CinemaLit Season Finale: The Emigrants (1971) 191 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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CinemaLit Season Finale: The Emigrants (1971) 191 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
July 2022 CinemaLit: – Immigrant Stories LIVE

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August 5 - The Emigrants, 1971, 191 minutes, directed by Jan Troell, starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann

The Emigrants follows an impoverished agricultural family as it leaves their rocky inhospitable farmland in Sweden and journeys to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, eventually settling in Minnesota. Based on a four-volume series of "documentary novels" by Vilhelm Moberg, The Emigrants and its 1972 sequel The New Land make one stunning epic of human survival and the Europeans' struggle for a better life in North America. Master director-screenwriter-editor Jan Troell combines fine detail with great emotional power, while coaxing honest and moving performances from legendary actors Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow.

(Image used with permission of Warner Bros.)

CinemaLit July 2022 – Immigrant Stories

Immigrant stories make for rich cinema. Human relocation, generational conflict, assimilation, and culture shock carry inherent drama, and more than a little bit of comedy. CinemaLit is presenting four films in July that explore the immigrant experience. Our movie characters come from China, Pakistan, Ireland, Syria, and Senegal, but they share the complex pain and joy of leaving their natal homes to find a better, or at least different, life in a far away place. Join us for The Joy Luck Club (1993), My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Brooklyn (2015), and The Visitor (2007).


Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.

I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”


Programming in "Civil Rights, Artistic Diversity, Historical Reckoning: Exploring the Film, Literature, and Lives of Marginalized Communities" has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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CinemaLit Films

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4th Floor Meeting Room
Pam Troy - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0116.

Future CinemaLit Films

Jun 9 - 6:00pm

Carol (2015)
CinemaLit June 2023: – Novel Ideas on Film

Jun 23 - 6:00pm

Little Women (2019)
CinemaLit June 2023: – Novel Ideas on Film