Faith, family, and dogs - Galway Film Society's new season

Films from Palestine, Spain, France, Paraguay, Sweden, Britain, and Italy

A scene from The Guardians, a French fillm which will be screened by the Galway Film Society at the Pálás.

A scene from The Guardians, a French fillm which will be screened by the Galway Film Society at the Pálás.

FILMS FROM Palestine and Paraguay; stories of faith, family, and dog grooming; and an Ingmar Berman classic, will be screened by the Galway Film Society during it's new season, in it's new home of the Pálás Cinema.

The Galway Film Society's autumn/winter season runs from Sunday September 23 to Monday November 19, showing eight films, with each film being screened at 6.30pm on both Sunday and Monday.

The opening film is the French comedy, C’est La Vie!, on Sunday September 23 and Monday 24. Max is a veteran wedding planner thinking of selling his business. Ahead of that he must organise a lavish wedding in a 17th century chateau. No small task: there are dozens of people to manage, unreliable electricity, a last-minute musician change, and a groomzilla to deal with! Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong, with laugh-out-loud results.

In Summer 1993 (Spain ), six-year-old Frida's mother dies from AIDS related pneumonia, fording her to move to her uncle’s farm. She’s afraid of the chickens and has to deal with her annoying younger cousin. While her uncle family’s warmth and love are abundant, their attempts to protect Frida only increase her bewilderment and isolation. A film about a child navigating grief, see it on Sunday September 30 and Monday October 1.

Sisters Alex and Luisa and their mother, Ivanna, are close, a relationship strengthened by their common faith and the religious community of which they are part. Then Luisa starts to question the advice of the congregation's leaders. She makes a life-changing decision that threatens to isolate her from both her family and her religion. Can the family survive this test of faith? This is Apostasy (Britain ) from director Dan Kokotajlo, which is screened on Sunday October 7 and Monday 8.

The Heiresses (Paraguay ), winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, is the first feature from South American director Marcelo Martinessi. In this intimate drama of class and privilege, Chela and Chiquita are a formerly wealthy couple now forced to sell some of their inherited possessions. When Chiquita is imprisoned for fraud, it results in Chela embarking on a journey of self-discovery. See it on Sunday October 14 and Monday 15.

France, 1915. The men are away at war, the women are manning the homefront. In The Guardians (France ), Hortense and daughter Solange are in charge of the farm. With the harvest approaching, Hortense hires Francine, a young woman who proves invaluable help, but when Hortense’s son George returns on leave, romance develops, upsetting the natural balance in the process. See it on Sunday October 21 and Monday 22.

In Dogman (Italy ), Marcello is a dog-groomer who runs his own parlour in a run-down seaside town. However his peaceful existence is disturbed when he is terrorised by violent former boxer Simone. Believing he can befriend and pacify this thug, Marcello gets caught up in a world of petty crime and drugs, a mistake that will have far-reaching consequences. Dogman won the Best Actor Prize for Marcello Fonte at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. See it on Sunday November 4 and Monday 5.

Next is a cinema classic - Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (Sweden ). Accompanied by his daughter-in-law, elderly academic Prof Isak Borg sets out to to his former university to receive an honorary degree. As their road trip progresses, Borg undergoes a remarkable voyage – that of self-discovery as he reflects on his past through a series of memories and reveries. The film won first prize at the 1957 Berlin Film Festival. See it on Sunday November 11 and Monday 12.

The season concludes with Wajib (Palestine ), where director Annemarie Jacir uses a centuries-old custom as a simple device to explore familial and intergenerational tensions for contemporary Palestinians. Architect Shadi returns from Italy to his native Nazareth for his sister’s marriage, reluctantly agreeing to honour his 'wajib' (duty ) by accompanying his father in hand-delivering invitations for the wedding. Forced to spend time together after many years apart, past tensions and differences between father and son come to the surface, but there is also a chance for understanding to emerge. See it on Sunday November 18 and Monday 19.

Other highlights will be A Taste Of...France, featuring French films on November 24 and 25; and the annual Christmas screening, which this year will be The Man Who invented Christmas (Sunday December 9 at 3pm ).

Membership tickets for the autumn/winter season will be available to buy on a first-come first-served basis from Pálás until Monday October 1. Tickets to individual films are via palas.ie or 091 - 394800.

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