MSSU Film Festival

About US

All films presented at 7 p.m., Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. (See Map)

No admission is charged.

For half a century our organization, now known as Missouri Southern Film Society, has programmed significant classic and world cinema.

Program notes are distributed before each screening and participation in informal discussions is encouraged. These promote greater perception and help stimulate a critical appreciation of the films.

Our first program, the British comedy The Belles of St. Trinian's, was shown Oct. 15, 1962 and we continue to explore creative traditional and new wave movements. For the last nine years films representing a specific country have been shown as an activity of our themed-semesters. Each fall the MSSU Institute of International Studies presents films that focus on the country featured during the themed semester. The Society's continuing offerings of films from other countries, recently restored and transferred to DVD format, are shown in the spring.

For more information call (417) 673-1261 or send an email.





Sep. 7
Prisoner of the Mountains
(Kavkazskij plennik)
(Russia, 1996)

Prisoner on the MountainsPrisoner of the Mountains (Kavkazskij plennik) (1996)
Director: Sergei Bodrov. This compelling, politically knowing drama charts what happens when two Russian soldiers are captured and held hostage by Chechen rebels. Nominated for the Academy Award.

Sept. 14
Circus (Tsirk)
(Russia, 1936)

Director: Grigori Alexandrov. A daring attempt to import the musical comedy form into the Soviet Union stars an American circus artiste, played by the famous Lyubov Orlova.

Sept. 21

(Russia, 1967)

The CommissarDirector: Alexander Askoldov. This extraordinary and controversial tale of Jewish life, suffering, bravery and fatalism was suppressed and shelved until 1988 when it opened to much acclaim in New York.

Sept. 28
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
(Moskava slezam ne verit)

(Russia, 1980)

Moscow Does Not Believe in TearsDirector: Vladimir Menshov. An engrossing tale of a trio of young women who come to Moscow in search of love and success. Winner of the Academy Award for best Foreign Film in 1980.

Oct. 5
My Name is Ivan
(Ivanovo detstvo)
(Russia, 1962)

My Name is IvanDirector: Andrei Tarkovsky. Set during World War II, this is a melancholy, sometimes haunting, story of a young boy who is deprived of his childhood and struggles with the brutal realities of war.

Oct. 12
Window to Paris
(Okno v Parizh)

(Russia, 1995)

Window to Paris Director: Yuri Mamin. Inventive comedy-fantasy-satire about a music teacher who finds that the closet door of his apartment opens onto a window on the other side of which lies…Paris!

Oct. 19
The Cranes Are Flying
(Letyat zhuravli)

(Russia, 1957)

The Cranes Are FlyingDirector: Mikhail Kalatozov. This romantic story reaches a tender intensity when a girl (Tatiana Samoilova) loses her fiancé during wartime. Winner of the Grand Prize, Best Director and Best Actress honors at Cannes.

Oct. 26
Burnt by the Sun
(Utomlyonnye solntsem)
(Russia, 1994)

Burnt by the Sun Director: Nikita Mikhalkov. This powerful, Oscar winning tale, set in Stalinist Russia of 1936, follows the plight of an aging hero of the Bolshevik Revolution. Its conclusion packs an explosive political climax.

Nov. 9
Alexander Nevsky
(Aleksandr Nevsky)
(Russia, 1938)

Alexander Nevsky Director: Sergei Eisenstein. This is a wonderfully lavish, meticulously detailed, chronicle of the conflict between peasants and the Teutonic Knights during the 13th century, enhanced by Sergei Prokofiev’s music.

Nov. 16
Brother (Brat)
(Russia, 1997)

Brother (Brat) Director: Alexi Balabanov. A riveting crime film which addresses the social breakdown and escapism in former Soviet cities. The lead actor Sergei Bodrov’s performance won him honors around the world.

Feb. 15, 2005
Brink of Life
(Nara livet)

(Sweden, 1958)

Brink of Life Ingmar Bergman directed this somber story of three women and the physical and psychological traumas they experienced facing childbirth during a 24 hour period. Winner of the Best Director and Best Actress awards at Cannes, with outstanding performances by Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson and Max von Sydow. The Herald-Tribune praised the film as “A remarkable expression of the affirmation of life.”

March 1
Diamonds of the Night
(Demanty Noci)

(Czechoslovakia, 1964)

This is one of the breakthrough films of the ill-fated Czech New Wave movement, brilliantly directed by Jan Nemec. It is the story of two boys who escape from a train heading for a Nazi concentration camp, told in a visual, surrealistic style. Their minds start to wander; memories, hallucinations, and desires fade in and out. Peter Cowie in his book Seventy Years of Cinema recognized Nemec as “a superb stylist, a master of the chiaroscuro effect.”

March 15
The Dreaded Mafia
(Salvatore Giuliano)

(Italy, 1962)

Here Francesco Rosi delves into the tragic life of Mafia leader Salvatore Giuliano who was gunned down in 1950 at the age of 27. This groundbreaking work of investigative filmmaking examines the relationship between Sicily’s people, the government, the Mafia and the military as it charts Giuliano’s evolution from a rebel who fought political corruption into a dangerous leader of organized crime. Derek Malcolm of The Guardian labeled it “A fascinating study of the tentacles of crime.”

March 29
Le Silence de la Mer
(The Silence of the Sea)

(France, 1947)

Jean-Pierre Melville’s quiet, haunting film about love was a forerunner of the French New Wave movement. When and old man and his beautiful niece are forced to endure the presence of a Nazi officer, during the occupation of France, they vow never to speak to the invader and listen in silence as he pours out his feelings about music, war and his love of France. Just as the officer overcomes their enmity and at the same time discovers the realities of Nazism in France, he is ordered to the eastern front.

April 12
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum
(Zangiku Monogatari)

(Japan, 1939)

With his customary humanity, Kenji Mizoguchi fashioned this film about loyalty and devotion. The son of a prominent Kabuki actor is cast out by his family when he falls in love with a gentle servant woman, who supports him as he struggles to perfect his art. Ultimately, he is redeemed by her unquestioning love. An excerpt in Time Out Film Guide described the film as “Bristling with passion, a true find: a heartbreaker to end them all. The peak of Mizoguchi’s filmmaking.”

April 26
Eroica (Heroism)
(Poland, 1957)

This two-part feature by Andrzej Munk is an ironic and unheroic treatment of voluntarism and lost causes. The Warsaw uprising of 1944 is looked at through the eyes of a drunken black-marketeer; in the second “movement,” Polish Resistance fighters in a German camp fanatically believe in the heroism of their comrade, which in fact, is a farce. Critic Pauline Kael wrote: “Eroica is a true black comedy and one of the few modern movies that has something relevant to say about the modern world.”