Critic's Choice

UCLA Film & Television Archive brings timely refugee dramas to the screen

One hardly needs a reason to see “La Promesse” (1996), the superb immigration drama that first brought Belgium’s Dardenne brothers to international attention, or “Boat People” (1982), Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui’s harrowing look at life under communism in post-liberation Vietnam. But in light of the ongoing migrant crisis, “In Transit: Refugees on Film,” a monthlong series starting Friday at the Billy Wilder Theater, makes for particularly essential viewing.

Curated by Jan-Christopher Horak of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the nine-film series includes “El Norte” (1983), Gregory Nava’s tale of two teenage runaways from Guatemala, and a beautiful restoration of “Black Girl” (1966), the late, great Ousmane Sembène’s stark first feature about a Senegalese woman who moves to France to work as a house servant.

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‘In Transit: Refugees on Film’

Where: Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, Westwood

Price: $10

Contact: www.cinema.ucla.edu

“Arch of Triumph” and “A Lady Without Passport,” Friday, 7:30 p.m.

“Black Girl” and “La Pirogue,” Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

“Welcome” and “La Promesse,” April 16, 7 p.m.

“Boat People,” April 21, 7:30 p.m.

“El Norte,” April 23, 7 p.m.

“Parting,” May 5, 7:30 p.m.

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justin.chang@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATimesMovies

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