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Your average library is chock-full of more information than any one person could learn in a lifetime. And this knowledge isn't just stuffed into books — non-Dewey-decimal-reliant educational opportunities are offered by these institutions as well. Take this weekend's International Film Festival at the St. Louis Public Library's Carpenter branch (3309 South Grand Boulevard; 314-772-6586 or www.slpl.org). On Friday and Saturday (August 28 and 29), the library system's diversity committee screens five films from as many countries — lots to learn here.

Kicking things off at 1 p.m. on Friday is "Picture Me an Enemy," a 29-minute short about the war in the former Yugoslavia — this is a great opportunity to get a bit of perspective on what your neighbors might have gone through before fleeing to our fair city. After "Picture," Friday's films continue with Bunny Chow (South Africa) at 2 p.m. and the 30-minute short "Juan & Evita Perón" (Argentina) at 4 p.m. The fest then picks up at noon on Saturday with Taafé Fanga, a film from Mali that explores role reversals for men and women in an African village; Linda & Ali: Two Worlds Within Four Walls follows at 2:30 p.m., closing out the mini-festival. This documentary gives a peak into the lives of a Catholic wife, her Muslim husband and their seven (!) children.

Now, you must be thinking that all of this watching and learning will come at a price, and you're right — the cost of your time. You know they say that time is money, but these films are free.
Fri., Aug. 28; Sat., Aug. 29, 2009

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