For 19 weeks starting later this month, the world will be coming to Laramie one film at a time.
The Albany County Public Library’s Sundries of the World Film Series is set to begin Jan. 28 and run through June 3. All screenings are scheduled for 7 p.m. each Sunday in the library’s large meeting room, 310 S. Eighth St.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Popcorn and snacks will be served each week. The series is co-sponsored by the Laramie Film Society.
Tyler Brown, the library’s public services specialist and the series organizer, said the aim is to give viewers a taste of other places through the people who live there.
“We want to show movies that people in Laramie can’t usually get or don’t have access to,” he said.
This year’s line-up features 19 films from 19 countries, from the tiny Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu to huge nations such as Russia and India.
These are not the same titles that come to Laramie’s movie theaters.
“There is so much more being made and so much art out there that is important to show,” Brown said.
Many films on the list have won awards. One film won an Academy Award last year, while another, “Paradise,” might be in the running during this year’s awards ceremony.
“It’s a black-and-white musical from Russia about a woman who worked at one of the concentration camps,” Brown said.
“Bad Luck Goat,” a 2017 film from Colombia, follows a brother and sister who accidentally kill a goat and suffer ill fortune as a result.
“They have to carry this goat around, pretty much throughout the entire movie,” Brown said.
In Estonia’s “1944,” Estonian soldiers on the Eastern Front of World War II face a test of loyalty to their country and their families as they’re caught between Soviet and Nazi forces.
“The Teacher,” a Slovakian film, follows a middle school teacher who is also a high-ranking Communist official, which complicates the school’s plans to remove her because of unfair grading practices.
Many of this year’s films feature comedic themes, Brown said, as a way to lift the spirits of the audience.
“This year the world seems really sad, so I’m trying to do more light-hearted films, maybe to try and keep people people’s minds a little bit off the actual world,” he said.
For Brown, films are a way to experience new characters and develop empathy for new experiences.
“Going into different cultures is a nice way of getting out of yourself and connecting at the same time,” he said.
Films in the series are from Australia/Vanuatu, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and South Korea.