Examiner Film Editor

For years, the trailer for Landmark Cinema has proclaimed, “the language of film is universal.” So it’s fitting that a Landmark theatre is where the Global Lens Film Series, a collection of eight features and shorts from developing world countries, will be shown Jan. 13-19.

Seattle is the first stop for this traveling series, intended to promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema. This year’s slate of films from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East include China’s “Stolen Life,” from the country’s leading female director Li Shaohong.

“Stolen Life” is allegedly based on a true story. A woman, abandoned by her birth parents and raised by relatives in Beijing, grows up sullen and withdrawn. When she’s unexpectedly granted entrance into the university, she believes she’s on her way to a new life. At school, however, she meets a young man and falls in love — not knowing that from the moment they meet, this unscrupulous man will plot to rob her of her future.

China is also represented in the short films with “Harvest Time,” about a young man who returns to this modest village after graduating from university, only to find that the successes of his former classmates surpass his own. Also among the shorts is India’s “Little Terrorist,” the story of a Pakistani boy who strays into India and is sheltered by a Hindu schoolteacher that introduces him to a new culture, religion and customs.

For more information on the Global Lens series, or to purchase individual advance tickets or a series pass, contact the Seattle International Film Festival Group at (206) 464-5830 or

“Stolen Life” plays Jan. 13 and 16 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m.; Jan. 15 and 18 at 9 p.m. at the Varsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE in Seattle.

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