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Science & Cinema: Leiden researchers at the Leiden International Film Festival

A film and quiz at the Old Observatory, a film whose ending you decide or a political satire in The Hague. These are some of the options at Science & Cinema, the 444 edition, a special programme during LIFF, the Leiden International Film Festival.

There are dozens of films to choose from at LIFF, but four deserve particular attention. They cost only 4.44 euros, are being screened at special locations and are accompanied by commentary from researchers from Leiden University. The four films form the University’s Science & Cinema programme to mark its 444th anniversary.

Flat earth

Why do people believe that the earth is flat? Flat Earthers explain why in the documentary Behind the Curve, which is being screened in the Academy Building (4 November). Philosopher Victor Gijsbers and Professor of History of the Natural Sciences, Frans van Lunteren, will discuss belief (or disbelief) in science afterwards. Gijsbers recently said in de Volkskrant newspaper that you can see science doubters as faithful followers of Descartes. He said you should doubt everything – your own senses, scriptures, your parents’ stories and scientific insights. Gijsbers: ‘An essential aspect of this is the idea that you should only believe something if you can check it yourself.’

Political satire in The Hague

A film will also be screened in The Hague, on 5 November. Watch, on the Spanish Steps in Wijnhaven, the political satire In the Loop – with headphones for the perfect sound. Expert commentary will be provided by Alexander Pleijter, who knows all about fake news, journalism and new technology. He recently tweeted about the idea of using artificial intelligence to detect fake news. ‘The automatic detection of fake news. It sounds fantastic, but we’re not there yet. And I don’t think we ever will be. Good fake news looks exactly like the real thing.’

Choose how the film ends

The third film on the programme, at Trianon on 6 November, is a film that can end differently each time you watch it. During Robin – Een Interactief Levensverhaal it is up to you to decide, with the aid of your smartphone, which choices the main character makes. Philosopher Jan Sleutels and Yasco Horsman from the Centre for the Arts in Society will discuss the film and the choices afterwards.

Quiz on the moon landing

The Old Observatory on 7 November is the setting for the fourth film, Dark Side of the Moon, which is about the moon landing. In a quiz afterwards, astronomer Francisca Concha-Ramirez will test your knowledge and canvass your opinions on our universe.

Tickets for 4.44 euros

Most LIFF films cost around 10 euros, whereas for these four films you pay only 4.44 euros for a ticket. Order your tickets online or pay on the door (pin only). All the films and expert commentary are in English, except for Robin on 6 November.  

Order your tickets now

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