The Penn State Anthropology Department’s fourth annual film festival begins tonight and will feature three movies throughout the month of March that involve issues of sexuality.
The festival will show one film on each Thursday of this month beginning this evening.
The festival titled “Exploring Sex and Gender” shows different aspects of cultural perspectives on the topic.
“[These films show] different cultures and how they view sex and gender,” Claire Ebert, chair of the Anthropology Film Festival, said.
The first film, which is being shown at 7 tonight in 112 Chambers, is called “Spitting Game: The College Hook Up Culture” and is by Denise Ann Evans. She is coming to the event to speak during the discussion of the film.
“[The film] is basically about campus life and the parties and how people sometimes feel pressured,” Ebert said.
The second film being shown is “The Virgin Daughters.” It is being shown at 7 p.m. on March 21 in 112 Chambers.
“[The] film is about the purity movement in general,” Ebert said. The film focuses on young women who take abstinence pledges to their parents vowing to remain celibate until marriage.
Ebert said she likes this film and thinks it is an interesting contrast to the first piece in the festival.
She said the third film gives more of a “traditional, cultural perspective.” The final film, which is being shown at 7 p.m. on March 28 in 201 Thomas, is called “Two Spirits” and is by Lydia Nibley.
“Two Spirits” deals with what the Navajo culture recognizes as a third gender, called nádleehí.
Anne Hayward, a member of the planning committee , is in her second year of involvement of this festival.
Hayward (graduate student-anthropology) said she joined the festival because during her first year, volunteers were needed.
John Wheatley , another graduate student, said this is the first year he is involved in the organization of the festival.
Wheatley (graduate student-anthropology) said that by being involved he was able to help create a festival he was interested in.
“I saw it as an opportunity to have an influence [on what the festival was like],” he said.
For the topic of sex and gender especially, Wheatley said it’s important that the films are being viewed in a collegiate setting. He also said that the films are important and that the topics are ones that everyone is talking about.
“[They’re] current topics in American culture,” he said. “They’re all in-depth about topics that all of us are aware of. They’re of interest to a lot of people,” he added.
Ebert said these films are identifiable with the student population.
“It’s relevant for students especially,” she said. “Since our campus is very big […] some of these concepts may seem foreign to [students] but really they’re all dealing with issues of sex and gender.”