The Bitterroot Public Library has four thought-provoking films for its upcoming documentary and narrative series.

Nansu Roddy, adult services librarian, said community members will enjoy the films because each was carefully chosen to be of interest to the community.

“I try to come up with timely topics and have films that will solicit discussion afterward,” Roddy said. “People will want to come on a cold, dark night and do something that is intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.

"For example ‘In Search of Israeli Cuisine’ - if you’re a foodie you’re going to love this film because the chef guide is Michael Solomon, the James Beard award-winning chef and owner of Zahav and other restaurants in Philadelphia.”

“In Search of Israeli Cuisine” (directed by Roger Sherman, 90 minutes) will be shown on Jan. 24 and details the people of Israel through food. It profiles chefs, home cooks, farmers, vintners, and cheese makers from more than 100 cultures that define Israel today including Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, and Druze. The film shows farms, markets, restaurants, kitchens, and landscapes where the multi-cultural cuisine is made.

The other three films in the series were selected to bring awareness to a topic.

“‘Cameraperson’ will be shown Jan. 31 and was directed by Kirsten Johnson. She talks about smart phones and how everyone has become a photographer,” Roddy said. “It talks about one woman’s journey in photography.”

The award-winning documentary also is an autobiography and ethical inquiry. It shows footage that Johnson shot throughout decades around the world, telling the story of her professional life. The film invites viewers behind the lens into her world.

“After the Storm” will be shown Feb. 7 and was directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu. It is in Japanese with English subtitles and lasts 117 minutes. The story is of a writer who nearly loses his family through his poor decisions, then renews contact with them and makes a lasting place in their lives when a storm provides a bonding opportunity.

“The Islands and the Whales” will be show Feb. 14. It was directed by Mike Day and lasts 70 minutes.

“It is quite interesting because it is about the hunting practices of the Faroese, who live in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic archipelagos,” Roddy said. “They are threatened by the high mercury levels of whales and their livelihoods are being taken away.”

“The Islands and the Whales” explores tensions between the environment, health, traditions, and culture.

Roddy said all the films bring points of interest for personal reflection.

“These films ask people questions that we try to come up with answers to,” she said. “I think people will walk away thinking more and becoming more aware of the issues that arise while they are watching the film.”

The best part about the films is the community discussions that continue after the showings.

“It’s nice when the conversation on the film is carried forward and talked about in the community,” she said. “We’ve been doing the film series for many years. This year we have four films coming from three different places and to show films, we have to purchase the rights.”

The Bitterroot Public Library’s Documentary and Narrative Film series for 2018 is free and begins at 7 p.m. each Wednesday, Jan. 24 – Feb. 14, at 306 State St. in Hamilton.

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