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Two Free Films about Women

Tonight (Feb. 10) at 7 p.m.: As part of the Asian Studies Film Festival, the Hippodrome will show the Japanese classic drama “When A Woman Ascends the Stairs” (Onna ga kaidan wo aguru toki, 1960). The film tells the story of Keiko, an aging geisha who has worked as a hostess her entire life: given her age, she now must decide to try to find a husband, to become a kept woman or to borrow money to buy a bar of her own. Keiko recounts what it’s like to be a traditional geisha in modern society — acting professional around drunken businessmen, supporting her mother and brother and coming to terms with aging while keeping her confidence. Does she actually have choices? Admission is free. Downtown Gainesville (25 SE 2nd Pl).

Wednesday (Feb. 11) at 7 p.m.: The documentary “Lioness” will show at the University Auditorium followed by a panel discussion. Through interviews, archival footage and journal entries, Lioness explores the lives of the first to enter direct ground combat in American history. The women fought in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq War and returned home as part of the U.S.’ first generation of female combat veterans. Lioness makes public their hidden history. Admission is free. University of Florida campus (corner of Union Rd and Newell Dr).

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