The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: Faces of Work runs Thu., March 20, through April 5, with more than a dozen feature films and documentaries. Most films screen at McConomy Auditorium, on the CMU campus, and are $8 ($5 students/seniors). A complete schedule, including guest speakers and special events, is at www.cmu.edu. Three recent films are among those screening this week:
WALESA: MAN OF HOPE. Andrzej Wajda's bio-pic recounts the rise of Lech Walesa, the Polish shipyard worker who became the leader of the Solidarity movement in the 1970s and '80s. Wajda keeps much of the history rooted in the personal (Walesa's prickly personality, his family life and his moments of ambivalence) while deftly intercutting archival footage. Walesa's wife, Danuta, will attend the March 20 screening. In Polish, with subtitles. 7:15 p.m. Thu., March 20, at Regent Square. $15/$10 (includes opening-night reception). Also, Sun., March 23, at McConomy.
SHIPBREAKERS. When commercial ships "die," they're often hauled to places like Alang, in India. Grounded at high tide, they're dismantled by hand by migrant workers. The work is dangerous, low-paying and not subject to any environmental regulations. This documentary from Ralph Vituccio and Tom Clancey takes a clear-eyed look at this dark aspect of the global economy, and it's as grim and depressing as you'd expect. Particularly when contrasted, as it is in the film, with a ship-breaking facility in Brownsville, Texas. In English, and various languages, with subtitles. 7:15 p.m. Fri., March 21. McConomy
THE CLEANER. In Adrian Saba's gentle drama, a middle-aged man dutifully cleans up after the dead as a mysterious virus ravages Lima, Peru. His grim work and solitary life is altered when he takes in an 8-year-old boy and begins taking care of the living, rather than simply mopping up after the dead. In Spanish, with subtitles. 4 p.m. Mon., March 24 (Kresge Theater, Carlow University, Oakland), and 7:30 p.m. Tue., March 25 (McConomy).