Plymouth Film Club: “The Visitor”

Sun., Oct. 29.

Guest Host—Immigrant Welcoming Work Group (IWWG).

Plymouth Film Club is offering a viewing and discussion of Tom McCarthy’s 2007 film “The Visitor” (1 hr. 44 min., fiction) Oct. 29 beginning at 12:30 in Jackman. Joan Thompson and Erika Charlesworth-Seiler from IWWG will co-lead a discussion after the film. Film Club shows films on Plymouth’s largest “screen”—the south wall of Jackman Hall—for enhanced viewing.

Professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) is a widower who no longer cares about teaching economics and has grown increasingly isolated and emotionally blocked. When he is sent by his Connecticut university to a conference in New York, he is surprised to find a young couple living in his apartment where he stays when in that city.

Walter’s initial impulse is to throw them out into the night, but he relents and finds himself becoming increasingly involved in the young couple’s life. Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) is from Syria, Zainab (Danai Gurira) is from Senegal, and both are artists. Walter’s decision soon leads to a crash course in post-9/11 immigration policies, especially regarding Muslims. When Tarek’s mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) comes to find out why she has not heard from her son, Walter finds himself getting even more involved in the fate of the three.

Shown at film festivals throughout the world in 2008 and 2009, “The Visitor,” an independent feature, received 35 award nominations and won 19 awards. Among them were Best Music for composer Jan Kaczmarek at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Best Director for Tom McCarthy from Film Independent Spirit Awards, Best Actress for Hiam Abbass from Fererazione Italiana Cinema d”Essai, and Best Actor for Richard Jenkins and Best Supporting Actress for Danai Gurira at Method Fest.

Roger Ebert wrote that “this is a wonderful film sad, angry, and without a comforting little happy ending.” He noted that he “must not describe what happens, because the whole point of serious fiction is to show people changing, and how they change in The Visitor is the film’s beauty.” Please join Plymouth Film Club and IWWG to view and discuss this topnotch film.

Coffee & tea upstairs. Lunch: BYO or order sandwiches early from Cajun Boiling (open noon) to pick up by 12:15.