Family Film Series

Feb. 13
Cook House
Common Room
8 p.m.
Monsoon Wedding (2001) Discussion Leaders:
Stefan Klonner , Professor of Economics
Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology and Behavior
Why are arranged marriages customary in some cultures and not others? What might predict whether an arranged marriage will succeed?
As the romantic monsoon rains loom, the extended Verma family reunites from around the globe for a last-minute arranged marriage in New Delhi. Monsoon Weddingtraces five intersecting stories, each navigating different aspects of love as they cross boundaries of class, continent and morality. The family’s hopes, anxieties and long-guarded secrets emerge mid frantic wedding preparations, and are juxtaposed with arresting montages of real-life Delhi. And when the rain comes, the cathartic downpour brings romance, revelation and liberation.
Feb. 28
Becker House
TV Room
8 p.m.

March of the Penguins (2005) Discussion Leaders:
Michael Goldstein, Professor of Psychology
Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology and Behavior
Steve Emlen, Professor of Behavioral Ecology
Why have these penguins evolved such a challenging way of reproducing? Should people be looking to penguins for lessons in family life?
Emperor penguins overcome daunting obstacles in order to return to their breeding grounds for mating season. This tells the story of one year in the life of a flock — focusing on one couple in particular — as they trek across the Antarctic on an annual journey that invokes just about every major life experience: from birth to death, from dating to mating, from comedy to tragedy, and from love to fighting for survival.
March 6
Becker House
TV Room
8 p.m.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) Join Prof. Liz Peters and Prof. Maureen Waller(Professors of Policy Analysis and Management) to view and discuss this drama about divorce, gender roles, and a custody battle, featuring Merly Streep and Dustin Hoffman.
In this Academy Award-winning movie, a career-obsessed Ted Kramer is told by his wife, Joanna, that after a lifetime of being “somebody’s wife,” she’s going off to find herself. Having never spent much time with his family, Ted is suddenly faced with housework and caring for their young son Billy on his own, while trying to keep his job. Just as Ted adjusts, Joanna resurfaces and wants Billy back. Ted refuses to let Billy go, so the parents fight in court for custody of their son.
March 29
Becker House
TV Room
8 p.m.
Fire (1996) Discussion Leader:
Kathryn March, Professor of Anthropology
Sheetal Majithia, Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature
How do lesbian relationships challenge common (mis)conceptions about love, marriage, and families in America–and in India? When women love each other, what happens to expectations about the family, male privilege and children?
A young woman accepts a loveless arranged marriage in a traditional New Delhi family, but finds herself drawn to her sister-in-law. She falls in love for the first time and the fallout from their affair shakes everyone around them to the core. Banned in India, this film was the first to confront lesbianism in that country.
April 17
Cook House
Common Room
8 p.m.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967) Discussion Leaders:
David Harris, Professor of Sociology
Kara Joyner, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management
Is interracial marriage still controversial? Which interracial pairings are most common?
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967) was the first Hollywood film to portray an interracial romance that had an optimistic ending. Featuring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn, this Academy Award-winning movie concerns Joanna Drayton, a young white American woman who has had a whirlwind romance with Dr. Prentice, an African American she met while on a holiday in Hawaii. The plot centers around Joanna’s return to her liberal upper class white American home bringing her new fiancé to dinner to meet her parents, and the reaction of family and friends.
October 6
Dear Frankie (2004) Discussion Leaders:
Elaine Wethington, Professor of Human Development & Sociology
Claire Kamp Dush, Postdoctoral Fellow, Evolving Family Team
What makes a person a father? 
Are parents ever justified in deceiving their child?
Faced with the prospect of raising her son, Frankie, with a good-for-nothing man, Lizzie spirits him away to Scotland and pretends the boy’s father is aboard the HMS Accra. After years of pretending, including sending Frankie fake letters detailing his dad’s adventures, the jig is up when Frankie learns the ship is docked by their home. Now, Lizzie must find a man to pose as Frankie’s father & fast! (Netflix)
November 3
Troop 1500: Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (2004)

Discussion Leaders:
Andrea Mooney, Lecturer, Cornell Law School
Charles LaCourt, Ex-offender, Human Services Worker and community activist, who works with At-Risk-Youth and Ex-offender Re-entry in the City of Albany, NY
Mary Katzenstein, Professor of Government
What does it mean for a child’s life to have a parent in prison? Can you be a parent from prison?
Their mothers may be convicted thieves, murderers and drug dealers, but the girls of Troop 1500 want to be doctors, social workers and marine biologists. With meetings once a month at Hilltop Prison in Gatesville, Texas, an innovative Girl Scout troop program brings daughters together with their inmate mothers, offering them a chance to rebuild their broken relationships. An estimated 1.5 million children have incarcerated parents and 90 percent of female inmates are single parents. Their daughters are six times more likely to land in the juvenile justice system. This documentary poignantly explores this Girl Scout’s program’s inspired yet controversial effort to break the cycle of crime within families.(Mobilus Media)
November 8
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967)

Discussion Leaders:
David Harris, Professor of Sociology
Kara Joyner, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management
Is interracial marriage still controversial? Which interracial pairings are most common?
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967) was the first Hollywood film to portray an interracial romance that had an optimistic ending. Featuring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn, this Academy Award-winning movie concerns Joanna Drayton, a young white American woman who has had a whirlwind romance with Dr. Prentice, an African American she met while on a holiday in Hawaii. The plot centers around Joanna’s return to her liberal upper class white American home bringing her new fiancé to dinner to meet her parents, and the reaction of family and friends. (TCM/Wikipedia)

For more information on the film series, contact socialsciences@cornell.edu