A young Tutsi girl and Hutu boy fall in love, an army captain tries to stay true to her mission while keeping her humanity intact, and a priest grapples with his faith amidst unspeakable betrayals and horrors. This gorgeously shot first feature magnifies the individual lives of those who suffered and endured in this compelling, wholly original take on the Rwandan Massacre of 1994.
Kinyarwanda with subtitles 100 min
Can you ever really go home again? In Chicago-born Prashant Bhargava’s visually stunning feature debut, a successful Delhi businessman returns to his familial home, urban-bred daughter in tow, for a surprise visit during India’s largest kite festival. The excitement of their homecoming soon fades as long-held resentments and distrust surface.
Hindi with subtitles 93 min
He lost his job, his wife and his home, but not his sense of honor. When Joe (Sam Witwer) returns to Chicago he looks up his aging but still dangerous, Uncle Dom (Armand Assante) in the hopes of getting “connected” and living the life of a made man. When Uncle Dom resists, Joe makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
Saddled with a guilt no teenager should have to bear, 17-year-old brooding Simon feels starkly out of place on his parents’ struggling dairy farm. Life on the farm is demanding, but no matter how hard Simon tries, he cannot live up to his father’s expectations. Resentments simmer, so when a tragic accident hits close to home, the question of blame haunts the family and possibilities for forgiveness seem ever remote, in this captivating family drama.
French with subtitles 111 min
It was supposed to be just a routine day for respected bailiff Francois Echeverria. But when he arrives at an apartment in the Parisian projects to collect unpaid rent, he is unexpectedly taken hostage by an edgy teenage son and his reluctant Algerian father. Word of terrorist activity spreads quickly, and with trigger-happy cops waiting outside and the media closing in, they have to decide what to do about their hostage, five kilos of cocaine, and closely guarded secrets in this comedy.
French, Arabic with subtitles 93 min
Why is it always the cute ones who harbor the deep dark secrets? When Aurore, the daughter of a wealthy American, falls for sexy Frenchman Chris, she has no idea what adventure lies ahead. Escaping the doldrums of life in the city, the two set out on a road trip with some unexpected, unsavory detours. A thrilling blend of passionate devotion and degeneracy, this French Natural Born Killers asks how far you would go for love.
English, French with subtitles 109 min
In this touching mix of road movie and coming-of-age story, a 13-year-old boy takes to the roads of Venezuela alone in search of the mother he never knew. As he makes his way amid the wreckage left behind by mudslides that hit a coastal town 10 years ago, the boy shares stories of the tragedy with the people he meets, as he tries to come to terms with what happened to his family.
Spanish with subtitles 100 min
Reality and imagination become indistinguishable in this loose adaptation of Douglas Kennedy’s novel. Tom (Ethan Hawke in an extraordinary performance) arrives in Paris to reconnect with his daughter, even though his ex-wife has placed a restraining order on him. To make ends meet, Tom accepts a job as a watchman for a seedy operation. Life takes a strange turn when he meets mysterious Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), and down the rabbit hole he goes in this strange Kafka-esque tale.
English, French with subtitles 84 min
Join an exciting line up of Festival directors as they discuss the process of developing and workshopping scripts in preparation for production. This ever-popular event offers a rare opportunity to ask questions of directors who have successfully crafted a feature but still clearly remember the trials and tribulations of starting out in the industry. With Women and Children director Daniel Mitelpunkt, Land of Oblivion director Michale Boganim, Karen Loop, Assistant Professor Film & Video, Columbia College Chicago, and other panelists TBA.
Seventeen-year-old Ilmari has spent most of his young life looking after his mother, Leila, a renowned actress who loves to be the center of attention, and his younger brother. After a recent scandal, Leila takes all three of them to a distant island for a quiet weekend but soon grows bored and invites all of her friends over for a party. There, she falls for scriptwriter Aimo, and soon Ilmari’s resentment explodes in this tragic portrait of a dysfunctional family.
Finnish with subtitles 87 min
The fast-paced game of the world's most popular sport is contrasted against the slow turning gears of democracy in this controversial documentary. With help from a committed South American coach and his charming wife, 18-year-old Kashmiri soccer player Basharat is good enough to go play in Brazil but can't obtain a visa due to his father's militant past. More than a coming-of-age story about a teen who dreams of living as a free citizen, it is also a coming-of-age story for democracy in India.
Urdu, Kashmiri with subtitles 83 min
Solidarity, hope, and fear beget friendship in this tale of a perilous journey across the South China Sea. A motley group of individuals - from children hoping to be reunited with absent mothers and would-be prostitutes to human traffickers preying on the locals’ desperation - cross paths while waiting to be smuggled by boat, destination Malaysia. The possibilities for a bright future seem increasingly distant as they near the shore in this slow-burning, suspense-filled verité drama.
