Sometimes, we grow so accustomed to the United States being the epicenter of the movie business (see the fall movie guide on Page E13), that we forget there are immensely talented auteurs across the ocean.

Indeed, today’s cinema may look very different if it weren’t for the pioneering contributions of foreign filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein, F.W. Murnau, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard and Akira Kurosawa.

Foreign film also reminds us that emotions and situations that affect us and influence us as Americans — hunger, poverty, desire, love, family, war — are universal across the globe.

Thankfully, there are local venues like the Portland Museum of Art that show foreign films on occasion, and festivals like the annual Global Lens Film Series, a traveling festival distributed by San Francisco’s Global Film Initiative that aims to “promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema.”

The series returns this week to the Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston. At 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 10 (excepting Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 26-27), Bates will screen a different film from the Global Lens series. Admission is $5 per film (free for Bates students).

Here’s a look at this month’s Global Lens movies:

This Friday and Saturday: “The Night of Truth” (Burkina Faso, 2004): On the eve of a peace agreement between rebels and the government to end a decade of civil war in a fictitious African nation, both sides come together, bringing with them years of rage, grief, hope, suspicion and bitterness. 100 minutes.

Sept. 17-18: “Adrift” (Vietnam, 2009): In modern-day Hanoi, a young bride’s sexual and emotional desires, both unfulfilled by her new husband, push her into the arms of a dangerous suitor, posing a threat to not only the stability of her new family, but to the conventions of tradition. 110 minutes.

Sept. 24-25: “Becloud” (Mexico, 2007): The story of three neighbors whose lives are linked to an incident in 1964, when a trucker and his companion found a baby boy at the dry breast of his dead mother. 111 minutes.

For a list of other films in the series and more information on the Global Lens Film Series, visit

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]