California State University, Dominguez Hills Hosts French Film Festival in April

CSU Dominguez Hills was one of only 108 universities nationwide selected to host the Tournees Festival of French films.
March 26, 2008 - PRLog -- (Carson, CA) – Five French films will be showcased over five days in April at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) when the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Tournées Festival of French films comes to the campus.

Co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society, the Tournées Festival at CSU Dominguez Hills will screen the following films (with English subtitles): Indigènes (Days of Glory), Tuesday April 8; Monsieur Ibrahim, Wednesday, April 9; S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, Tuesday, April 15; Le Plafond de Verre (Glass Ceiling), Thursday, April 17; and Paris Je T’aime Saturday, April 19. The films will be free and open to the public and will include panel discussions afterward.

A schedule, including times and locations as well as a synopsis of the films and a description of the panel discussions, is available at The schedule is also printed below.

CSU Dominguez Hills was one of only 108 institutions nationwide, including Puerto Rico, that FACE selected through a grant process to host a Tournées Festival this year. With a mission to promote French-American relations through arts and cultural programs, the nonprofit FACE created the Tournées Festival in 1995 to expose more U.S. students to contemporary French-made films, especially those movies and documentaries with limited distribution.

History professor Laura Talamante, who applied for the FACE grant and is organizing the festival at CSUDH, said the Tournées Festival not only introduces filmgoers to a slate of interesting films they might not otherwise see, but also provides a springboard for academic discussions on a number of topics.  

The films to be screened all relate to the legacy of French colonialism and address that legacy from various geographical and historical to contemporary perspectives. The panel discussions will further examine each film’s themes and put the issues in a historical context.

“These films allow faculty and students and the community to explore such themes as colonialism, struggles for democracy, WWII, liberty and equality, de-colonization, immigration, and racism, and their relationship with citizenship,” Talamente said.

The final film, Paris Je T’aime, also provides an opportunity to see that although the post-colonial French legacy brings modern challenges, France remains a vibrant and enticing place for people from the around the world, Talamente added.

All screenings will take place in the evening in the Loker Student Union on campus, except Paris Je T’aime, which overlaps with A Day at Dominguez university open house, and will be shown in the afternoon in the auditorium in La Corte Hall A103.

CSU Dominguez Hills is located at 1000 E. Victoria St. in Carson, near the junction of the 110, 91 and 405 freeways. Visitor parking permits may be purchased for $3 at the yellow dispensing machines at the front of each campus lot. Guests to the film festival are advised to park in lots 3 or 6 off Victoria Street and Tamcliff Avenue. A campus map is available at

Grants for universities to host Tournées Festival are made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC), the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, highbrow entertainment, agnès b., and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.

For more information about FACE and the Tournées Festival, visit

 2008 CSUDH Tournées Festival of French Films
Schedule of Events

Tuesday, April 8: Indigenes (Days of Glory)
Events begin at 6:30 p.m., film begins at 7 p.m.

CSUDH President Mildred García will officially open the festival. Dr. Munashe Furusa, chair of Africana studies, will introduce the film and will be joined by Dr. Hamoud Salhi, political science, for discussion afterward. The evening will also feature a performance of Mali dance by CSUDH students. A display of African artifacts and traditional African music to highlight the themes of the film will also be presented.

Synopsis: While fighting for freedom and the liberation of Italy, the Alps and eastern France during World War II, African soldiers known as "Indigenes" must face tremendous racism in the military, and in French society, forcing them to struggle for equality of treatment at every turn.

Wednesday, April 9: Monsieur Ibrahim
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., film begins at 7 p.m.  

Foreign language professor Dr. Michael Galant will introduce the film. Following the screening will be a panel discussion on navigating identity formation, personal and national, in a growing multi-cultural context. Panelists include Dr. Ericka Verba, history; Dr. Hamoud Salhi, political science; Lui Amador, coordinator, Multicultural Center; José Luis Serrano, co-chair, Al Frente Graduate Studies Association; and Xhercis Mendez, CSUDH McNair scholar.

Synopsis: Against the backdrop of cultural and societal shifts taking place in Paris in the 1960s, in a working-class neighborhood two unlikely characters— a young Jewish boy, Moise, and an elderly Muslim, Mr. Ibrahim — begin a friendship. Mr. Ibrahim is a delicate film about humility, friendship and tolerance.

Tuesday, April 15: S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Events begin at 5:30 p.m., film begins at 6:45 p.m.

The evening begins with music, Cambodian dance performances by Spirit of Khmer Angkor, a slideshow on Cambodia, cultural displays and a book signing of Cambodians in Long Beach (2008) by Dr. Sue Needham, anthropology, and Dr. Karen Quintiliani, CSU Long Beach anthropology professor. Needham will introduce the film, and a panel discussion will follow. Panelists include Bryant Ben, Peter Long, Sithea San, and Gary Ung.

Synopsis: Director Rithy Panh spent three years to find and interview victims and their torturers at S21, the main detention center of the Khmer Rouge regime that caused the death of more than 1.2 million Cambodians in the late 1970s. In S21, they face each other in an attempt to explain and understand.

Thursday, April 17: Le Plafond de Verre (The Glass Ceiling)
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., film begins at 7 p.m.  

History professor Dr. Laura Talamante will introduce the film. A panel discussion on the film’s theme of invisible barriers in society will be held immediately afterward. Panelists include Dr. Clare Weber and Dr. Jose Prado, sociology, and Ivonne L. Heinze-Balcazar, program coordinator of the CSUDH Women’s Studies Program.

Synopsis: Director Yamina Benguigui examines the integration in France of immigrants in the workplace and provides moving testimonies of qualified students who, because of their obviously foreign last names, were not called back for job interviews. The documentary also includes interviews with experts who discuss the reasons behind discrimination, which include France's colonial past as well as deeply entrenched corporate practices, and the difficulty that individuals of foreign origins face.

Saturday, April 19: Paris Je T’aime
Presented as part of Unity Fest and Day at Dominguez
Doors open at 2:00 p.m., film begins at 2:15 p.m.

Carole Desgroppes-Brown, program coordinator of CSUDH’s Toro Productions, will introduce the film and its sponsorship as part of Unity Fest and A Day at Dominguez.

Synopsis: In 18 short films (representing 18 of the 20 Paris neighborhoods, arrondissments), 18 different directors tell the story of Paris. This atypical collective film bears the hallmark of major international filmmakers and the names of stellar actors such as Natalie Portman, Gena Rowlands, Elijah Wood, Ben Gazzara and Catherine Deneuve.

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About CSUDH -- California State University, Dominguez Hills is a diverse, urban university located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The university prides itself on its outstanding faculty and friendly, student-centered environment. Known for excellence in teacher education, nursing, psychology, business administration, and digital media arts, new degree programs include computer science, criminal justice, recreation and leisure studies, social work, and communication disorders.

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