Sasha, a city kid with agrarian ambitions, moved to the country to head up a collective farming project, determined to make the experiment work. A recent local government offer to buy up the farmland seems too good to resist, but Sasha becomes staunch in his decision to stay. Bolstered by the resolution of the local farmworkers, he is pitted against the stakeholders in a decision that may cost him his livelihood - or his life - in this heady social-realist drama.
Russian with English Subtitles 77
Thrown in jail for a violent crime of passion, dwarf and former circus performer Sadourní finds re-assimilation difficult upon his release. Quickly realizing that society holds his height against him, Sadourní goes to tortuous extremes for a “treatment” that will alter his physical appearance, allowing him to fit in and to gain the attention of the woman he loves. A surrealistic melodrama reminiscent of Fellini and Jodorowsky, Sadourní’s Butterflies endows its strange, magical subject with hallucinatory beauty.
Spanish with English Subtitles 94
As heavy monsoon rains lash the badlands of Mumbai, Adi, a rookie cop out on his first assignment, raises his gun in the face of a criminal and is suddenly faced with the most vital decision of his life: to shoot or not to shoot? Monsoon Shootout presents three alternate scenarios, each sending Adi on a on a spiraling journey downward that pits him against fate and a system mired in moral ambiguity.
Hindi with English subtitles 88
The latest film from Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-Liang (The Wayward Cloud) tells the story of a father and his two children who live on the margins in Taipei. Squatting in an abandoned building, they get by on handouts and the father’s meager salary as a human billboard. Mysterious and affecting, the story of the father’s unwinding is told with the sublime, rapturous beauty that has come to be associated with Tsai’s work in one of his most emotionally powerful films.
Mandarin with English subtitles 138
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet filmmakers visiting the Festival as part of our Spotlight Africa program.The informal get together will take place at Black Cinema House, 6901 S. Dorchester Ave.Panelists:Alex Pitstra, Director, Die WeltJoao Viana, Director, The Battle of TabatoMosco Kamwendo, Director, Comrade PresidentModerator: Vaun Monroe, Columbia College ChicagoThis is a FREE event! No ticket required.
A young woman awakens in a concrete bunker, quickly discovering that she is not alone. Before she realizes what is happening, she is in combat for her life. So begins the first round of a modern-day gladiatorial tournament in which young women fight each other to the death at the whim of their sadistic unseen captors. If they lose, their loved ones will pay the price. Starring Tarantino’s go-to stunt woman, Zoe Bell, this gritty, ultra-violent tale pulls no punches.
A lighter take on the Romanian New Wave, Adrian Sitaru's wry comedy presents the exploits of three families living in a single building. All share a love for (or malice towards) various domestic and/or edible animals, which somehow keep finding a way of bringing out strains within their families. Sitaru captures this all with a formal precision attuned to both the slyly hilarious comedic timing of each scene and the expressive potential of long-take aesthetics.
Romanian with English Subtitles 85
Growing up gay in a family and a community that refuse to accept him for who he is, James leaves his hometown for San Francisco. Moving with his boyfriend Tyler, James imagines easily finding a home in the world’s gay Mecca, but without jobs they end up living among the city's sizable community of homeless queer youth. Both stylized and deeply personal, this moving documentary provides an intimate portrait of its subjects' joys and struggles.
Lech Wałęsa, an electrician, husband, and new father, works at the Gdansk shipyard. Arrested at a protest, Walesa discovers that he is a born leader. When he speaks, people respond, and he soon becomes the voice and face of the growing solidarity movement. Aware of the dangers his position entails, he is still determined to fight for his country. Legendary director Andrzej Wajda (Ashes and Diamonds) tells the inspiring story of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader.
Polish and Italian with English Subtitles 127
Old friends, all onetime members of Brazil's radical resistance, come together around Ana, the charismatic, fearless heart of their circle, now on her deathbed. As they think back on their choices and the paths they have tread, Ana’s spirit is a constant presence, reminding them of their failed utopia and their shared, mythologized past. This Brazilian Big Chill passionately reflects on revolution and terrorism, love and sex, and the compromises that time exacts.
Portuguese with English Subtitles 95
Spurred on by the Arab Spring, nine courageous women’s rights advocates gather to discuss gender inequality and a long history of oppression. Provided a platform by filmmaker and human rights lawyer Paula Kweskin, these women speak from personal experience about the hardships women endure in Muslim-majority societies. This inspiring documentary gives voice to these women as they recount their efforts to effect change in their own communities and in the larger world.
Three generations of men live together in a poor Beijing neighborhood: father Li drives an illegal motorcycle taxi; son Kai is trying to graduate before getting expelled; and Li’s father collects recyclables for petty cash. They do whatever it takes to get by, negotiating the systems of authority that rule their daily lives. With a raw visual style, this stark neo-realist drama presents a penetrating look at working-class life and the corruption and graft pervading every level of society.
