Sheppard, and us too, if you make it through the slow pacing and mediocre editing that often accompany “as they happen” documentaries. (6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at Cobb Plaza Cinema Café; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Rollins College – Suntrust Auditorium) – CM

Rafea: Solar Mama
(documentary feature, 76 minutes)
★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Rafea, a 30-year-old Jordanian mother of four, encounters the opportunity of a lifetime when she’s chosen to attend India’s Barefoot College. The school offers women in Third World countries the chance to learn engineering to bring solar power to their nations. “This is the only training program in the entire world where an illiterate woman can become an engineer,” skeptical villagers are told. Only Rafea, desperate to escape her gender-based subjugation, is sold. Directed by Mona Eldaief and Jehane Noujaim, the doc plods along, content to follow Rafea on her quest, in the style of a visual essay. But then, thanks to astonishing interviews with Rafea’s strict Muslim husband, the film comes alive. “If you don’t come back, I will divorce you and take your daughters away,” the husband tells Rafea and the Jordanian government minister sponsoring the project. Those brutally honest interviews lay bare the injustice and misogyny of Rafea’s culture. (6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Rollins College – Suntrust Auditorium; 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Winter Park Library) – CM

Too Cold Out There Without You
(documentary feature, 80 minutes)
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

You might expect a documentary about a transgendered Episcopalian priest to be a marathon of soul-searching, with its subject obsessing painfully over the implications of his life’s path. Instead, this terrific bio fixes the identity of the Reverend Christopher Fike (formerly Sarah) in his efforts to take care of everybody else – from his two teenagers, who suffer from (respectively) bipolar disorder and a neurological imbalance, to the members of his congregation, many of whom have deep developmental disabilities. The Rev. Fike’s transition from female to male is depicted mostly as a hurdle he’s had to help others get over so he could concentrate on the business of loving them. Yet for all his boundless wisdom, filmmaker Amy Gattie doesn’t reduce him to some feel-good fantasy of the Magical Trans. She simply portrays him as smart, funny and compassionate – just the kind of outwardly unlikely but eminently qualified shepherd God loves to pick. Watch with great joy. (6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Cobb Plaza Cinema Café; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Winter Park Library) – SS

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