Explore Sound and Ethics During Free Film Series

Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics brings four films to big screen during annual event

The Ethics Film Series lineup this spring, clockwise from top left: Buena Vista Social Club (Feb. 24), Once (March 24), The Punk Singer (April 14) and The Visitor (Jan. 26). Photos courtesy of the Kenan Institute for Ethics
The Ethics Film Series lineup this spring, clockwise from top left: Buena Vista Social Club (Feb. 24), Once (March 24), The Punk Singer (April 14) and The Visitor (Jan. 26). Photos courtesy of the Kenan Institute for Ethics

What do a couple in Dublin, the rise of a Cuban album, a female punk singer and drumming lessons all have in common?They belong in the four films that will be screened this year for free by the Ethics Film Series, an annual Duke tradition since 2009 that marries a theme with discussions on ethical issues. This year’s theme, “Sound Beliefs: Music, Ethics, Identity,” was chosen by the Kenan Institute for Ethics to examine how ethics, morals and identity are shared through music. “I hope people see themselves in the stories that unfold, whether fictional or nonfictional,” said Michaela Dwyer, one of the event’s organizers and the Kenan Institute’s Stephen and Janet Bear Postgraduate Fellow in Ethics. “It’s a fun, informal space to be affected intellectually, emotionally, viscerally.”The Ethics Film Series screening dates are:•    Jan. 26 - The Visitor•    Feb. 24 - Buena Vista Social Club•    March 24 - Once•    April 14 - The Punk Singer All films begin at 7 p.m. in the Bryan Center’s Griffith Film Theater. The screenings are free, and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Visitors also will receive a free parking voucher to give to the attendant in the Bryan Center parking deck.After each film, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with Duke faculty. Faculty members will represent areas of study explored by the film, such as anthropology, film studies, Latino/Latina studies, women’s studies and more.In the past, the Kenan Institute film series has studied themes such as the “New South” and the tensions between justice and love. The project is a collaboration between the Kenan Institute; Duke’s Screen/Society, the university’s film and video exhibition program; the Center for Documentary Studies; and Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image certificate program, which teaches students the history, theory and technologies of motion picture and new media arts.Hank Okazaki, exhibitions programmer for Screen/Society, has helped organize the Ethics Film Series since its start by getting the rights to screen the films. This year, he said he is interested in seeing the Buena Vista Social Club for its Cuban music and also to put the film in context of America’s recent relationship changes with Cuba. “The big draw is that you’re not just seeing a film out of context, but you have a chance to participate in a discussion with a number of people who are experts in some of the issues that are raised in the film,” Okazaki said. “The discussions tend to be quite animated and really interesting.”