Film critic Richard Brody begins his review of “Gavagai” in The New Yorker, “Every now and then, I like to highlight noteworthy films that aren’t, or are hardly, available to the public, both because they should be and because their unavailability…is a kind of news in itself.” Beginning Monday, Nov. 12, this “hardly available” and highly acclaimed film will be featured at Hope College’s own Knickerbocker Theatre to conclude the Fall Film Series. With free tickets for Hope students and screenings every day until Nov. 17, this deep and haunting film is the perfect entertainment for an autumn evening.
Directed by American filmmaker Rob Trezenga, “Gavagai” follows the journey of a German poetry translator searching through the Norwegian countryside for the insight he needs to complete a translation of the poetry of Tarjei Vesaas, a project he shared with his late wife. Along the way, the protagonist’s grief manifests in visions of a mysterious, silent woman who we understand to be the wife he has lost. Set against a rich rural landscape, the film explores themes of love, grief and the inability of words to adequately express human experience.
The New Yorker calls it “extraordinary and memorable,” The New York Times praises it as “high-minded and carefully composed” and The Los Angeles Times describes it as “moving beyond words.” Discussing the Fall Film Series, the Director of Public Affairs and Events at the Knickerbocker writes, “The Knick films are not blockbusters, which certainly have their place. Instead, we seek films that challenge the viewer and make you walk away entertained and thinking.”
With its beautiful cinematography and compelling story, “Gavagai” promises to do exactly that. All four of the films chosen for this year’s series were thoughtfully chosen to offer a window into a different experience — whether of a teenage Pakistani immigrant, a comedy star battling cancer, a dying Indian chief or a widower grappling with loss — that leaves the viewer with new understanding and deepened empathy. While this may be the last film being shown in the Fall 2018 season, the Knickerbocker will pick right back up in January with the Winter Film Series, running through March, followed by the Spring Film Series in May and June. Be sure to stop by and pick up tickets for the show.
This is one film you are not going to want to miss.The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St. Tickets are sold at the door and are $7 for regular admission, $6 for senior citizens, Hope faculty and children, and they are free for Hope students.