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.





Sept. 4

Raise the Red Lantern
(Da hong deng long gao gao gua)
(China, 1991)

Raise the Red LanternDirected by Zhang Yimou

This is a stunningly directed film which follows the plight of a beautiful, educated young woman who becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy, powerful nobleman.


Sept. 18

Farewell My Concubine  (Ba wang bie ji) 
(China, 1993)

Farewell My ConcubineDirected by Chen Kaige

A drama of epic sweep, with a trio of main characters who share a complex bond: two Chinese opera stars, who have become famous for playing a king and his concubine in the title opera; and a feisty yet vulnerable prostitute, whom one of them marries.

Oct. 2

The Blue Kite
(Lan feng zheng)

(China, 1993)

The Blue KiteDirected by Tian Zhuangzhuang

Outstanding, elegant epic about the experiences of one Chinese family through the 1950s and 60s: a period of vast political and social upheaval in China.

Oct. 16

Eat Drink Man Woman  (Yin shi nan nu) 
(China, 1994)


Eat DrinkDirected by Ang Lee

This is an acclaimed comedy-drama about a widowed master chef facing such problems as losing his sense of taste, his three daughters’ strong desire for leaving home and a marriage-minded widow next door.

Oct. 30

Breaking the Silence  (Piao liang ma ma) 
(China, 2001)

Breaking the SilenceDirected by Zhou Sun.
Superstar Gong Li won Best Actress honors at the Montreal World Film Festival for her excellent performance in this drama of domestic struggles in contemporary China.

Nov. 13

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  (Xiao cai feng) 
(China, 2003)

BalzacDirected by Dai Sijie

This 2003 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film is based on the experience of this film’s director who spent four years in a “re-education camp” so that he would emerge purged of corrupt Western influences.


Feb. 26

(Poland, 1959)

LotnaAward winning director Andrzej Wajda made this film as a visually arresting and sweeping tribute to the heroic horsemen who faced German tanks during World War II.  It is a striking, allegorical account of the disappearance of cavalry from modern warfare and the effect an off-white horse, named Lotna, has on various soldiers and officials in a Polish regiment.  The film is important for being “exceptionally beautiful from the pictorial point of view, and definitely one of  (Wajda’s) greatest film achievements” (Liehm and Liehm, The Most Important Art).

March 11

Slave of Love  
(Raba Iyubvi)  
(Russia, 1976)

Slave of LoveThis intriguing, handsomely mounted drama, directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, details the transformation of an actress who falls in love with a Bolshevik cameraman during the Russian Revolution while a crew struggles to complete the film of the title.  “…a luminous film with wit, passion, breathtaking beauty, and sun-struck images.  No better foreign film has reached our shores this year.”  (David Ansen, Newsweek)  “A glory has arrived:  a Russian picture of the greatest filmic invention.  It flickers with a life and energy that would have captured (the heart of) D.W. Griffith…”  (The NewYorker ).  Awards include: “Golden Aurochs Plate” for Best Directing to Mikhalkov (Teheran, 1976) and Special Jury Prize at the “Young Cinema” International Festival (Nyeres, France).

March 25

Somewhere in Europe(Valahol Europaban)
(Hungary, 1947)

SomewhereThis restored masterwork is a pivotal point in the history of both the Hungarian cinema and world cinema.  Directed by Geza Radvanyi and co-written by Bela Balazs, it traces a roving band of homeless orphans.  Living by their wits and stealing to eat, they take refuge in a bombed-out castle, only to discover it’s inhabited by a graying musician who offers them shelter.  Due to its gritty cinematography, on-location shooting and use of actual war orphans in key roles, critics recognize it as an important extension of the influential Italian Neorealist movement.  “One of the best films of the immediate postwar period…” (Georges Sadoul, eminent film critic).

April 8

The Fifth Horseman is Fear
(…a paty jezdec je Strach)
(Czechoslovakia, 1964)

The Fifth HorsemanA Jewish physician in Nazi-occupied Prague works in a warehouse after he is forbidden to practice medicine.  When he helps an injured political fugitive, he is plunged into a moral and ethical conflict.  Within an historical context, director Zynek Brynych creates a thinly disguised allegory about Communist Czechoslovakia that is rich in atmosphere and dark in tone.  “…a nearly perfect film” (Robert Ebert, Chicago Sun –Times).  “…a striking portrayal of a society in moral meltdown….” (Time Out London).