This series celebrates the Global Lens Collection, a treasury of feature films from around the world donated to BAMPFA in 2016. The collection grew out of the Global Film Initiative, launched in 2003 with the mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema. The initiative provided film production and distribution support to talented directors from underrepresented regions, enabling the creation of feature films based on original stories; the resulting works are distinctive in style and form and a welcome change from mainstream fare. From Tajikistan, Vietnam, Lebanon, Uruguay, Mali, China, and Turkey, the works in this series typify the scope, depth, and quality of the collection.
Although each film is firmly grounded in local reality and depicts a specific set of experiences, the similarities they share remind us that some existential truths transcend language and borders. The joys and miseries of family life, the exploration of identity and the quest for self-realization, the conflict between tradition and innovation, loneliness and love, birth and death—all are fundamental aspects of the human condition, no matter where they take place geographically. These films transport us around the world, providing diverse cinematic perspectives on what it means to be human anywhere.
Kate MacKay, Associate Film Curator