Film and discussion series set Jan. 13-15

January 11, 2017

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present its popular What Makes Us Tick? program during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Friday-Sunday, Jan. 13-15. This analytical film and discussion series explores aspects of the human condition. This year's theme is The Path Chosen. All screenings will be held at the Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, Dartmouth Plaza, Lewes (behind Wawa).

Making choices throughout life is a commonly shared experience. The situations that lead people to certain points vary, resulting in outcomes that may differ – some obvious and some unforeseen. Three films will be screened, each one exploring the impact of the challenging personal choices made when faced with difficult societal events that conflict with personal beliefs, and the aftermath of those choices. The films will be introduced by Dr. Carolyn Walter, and a post-screening discussion will be facilitated by a mental health professional.

The series begins at 7 p.m., Friday, with the exceptional Chinese drama, "Coming Home" ("Gui lai"). Adapted from the novel "The Criminal Lu Yanshi" by American–based novelist Yan Geling, this epic saga depicts events in early 1970s China. Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp for political prisoners. At the same time, his beloved wife Feng is injured in an unrelated accident. Lu is finally released during the last days of the cultural revolution, only to find that his much-adored Feng has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband's return. A stranger alone in the heart of his splintered family, Lu determines to resurrect their past together and awaken his wife's memory. In 2015, "Coming Home" won 15 film festival awards and was nominated for over 30. 

Moderators for this session are Suzanne M. Murphy and Carolyn Walter. Murphy is a licensed clinical social worker who has a PhD in social welfare. Walter is a PhD, LCSW, professor emerita, Center for Social Work Education, Widener University and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.

The series continues at 3 p.m., Saturday, with the Turkish film, "Mustang" ("Belleza salvaje"). It is early summer in a small village in northern Turkey. Five free-spirited teenage sisters are seen playing with local boys. The supposed immorality of their open play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is soon turned into a prison, and instruction in homemaking replaces school. When their conservative guardians begin arranging forced marriages and the older sisters are wedded off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate. The fierce love they have for each other empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they are able to determine their own path. In 2016, "Mustang" received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It also was nominated for and won various awards at festivals throughout the world. 

Moderators for this session are Karen Barwick and Perrin Smith. Barwick is a licensed mental health counselor and has a private practice in Rehoboth Beach. She is also program director and a founding member of The Minds Over Matter Initiative. Smith is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with children and their families.

The series ends with the historical drama "Jimmy's Hall" at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15. It is 1932 and Jimmy Gralton is back home after 10 years of forced exile in the U.S. His sin was building a dance hall in rural Ireland where young people could gather to learn, argue, dream and dance. His mother is happy and his friends are happy but the Catholic Church and the Irish ruling class are not. Jimmy and his hall represent something perilous and subversive – the fact that individuals might want to think and act for themselves. So when Jimmy reopens it, the local priest and squire will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his dangerous hall. The film is based on a true story, and Jimmy Gralton is the only Irish citizen to ever have been forcibly deported. "Jimmy's Hall" won a Palme d'Or award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. 

Moderators for this session are Suzanne Murphy and Tom Ledbetter. Ledbetter is a pastoral psychotherapist at Brandywine Pastoral Institute.

What Makes Us Tick? is open to the general public and film society members. Admission prices for each screening are $9 for RBFS members and $10 for nonmembers. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of the film. To purchase tickets, go to, call 302-645-9095, Ext 1, or visit the film society office from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Tickets are nonrefundable. To receive the membership discounted admission, proof of current membership must be presented at the time of purchase or, in the case of online or telephone reservations, at admission to the event.