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April 28, 2009

Award-winning Italian film "Gomorrah" explores world of organized crime

What do a mafia money-carrier, a tailor and a 13-year-old grocery delivery boy have in common? Whether innocent bystanders or mobsters themselves in the gritty Italian documentary-style film “Gomorrah,” their lives are all somehow touched by organized crime in the Bay of Naples. This is one of many award-winning films featured during May and June at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square.

Additional national and international documentaries and movies to be shown include:

  • Gomorrah, 4 and 6:30 p.m. May 1 and 3-8, and 6:30 and 9 p.m. May 2. Power, money and blood: These are the values that the residents of the provinces of Naples and Caserta confront every day. They have practically no choice and are forced to obey the rules of the “System,” the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a normal life. Five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and ostensibly invented world, but one that is deeply rooted in reality. Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Official entry, Italy—Best Foreign Language Film—2008 Academy Awards. Italian with subtitles. Not rated.
  • The Silence Before Bach, 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. May 8 – 13. The long-awaited new film from former Buñuel producer and visionary director Pere Portabella, one of the world’s most distinctive and original film voices, “The Silence Before Bach” is a true wonder. Using Bach’s music as a theme and a starting place, Portabella takes it on the road. Two Spanish truck drivers discuss its fine points and a group of several dozen young cellists play rapturous Bach on a subway car. Otherwise, Portabella re-creates the composer’s life—sort of. The film opens with a player piano moving, seemingly of its own accord, through a bare art gallery. The music is as glorious as the cinematic art, the film’s meanings open and perhaps even profound. Spanish/German/English with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Sunshine Cleaners, 4, 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. May 12 – 20. Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) now finds herself a 30-something single mother working as a maid. Her sister, Norah (Emily Blunt), is still living with their dad, Joe (Alan Arkin), a salesman with a history of ill-fated get-rich-quick schemes. Desperate for a better life, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime-scene clean-up business. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other “specialized” situations. By building their own improbable business, Rose and Norah open the door to the joys and challenges of being there for one another—no matter what—while creating a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Rated: R.
  • Everlasting Moments, 4:15 and 6:45 p.m. May 19 – 23, and 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. May 24. Sweden, early 1900s. In a time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, a young working-class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery. The decision to keep it alters her whole life. The camera grants Maria new eyes with which to see the world and brings the charming photographer “Piff Paff Puff” into her life. Trouble ensues when Maria’s alcoholic, womanizing husband feels threatened by the young man and his wife’s newfound outlook on life. Directed by Jan Troell. Nominee for the 2009 Golden Globes Best Foreign Language Film. Swedish with subtitles. Not rated.
  • The Cake Eaters, 4, 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. May 24 – 31. Mary Stuart Masterson makes her feature directorial debut with “The Cake Eaters,” a quirky, small-town drama that explores the lives of two interconnected families as they confront old ghosts and discover love in the face of devastating loss. Intricately woven and powerfully poignant, “The Cake Eaters” features a standout performance by Kristen Stewart and a brilliant ensemble cast, including Aaron Stanford, Bruce Dern, Elizabeth Ashley, Jayce Bartok, Miriam Shor, Talia Balsam, Jesse L. Martin and Melissa Leo. Not rated.
  • Ballerina, 4:05, 5:35 and 7:05 p.m. May 31 – June 5. In the grand tradition of the ballets russes comes Bertrand Normand’s portrait of five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinski Theatre, formerly known as the Kirov. Behind any great ballerina lies the discipline and rigor that comes from decades of training and practice; and Russia’s preeminent dancers established the reputation of Russian dancers as the best in the world. The dancers profiled in “Ballerina” are uniquely individual—tough, insightful and exceptionally talented. On stage they reveal no hint of the sweat, pain and hard work of the rehearsal studio. From “Swan Lake” to “Romeo and Juliet,” from the backstage studio to performing on stages around the world, “Ballerina” captures the sublime beauty of ballet in all its resplendent glory. Russian/French/English with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Tokyo Sonata, 4:15 and 6:30 p.m. June 5 – 6 ,and 8 – 10, 6:30 and 8:45 p.m. June 7. Set in contemporary Tokyo, “Tokyo Sonata” is a story of an ordinary Japanese family of four. From the exterior, the family is seemingly normal, save for some tiny schisms that exist within. The quiet unraveling of the family begins when the father loses his job unexpectedly. Facing completely unfamiliar circumstances, he decides not to tell his family and begins his lonely sojourn into the world of the secretly unemployed. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Japanese with subtitles. Rated: PG-13.
  • Hunger, 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. June 9 – 13, 6:30, and 8:15 p.m. June 14. “Hunger” follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA hunger strike led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit. Winner of the Golden Camera Award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Winner of six awards at the 2009 Irish Film and Television Awards including Best Actor (Michael Fassbender) and Best Film. Not rated.
  • Who Does She Think She Is?, 4, 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. June 14 – 21. Your children’s wellbeing or your own? Responsibility or self-expression? “Who Does She Think She Is?” features five bold women who navigate some of the most problematic intersections of our time: mothering and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. This documentary from filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll follows five artistic women who have rejected the notion of career and family being an either or decision. Not rated.
  • The Great Buck Howard, 4:05, 5:50 and 7:35 p.m. June 21 – 28. Law school dropout Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) answers an ad for a “personal assistant to a celebrity performer,” hoping it will catapult him to a glamorous career in the entertainment industry. Little does he know that the performer is Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a “mentalist” infamous for his 61 appearances on “The Tonight Show,” who has been reduced to a has-been magician in need of a pretty big trick to get him out of this slump. With the aid of a fiery publicist (Emily Blunt) and a bold stroke of fate, Buck surprisingly lands back in the American consciousness, taking Troy along for the ride of his life. Also stars Steve Zahn and Tom Hanks. Rated: PG.
  • Goodbye Solo, 4, 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. June 26 – July 3. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Fipresci Critic’s Prize, “Goodbye Solo” traces the brief, but life-changing friendship between a reserved, southern good ol’ boy with a lifetime of regrets and a warm-hearted, extroverted, Senegalese taxi driver. One man’s American dream is just beginning, while the other’s is quickly winding down. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, “Goodbye Solo” deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America. Directed by Ramin Bahrani (“Man Push Cart” and “Chop Shop”). Not rated.

    Unless otherwise indicated, movie admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors, students and children. For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit

    The Kimball Theatre, located in downtown Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, is owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. The Kimball Theatre box office is open 3:30-7:15 p.m.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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