Nearly a decade after being deported, Ghanaian Police inspector Boniface Koomsin is still trying to get back to the U.S. But when his counterfeit passport is stolen, he mounts a false investigation that takes him on a dangerous journey through contemporary Ghana. As the “investigation” continues, he will have to choose between dreams of escape and the realities of life in his homeland.
Fante, English, Twi, Pidgin, Ga with subtitles 89 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.
Based on real cases of bullying in Sweden, Play incisively delves into a children’s world ruled by intimidation and manipulation while delivering a nuanced commentary on race relations. When three boys are falsely accused of stealing a cell phone by older boys from immigrant African families, the latter assert their dominance through elaborate role play and gang rhetoric. What follows is an alarmingly tense game that no adult could dare to win.
Swedish with subtitles 118 min
In a small fishing village in Brazil, Clarice experiences her entire life, beginning at birth, in the space of a day. The villagers remain oblivious to Clarice’s unique situation, living life just like us, one day at a time. In an attempt to understand her reality, Clarice tries to change her destiny as well as the destiny of those around her in this haunting and thought-provoking film.
Portugese with subtitles 128 min
A true American visionary, Diana Vreeland became the first fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 and from there proceeded to invent the concept of fashion as we now know it. A talented writer with a larger-than-life personality, she had an innate ability to discover designers, photographers and new ideas often to the point of controversy. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s delightfully playful tribute uses archival footage, family photos, and an animated conversation with George Plympton.
The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident is seen through the eyes of Valery, a young Communist party officer who has knowledge of the disaster yet, through a series of circumstances, is unable to flee the city. Instead of dealing with the impending doom, Valery and his girlfriend partake in frivolous activities, making you wonder, 25 years later, what would you have done in their shoes?
Russian with subtitles 99 min
In this charming youth drama shot American-indie style from China, three friends have given up on their future, spending their time partying and working odd jobs. When their apartment complex is marked for demolition, they end up renting a room from a former Peking Opera singer who is still grieving over her son’s death. Their two worlds collide at first, but the four, each broken in their own way, discover a family of sorts united by their differences.
Mandarin with subtitles 101 min
When a recently retired Japanese businessman is diagnosed with incurable cancer, he reacts to the news with the same pragmatic approach that made him a successful salesman. In her directorial debut, Mami Sunada combines non-fiction film form with the growing trend of “end of life journals” among the elderly in Japan. By channeling her thoughts and feelings through her father’s “ending note”, Sunada abstracts the weight of a life and the pain of loss into a surprisingly hopeful and life-affirming message.
Japanese with subtitles 90 min
An unemployed mother of two with a convict for a husband and a meddlesome father-in-law, Elsa’s life could not get any harder. When a new law coerces her into joyless conjugal visits, she unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in Septim, whose monthly visits to his wife coincide with Elsa’s. Their newfound joy, however, has an expiration date. This unconventional, pathos-filled love story probes the possibility for solace in companionship in the face of adversity and poverty.
Albanian with subtitles 83 min
Invoking the elliptical whimsy of comedic legend Jacques Tati, this playful, wordless romp sends up the French pleasure in summer holidays. Wandering in and out of a series of scenarios, each tinged with a touch of the absurd, the film follows a motley crew of vacationers enjoying a spell at the beach. The more than half dozen stories are cleverly propelled by the cast’s brilliant physical performances, witty comic-book inspired cinematography, and swift pacing.
French with subtitles 77 min
Deception and irony fuel this World War II-set comedy. Victor Kauffman, the son of a wealthy Jewish gallery owner, and Rudi are lifelong friends. When Rudi returns to Vienna from Germany as an S.S. officer in the Third Reich, the Kaufmanns don't just have their own safety to worry about. A rare, long lost Michelangelo drawing the family has secretly held for centuries has become the most desired object of Adolf Hitler, and a comedy of errors ensues as the two old friends find themselves trying to outwit the other in a race to track down the work of art.
German with subtitles 106 min
If there was ever a case for designating a person a National Treasure, Winfred Rembert is that person. Though he lived through segregation and the civil rights era in the Deep South, Rembert didn’t begin his life as an artist until the 1990s. Working on cured leather canvases that are later painted, Rembert depicts a personalized form of US history that you can’t find in books, or anywhere else for that matter.
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
Daniel loves Lina, but Lina wants rock star Niklas Ravn. Terese wants to give up her virginity to Stefan but Stefan wants to come out and declare his intentions to Daniel who, by now, is into Terese. Unable to express their dreams and passion with mere words, these four young souls break into song and dance over the course of one incredible night, in this color saturated, delightfully romantic musical.
