‘Puzzle,’ ‘This is Congo’ premiere Aug. 24 at the Ross

· 3 min read

‘Puzzle,’ ‘This is Congo’ premiere Aug. 24 at the Ross

Sony Pictures Classics
Kelly Macdonald (left) and Irrfan Kahn are featured in "Puzzle," which opens Aug. 24 at Nebraska's Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

A belated journey of self-discovery via jigsaw puzzle and the history of a resource-rich but embattled African nation each debut Aug. 24 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

Playing through Aug. 30, “Puzzle” is a closely observed portrait of Agnes, who has reached her early 40s without ever venturing far from home, family or the tight-knit immigrant community in which she was raised by her widowed father. That begins to change in a quietly dramatic fashion when Agnes receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift and experiences the heady thrill of not only doing something she enjoys but being very, very good at it.

After years of concerning herself exclusively with the needs and wants of her husband, Louie, and their two sons, Agnes has found something that she wants to do. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert, a wealthy, reclusive inventor who immediately recognizes her talent and recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world jigsaw tournament.

Each day she spends out in the world, puzzling and conversing with Robert, takes Agnes further along the road to understanding herself and her strengths. With that understanding come new insights and an assertiveness that finds her pushing back against the assumptions and routines that have defined her role in her family. Ultimately, Agnes will decide for herself what comes next.

“Puzzle” is rated R for language.

Puzzle | Official Trailer HD (2018)
Trailer: "Puzzle"

In “This is Congo,” screening at the Ross through Aug. 31, director Daniel McCabe mixes broad-brush history with a contemporary exploration of the battle scars marking the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The DRC formed after a long period of colonization by the Belgians, only to dissolve almost immediately into a longstanding pattern of war, political instability and economic crisis. Amid violence and corruption fueled by the country’s immense mineral wealth, Congo has become the site of puppet regimes, global commercialization, humanitarian organizations and armed rebel groups. Meanwhile, its population lives in abject poverty.

By following four compelling characters – a whistleblower, a patriotic military commander, a mineral dealer and a displaced tailor – the film offers a Congolese perspective on the problems plaguing the nation and the effects of Africa’s longest continuing conflict.

“This is Congo” is not rated but features what The Guardian’s Cath Clarke calls “deeply distressing footage.”

This Is Congo - Official Trailer
Trailer: "This is Congo"

For more information, including show times, click here or call 402-472-5353.

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