(Peter Lataster & Petra Lataster-Czisch, Netherlands, 2017, 115 min.)
Both touching and hilarious, Miss Kiet's Children chronicles small changes of immense consequence. Using observation alone, without interviews or voice-over, the film assumes the perspective of four refugee children of different nationalities and closely follows their language struggles, their fights, their friendships, and their first loves in the classroom of Kiet Engels. Miss Kiet, with her endless supply of patience, is the kind of teacher every school kid should have: strict but never harsh, loving but never soft. Many of her pupils are refugees who have just arrived in the Netherlands, and everything in their lives is new and confusing. Although some of the children are initially quarrelsome, the teacher’s sympathetic approach brings calm and awakens their interest. Miss Kiet doesn’t just teach her students to read and write Dutch: She also helps them learn to solve problems together and respect one another. Slowly, the children under her tutelage gain skills and confidence: Haya, impetuous and fearful, finds her friendly side; quiet Leanne soon learns how to tell everyone, in Dutch, that she loves Branche; and unruly Jorj discovers that learning can be worthwhile and even fun. By the film’s conclusion, an affectionate community has grown — the fruit of a teacher's dedicated labor. Preceded by the short Dancing in Limbo (Amanda Larsh, Hannah Bradford, Caroline Roffe, & Nick Mcdonald, Malawi/U.S., 2017, 14 min., English, French & Swahili): Young men inside the Dzaleka Refugee Camp use dance as a way to express themselves, forget their troubles, and find success under harrowing circumstances. In Dutch with English subtitles.
Sponsored by Drs. Diane Carson & Willis Loy
All SLIFF programs at Webster University are free in 2017 except for The Blot (with live accompaniment by the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra) on Nov. 12. Tickets for that special event are $15, with no discounts or passes accepted. Advance tickets for The Blot are for sale online through Brown Paper Tickets. In the "Search Events" box, enter either the name of the film or SLIFF. Free programs and master classes require no tickets and are first come, first served.
Friday, November 10 at 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Browning Hall, Interdisciplinary Science Building
8274 Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63119