The movies "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Nostalgia for the Light" open today at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. Both films show through Aug. 25.
"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" is based in 19th-century China and features 7-year-old girls Snow Flower and Lily. The two girls are matched as laotong — or "old sames" — bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language between the folds of a white silk fan.
In a parallel story in present-day Shanghai, the descendants of Snow Flower and Lily, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever.
"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" is based on the best-selling book of the same name and directed by Wayne Wang.
In "Nostalgia for the Light," famed political documentary director Patricio Guzmán travels to 10,000 feet above sea level to the Atacama Desert, where astronomers from around the globe gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.
The Atacama is the driest place on Earth, where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact. Those remains range from Pre-Columbian mummies to political prisoners "disappeared" by the Chilean army after the military coup of September 1973.
While astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies from on high, relatives at the foot of the mountains search for the remains of loved ones lost for 25 years.
For more information, including show times, click the link below or call (402) 472-5353.
More details at: http://www.theross.org