The language department showed the Spanish film “The Official Story” on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Lilly Hall Room 227.
“The Official Story” is about an Argentinean couple that tries to learn the identity of their illegally adopted daughter’s parents.
Every other Thursday for the past two years, French Professor Peter Vakunta and the rest of the faculty in the Modern Languages Department have been putting on a Modern Language Movie Night. The department rotates between the three different languages taught at the university: French, Spanish and German.
Two years ago, when Vakunta arrived at the University of Indianapolis, he said that he wanted something new to engage his students.
“When I got here [UIndy] there was nothing here to engage and immerse my students into the cultural aspect of a language,” he said. “One of the quickest ways to embrace the cultural aspects of a language is to watch films that are in that language.”
Vakunta then developed the “Modern Language Movie Night,” at which students in the different languages can come outside of the classroom and enjoy a movie while learning about the different cultures. He said films are a great way for the young people of today to learn.
“I’m dealing here with a younger generation of folks who are movie goers and are all technologically motivated,” he said. “I want to break down the walls and interact with the students outside the classroom.”
Over time, the movie night has grown from a small event within the department itself to a campus wide Lecture and Performance credit event. Vakunta expressed about how excited he is that the event has grown over the years.
“The program has become campus wide in the sense that we do not only show the movie to the students in the language department. We show it to anyone who wants to see it,” he said.
Most of the students who attended the movie night are studying the three languages offered at the university, but a few were not. Freshman Tori Driskell expressed about how much she enjoyed the film.
“The movie was not what I expected. It was actually a really good movie,” she said. “Even though I am not in Spanish here at UIndy, I feel like I learned a little bit about Argentina from the movie.”
The next “Modern Language Movie Night” will be a French film on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Lilly Hall Room 227.