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Playground (Un monde)
July 8 | 7:00 pm
Helene and Stephen Weicholz Global Film Series presents
Playground (Un monde)
In French with English subtitles
Belgium, not rated, directed by Laura Wandel, 2021, drama, 72 min
In this debut feature by writer-director Laura Wandel, the everyday reality of grade school is seen from a child’s-eye-view as an obstacle course of degradation and abuse. Following 7-year-old Nora and her big brother Abel, we see Nora struggling to fit in before finding her place on the schoolyard. One day, she notices Abel being bullied by other kids, and though she rushes to protect him by warning their father, Abel forces her to remain silent, while he endures more humiliation and harassment by his peers. Transposing the gritty realism of such filmmakers as Jacques Audiard and the Dardennes Brothers to the inner world of kids, Wandel crafts an empathetic and visceral portrait of the cruelty of children, and the failure of adults to protect them. Shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Film.
Meet the Curator
Dale M. Pollock, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1972 and MS in Communications from San Jose State University. In 1977, he became the head film critic for the Daily Variety until he was hired by the Los Angeles Times to be their chief entertainment correspondent. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in the early 1980s and wrote Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas in 1984, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and remains in print. In 1985, Pollock joined David Geffen’s company as a development executive. He joined A&M Films as vice president in charge of production, and was named president in 1990, producing such films as The Mighty Quinn, A Midnight Clear and Mrs. Winterbourne. Pollock ran his own film company, Peak Productions, for 10 years, producing the box office hit Set It Off. He co-founded the producing program at the American Film Institute in 1995. In 1999, he became Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the (then) North Carolina School of the Arts, stepping down in 2006 to become Emeritus Professor of Cinema Studies. Pollock was awarded an Endowed Professorship in Film in his name at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking and is the 2016 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence, along with the 2020 Arts Council of Winston Salem’s Annual Award, its highest honor.
With special thanks to our generous sponsors for this series, Helene and Stephen Weicholz, and our curator, Dale Pollock.
LOCATION: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers St., Boone, NC 28608
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at email@example.com or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.
ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.
Friday, July 8, 2022 | 7pm
Features a pre-film introduction and a post-film moderated discussion with this year’s curator, Dale Pollock
“Wandel shoots Playground from Nora’s perspective — a bold choice rewarded by an intoxicatingly immersive narrative. … It’s a gripping work of observation more concerned with identifying patterns, teasing out motivations and laying bare the reality of how we come to relate to one another.” —The Hollywood Review
”Fashioned out of fresh faces unable to lie to the camera, Playground is a study in human behavior wrapped in equal parts fear and curiosity. With a brilliant new director chaperoning its drama and aware of how every audiovisual element contributes to its power, the film, intimate in scope but grand in its revelations, immerses us in Nora’s crusade to make sense of it all. That this is Wandel’s first feature boggles the mind.” —RogerEbert.com
“In a perfect hour and 12 minutes, Playground tells the sweeping, intimate story of a child’s coming into consciousness. … a knockout, as flawlessly constructed as it is harrowing … a work of striking integrity and force.” —The New York Times
15 wins and 14 nominations, including Amiens International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards, Hamburg Film Festival and more.