ACT II - Confronting Cinematic Stereotypes: Struggle, Redemption, and Second Chances in Modern Film

Our community enrichment cinema course continues with Act II in spring 2023. Participants will watch and discuss four films that depict struggle, redemption, and second chances in different cultural settings.

Each class session will include a pre-screening lecture followed by a showing of the film. Afterward, audience members will be able to engage in conversation about the events featured, the ways directors presented the subjects, and cinematic techniques used that may answer some questions while raising others.

Each class begins at 6:00 p.m. in Morgan Auditorium at Penn State Schuylkill’s Student Community Center.

Cost: $30 for community members 
Free for Penn State Schuylkill students, faculty and staff members (see campus newsletter for details)

Register today > 

Film Schedule

Official movie poster for Queen of Katwe

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Queen of Katwe 
(Mira Nair, 2016) 

Queen of Katwe tells the story of Phiona Mutesi’s (Madina Nalwanga) journey as a Ugandan chess star and her rise to stardom. The film was inspired by Tom Crothers’ book, The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.




Official Green Book movie poster

Thursday, February 16, 2023
Green Book
(Peter Farrelly, 2018) 

Green Book takes us on a journey into the Deep South of 1962 and is named after Victor Hugo Green’s The Negro Motorist Green Book. The film won three Academy Awards and highlights the unique friendship between Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American pianist, and Tony Lipp, his Italian-American driver.




Official movie poster for Life is Beautiful

Thursday, March 16, 2023
La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful)
 (Roberto Benigni, 1997)

La vita è bella is an Oscar-winning film on the Holocaust that made more than $230 million at the box office. Robert Benigni wrote, directed, and starred in this film, which is one of the highest grossing non-English films of all time. Screened with English subtitles.





Official movie poster for i cento passi

Thursday, April 13, 2023
I cento passi (One Hundred Steps)
(Marco Tullio Giordano, 2000)

I cento passi takes place in Palermo and focuses on Peppino Impastato’s public battle with his mafioso father. The award-winning film is in the Sicilian dialect and takes a powerful stance against the Sicilian mafia (Cosa nostra). Screened with English subtitles.





Meet the instructor

D.J. Higgins

This course is taught by Dr. D.J. Higgins, assistant teaching professor of film/video and music at Penn State Schuylkill. Dr. Higgins earned the Doctor of Philosophy in Modern Languages from Middlebury College and is an active filmmaker, having directed, written, and produced several award-winning short films.