Danish with subtitles 93 min
Prepare to be taken over by this delightfully enigmatic storyline that traverses centuries, continents and cultures. The “double steps” in question refer to advice left by French artist François Augiéras, who claimed the best way to escape one’s enemies is to walk backwards over your own footprints. Using one of Augiéras’ lost works as the catalyst for the story, filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta and painter Miquel Barceló weave together the structure and iconography of the road movie with African griot storytelling.
Spanish with subtitles 86 min
Legendary German filmmaker (and Chicago Film Festival discovery) Wim Wenders brings long-time friend and dance innovator Pina Bausch's revolutionary work to life through state-of-the-art 3D in Pina. A labor of love for both Wenders and the Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bausch's company, Pina features four of her most acclaimed choreographies ingeniously staged indoors and outdoors. By focusing on depth and perspective instead of flashy effects, Wenders creates a submersive experience for dance fans and neophytes alike.
Multiple languages with subtitles 103 min
Pawel and his father Zygmunt make a living importing second hand clothing from France to Poland. When Zygmunt is suddenly and publicly accused of being a past Communist informant, he flees the country leaving the stubbornly apolitical Pawel to pick up the pieces and face the pervading legacy of Poland's troubled past. With strong performances and sympathetic characters, The Mole candidly explores how the weight of history affects a son's love for his family and his motherland.
Polish, French with subtitles 108 min
On his way to the store to buy wood glue, Jeff looks for signs from the universe to determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life... and if he’s lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.
In a tour-de-force performance, Tilda Swinton plays reluctant mother Eva grappling with her fraught relationship with troubled son Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on Lionel Shriver’s eponymous novel and featuring a shining performance by Chicago’s very own John C. Reilly as Eva’s husband, Lynne Ramsay’s masterful psychological thriller presents a provocative tale, which crescendos to a chilling, unforgettable climax.
Equal parts revenge tale and family drama, Sleep examines the lengths people will go to exact retribution. Raped 17 years ago as a teenager, Kotono now makes a living as a masseuse, leading a nomadic life with her daughter Natsume (born out of the rape) and her aging father. Living out of the back of a van, the clan share a tender bond, each looking out for the needs of the others, belying the perversity of their lifestyle and the true motivation for their life on the road.
Japanese with subtitles 96 min
A young Arab Israeli finds his political voice in this genial comedy about Israel-Palestine tensions. Jawat loves to endlessly call girls on his cell phone, even though his heart belongs to another. His father, Saleh, is causing a ruckus over a newly constructed cell phone tower near his olive grove, going so far as to attempt its destruction. When Jawat’s calls to the West Bank draw the attention of Israeli authorities, the young slacker finally takes a stand.
Arabic with subtitles 83 min
What do those who make people laugh for a living think is funny? Benjamin, a clown traveling with the Circus Esperanza, tackles this question and more when he decides to leave the circus he grew up in and pursue his own dreams. With only a copy of his birth certificate in hand, Benjamin looks for answers, and for his identity, away from the bright lights of the big top.
Portugese with subtitles 88 min
Matt King (George Clooney), a husband and father of two girls, must re-examine his past and navigate his future when his wife is in a boating accident off Waikiki. He awkwardly attempts to repair his relationship with his daughters - 10-year-old precocious Scottie (Amara Miller) and rebellious 17-year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) - while wrestling with a decision to sell his family’s land. When Alexandra drops the bombshell that her mother was in the midst of a romantic fling at the time of the accident, Matt has to take a whole new look at his life, not to mention his legacy, during a week of momentous decisions.
The year is 2020. The place, Russia. Four members of the country’s elite go out in search of the fountain of youth in this sci-fi take on Anna Karenina. Their goal is a secret military science facility that guards and administers the secret to eternal life which happens to also include an amped up sex drive. Throw in goggles that measure the good and evil in a person and this lurid, highly stylized, near giddy Russian production is sure to become a cult hit.
Russian with subtitles 154 min
Lukas, a female-to-male transgendered youth undergoing hormone replacement therapy, travels to Cologne for his compulsory civil service. There he meets the attractive Fabio, who embodies all Lukas wants to be. But can he open up to Fabio? And what will happen to their relationship if he does? The charisma, sensitivity, and chemistry between the leads makes this unique love story a treasure to watch.
German with subtitles 94 min
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