Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Sunday, Feb 9, 2020 at 4:00pm

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Schedule:

4:00pm – 5:30pm: Film: "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"

Tom Hanks zips up his cardigan as (son of Dartmouth!) Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller’s timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism.

Marielle Heller’s film isn’t a standard Rogers biopic, in the vein of last year’s acclaimed documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Heller instead excels at pulling heartstrings from sturdy foundations, injecting smart and insightful details into material that could easily default to sentimentality. After all, this is the director who’s Can you Ever Forgive Me? changed the way the world viewed Melissa McCarthy. It doesn’t hurt that Tom Hanks was born to play this role.

Based on a true story, the film is filtered through the lens of misanthropic journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who visibly blanches when assigned to profile the iconic children’s television host for a 1998 issue of Esquire devoted entirely to heroes. But like a secular Buddha in a red knit cardigan, Mister Rogers (impeccably and lovingly portrayed by Hanks) slowly dissolves Lloyd’s skepticism with gently probing questions and Zen observations, teaching him about kindness, love and how to be a good neighbor.

Location: Hopkins Center 123 Spaulding Auditorium

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4:00pm - 5:45pm: Film: "One Child Nation"

Nanfu Wang’s boldly confrontational documentary goes beyond the slogan of China’s longtime one-child policy to reveal a system of violence, corruption, propaganda and silence.

China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with trauma from its brutal enforcement is only just beginning. From award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) and Jialing Zhang, the sweeping One Child Nation explores the ripple effect of a devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another—from abandoned newborns and forced sterilizations to abortions and government abductions.

Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members into archival propaganda material and testimony from victims and perpetrators alike. The result is a revelatory and essential record of this chilling, unprecedented moment in human civilization.

Location: Visual Arts Center 104 Loew Auditorium

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