2017 Film Festival

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The theme for the 2017 Venice Buddhist Film Festival is “The Social Face of Buddhism.” The Film Festival will run on three consecutive Sundays, March 5 through March 19 at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. See times below.

A short discussion will follow each film. For more information about the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Film Festival, contact Richard Modiano.

March 5, 11:30 AM

High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) (Japan, 1963)

Toshiro Mifune stars as a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a ruthless kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s exemplary film noir. Based on Ed McBain’s detective novel “King’s Ransom,” “High and Low” is both a riveting thriller and a brilliant commentary on contemporary Japanese society.

Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film (1964).

March 12, 11:30 AM

Pigs and Battleships (Buta to gunkan) (Japan, 1961)

In postwar Japan, Kinta (Hiroyuki Nagato) is a young hustler working for the local Yakuza crime boss. The gang is entering the pig farming business, and Kinta is put in charge of raising the pigs and promised a big bonus when they’re sold. However, the police are cracking down on the Yakuza following a recent hit, and Kinta may be expected to take the fall. To make matters worse, Kinta’s girlfriend has been sold off as a bride to an American, leaving even his personal life in flux.

March 19, 11:30 AM

Kung Fu Panda (USA, 2008)

Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po is the biggest fan of kung fu around–which doesn’t exactly come in handy while working every day in his family’s noodle shop. Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality when he joins the world of kung fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five–Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey–under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a kung fu master into reality? Po puts his heart–and his girth –into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.

Nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and a Golden Globe Award (Best Animated Film). (2009)