Film premieres at Oldcastle

BENNINGTON — Oldcastle Theatre this week continues its Vermont Premieres Series, part of FilmFest52 in February. All movies start at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and beer and wine are available before and during the showings.

Friday: "Fanatic Heart: The Story So Far of Black 47"

Passion, poetry, and politics fuel this documentary about Black 47, the fabled house band of New York City. "Fanatic Heart" not only charts the progress of a band, but the process of a musician and storyteller. Larry Kirwan is a playwright, a novelist and a memoirist, and his songs are full of story, of heroes sung and unsung, linked by the fire of freedom. Through his eyes, we'll look at some of the events that profoundly affected the band's history — as Kirwan puts it, "the loves, the losses, and all manner of other things." The showing is preceded at 6 p.m. by a reception with Kirwan and filmmaker Victor Zimet.

Saturday: A special double feature matinee

Due to unpredictable Vermont weather, two previously postponed premieres will be shown. The first film begins at 2 p.m., and the second at 3:30 p.m. Watch both for $10, or $7 for one.

"Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya" tells the story of 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. She is an unlikely hero, a poor peasant Maya girl living in a remote section of Guatemala, who survived a genocide and became a voice for her people across the world.

"Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and The Fall of Communism" is new documentary film that poignantly captures the intricate role played by John Paul in the collapse of communism and the liberation of Central and Eastern Europe. "Liberating A Continent" features the unique insights of intellectual and cultural leaders such as papal biographer George Weigel, esteemed Polish historian Norman Davies, Pontifical John Paul II Institute Vice President Carl Anderson, John Paul's lifelong assistant Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Reagan National Security Advisor Richard Allen and many others. This inspiring film gives an inside look at the improbable downfall of one of history's most brutal regimes.

Thursday, Feb. 8: "Bitch"

If you love your dog, your cat, you must see "Bitch." A stray dog from the alleyways of New Delhi finds herself transported to Sweden, where she is thrust into a series of interactions with some pretty colorful people. And in the end, perhaps there's a reason life brought her there. Shown in Swedish, with subtitles.


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