The 10 films included in this year’s Global Lens program at MOMA offer views from, uh, around the globe. Most notable, geographically speaking, is Kilometre Zero, a production from Iraqi Kurdistan arriving by way of a high-profile slot at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Films from Indonesia ( Of Love and Eggs), Algeria ( Enough!), and Mozambique ( Another Man’s Garden), among elsewhere, bid to transcend mere ethnographic interest. Succeeding nicely is
Fine Dead Girls (January 18, 28), a choice chunk of Croatian allegory from director Dalibor Matanic. Ditto for Dam Street (January 17-22), the sophomore feature by Chinese filmmaker Li Yu, a modest, decent movie just a wee bit undermined by the Alienated Asian Arthouse Effect. Bits of ellipsis and formalist mise-en-scene are very School of Hou, while the approach to recent Chinese history suggests extensive study at Jia Zhangke University. Li needs neither to service her material, an affecting domestic melodrama spiked with family secrets that unfolds against the shifting sexual mores of rural Sichuan province. Props to Liu Yi in the role of a progressive girl exiled for her pregnancy, and young Huang Xingrao as a feisty little whippersnapper who perks up her life. Non-props to whoever did the subtitles and neglected to translate two crucial screen texts that appear to clarify major plot points.