Filipino, Tagalog with subtitles 78 min
What is happiness? How do we grasp it? Six characters fumble desperately as their lives intersect over the course of one day and night in Brussels’ luxurious Hotel Swooni. A couple must face the truth about their marriage, while a mother and daughter seek to repair their fractured relationship and a young African boy urgently searches for his missing father. Emotions run high in this hotel in which no one checks out quite the same as they checked in.
Dutch, French with subtitles 90 min
After working for two years at a failed clothing enterprise, migrant worker Cao Li returns to Shanghai to try her hand again. Reconnecting with hometown friends Guo and Jiuzi, she gets drawn into a scheme, illegally chartering a bus to take fellow Fuyang natives home for the New Year holiday. Cao Li, unsure herself of whether or not she herself will return home, has her own misgivings about their scam, in this intimate, rarely seen portrait of a migrant culture.
Mandarin with subtitles 88 min
In a nod to Sergio Leone, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s unconventional crime drama unfolds into an immersive experience. What seems to begin as a typical police procedural quickly spirals into anything but when a confessed murderer is saddled into leading the cops to the buried body. Dead-ends, subtle clues, and red-herrings all coalesce into an intense study on the nature of truth and our ability to grasp the reality of any given moment.
Turkish with subtitles 150 min
One of the most influential cameramen the cinema has ever known, Chicago-born Haskell Wexler’s expertise behind the camera has given the world such classics as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, In the Heat of the Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Thomas Crown Affair. In addition, he’s directed some extremely important films such as Medium Cool and Latino. Join Haskell Wexler in person, for a conversation about his truly visionary career, followed by a Q&A.
Turin 1899: Nietzsche witnesses a horse being whipped and subsequently retreats into madness. The Turin Horse observes the life of that fateful horse as well as its owners, a farmer and his daughter, who struggle to survive in harsh conditions. A sparse, dramatic and almost silent tale, it is a fitting finale for acclaimed director Béla Tarr, who has announced this to be his last film.
Hungarian with subtitles 146 min
In this gripping film shot semi-clandestinely, a young disbarred female lawyer with an exiled husband and an unwanted pregnancy tries to secure a visa to leave the country. Tension builds slowly and meticulously as the heroine faces off against an oppressive regime, the walls slowly closing in around her. This powerful portrait of one woman's struggle against the system in modern-day Iran won a best director award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Farsi with subtitles 104 min
Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’ (Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General, is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’ anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.
One morning, Alex receives a devastating phone call: his mother has just been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. Desperate to control the situation but overwhelmed by conflicting advice from friends, family and medical staff, he attempts to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately things do not go as planned. This daring addition to the Romanian New Wave, based on the director’s real life experience, brims with emotional impact and authenticity.
Romanian with subtitles 105 min
Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hagar Ben-Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life. That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town.
Hebrew with subtitles 88 min
From the man who created the celebrated “O-Ren Ishii” animated sequence in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 comes this stylish and outrageous but brutal film that makes Tarantino’s work look like family fare. In serious debt to local gangsters, Kinuta is coerced into taking a job as a smuggler of dead bodies for the Japanese underworld, only to find himself caught in the middle of a bloody gang war. Based on the popular eponymous manga, Smuggler has all the makings of a midnight classic.
Japanese with subtitles 115 min
Joe just doesn’t get it. He has been enjoying the slacker life - until he finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. He is finally ready to settle down, but can a leopard ever change his spots? Enlisting the help of his best friend, Joe sets out to make amends for past misdemeanors in this Woody Allen-esque comedy.
Online dating? What’s the worst that could happen? Well, apparently, you could find yourself trapped in an old house at the mercy of a pair of aging right-wing revolutionaries turned sadists with a penchant for torturing young women with decaying dynamite and buckets of nitroglycerin. Prolific low-budget horror maestro Bogliano serves up a stylish slice of extreme genre cinema, which also alludes to the troubled state of generational politics in his homeland.
Spanish with subtitles 80 min
Juan is a lovable loser content to loaf around the streets of Havana wisecracking, womanizing, and wiling away the days with a motley crew of fellow drifters. But when what seems at first to be dissident rumblings in the city turns into a full-on flesh-eating zombie onslaught, Juan and his gang go into business as “Juan of the Dead”
Spanish with subtitles 92 min
A group of friends get much more than they bargained for when a weekend of extreme mountain climbing turns into a terrifying ordeal. This tension-filled thriller makes the most of its setting in the stunning but treacherous landscape of the Scottish Highlands with immersive camerawork, an atmospheric Celtic soundtrack, and imagery straight out of The Wicker Man. Featuring a chilling standout performance from Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People, The Red Riding Trilogy).
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