Chinese with English Subtitles 85
In this gripping, white-knuckle thriller, the Norwegian government has enlisted an American diving company to guide their efforts to tap into the North Sea’s immense oil deposits. Petter and a Norwegian team of divers take on the extremely perilous task of guiding the pipeline 500 meters below the surface. When a sudden accident leads to disaster, Petter must come to terms with the tragedy while attempting to uncover where responsibility lies, quickly running afoul of a sinister conspiracy.
Norwegian with English Subtitles 106
For his latest documentary epic, Claude Lanzmann (Shoah) revisits the footage of his 1975 interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the president of Theresienstadt’s Jewish Council of Elders, and the only "Jewish Elder" to survive the war. The strikingly intelligent, charismatic Murmelstein candidly reflects on his unique historical role, one for which he was both demonized and celebrated. Through these interviews and visits to historical sites, Lanzmann provides an incisive view of a complex, beguiling character.
French and German with English Subtitles 218
In the summer of 2011, Tunisia is finally free of its dictatorial shackles, but 23-year-old Abdallah is still a slave to his mundane life, dreaming of an escape to Europe - or “die Welt” - to fulfill his dormant ambitions. Following a chance encounter with Dutch tourist Anna, Abdallah’s passion to reach the other side of the Mediterranean burns brighter than ever before, prompting a desperate gamble for escape in this at turns comic and heartbreaking story.
English, Arabic and Dutch with English Subtitles 80
Suzanne, (beautifully played by the enthralling Sara Forestier), grows up an inquisitive, strong-minded girl in a loving but unstable home with her sister and much absent truck-driving father. When, as a teen, she falls in love with a local tough guy and becomes pregnant, her life takes a plunging trajectory as she continues to choose love above all else. This poignant family portrait explores the ties and limits of family bonds through one young woman’s heartrending journey.
French with English Subtitles 90
Newly released from a psychiatric hospital after a bout of severe depression brought on by the death of his pet fox, truck driver Mahmood Kiyani Falavarjani returns to his family, work, and favorite hobby - filmmaking. Having previously won awards for his short films starring his beloved, lamented fox, he sets out to film his most ambitious project yet: a love story between two donkeys. Arash Lahooti's sympathetic documentary captures Mahmood's fascinating life as family man, eccentric animal lover, and artist.
Farsi with English Subtitles 78
A dramatic thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate follows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl), underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. But when they gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in US history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society - and what are the costs of exposing them?
Despite a paralyzed leg that keeps him on the fringes of society, Grigris comes alive at the local nightclub, tearing up the dance floor every night. When a relative’s hospital bills start piling up, Grigris must turn to the black market for work. After double-crossing his new boss in a desperate attempt at fast money, Grigris finds himself on the run in this sensitive depiction of a desperate, marginalized man by one of Africa’s most celebrated directors.
French and Arabic with English Subtitles 101
For fifty years, Ximena has managed to get by without being able to read. When Jackeline, a young unemployed teacher, unexpectedly comes into her life, Ximena’s isolation is disturbed. Jackeline’s efforts to teach Ximena how to read proves almost Herculean as they clash, but it soon becomes evident that the two women need each other in ways they could never predict. Two mesmerizing performances drive this intimate, engrossing chamber drama about learning and acceptance.
Spanish with English Subtitles 73
Since his divorce, Alberto has not spent much time with his children, Lucia and Federico. A trip to the hot springs seems like an ideal getaway, but an unrelenting storm traps the three of them inside their tiny rented cabin. Alberto’s sunny optimism begins to drain as floodwaters and close quarters bring out the worst in everyone. By turns achingly funny and poignant, this all-too-familiar drama is an affectionately drawn portrait of the classically fraught family vacation.
Spanish with English Subtitles 90
An inspiring portrait of Mozambique’s founding president, Comrade President traces the life and legacy of revolutionary leader Samora Moisés Machel. At the forefront of a popular uprising, Machel helped establish a fledgling government and continued fighting for justice until his suspicious death in 1986. With candid interviews from those who knew Machel best - including his opponents - this documentary examines the indelible legacy of a revolutionary hero.
Portuguese with English Subtitles 90
12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life. Also starring Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael K. Williams, and Alfre Woodard.
After years of European exile, Imatur returns to his native village of Tabatô to attend his daughter’s wedding, his head still saturated with horrific visions of a war he fought long ago. When tragedy strikes on the road to Tabatô, the entire village must come together in this entrancing, surreal film that blends music and magic with the lingering effects of Guinea-Bisseau’s history.
Mandinka with English Subtitles 83
Just before winning the Miss World beauty pageant in 1998, Linor Abargil was held captive, stabbed, and violently raped. Ten years later, Abargil resolves to confront her past and reach out to other survivors, encouraging women around the world to speak out. Director Cecilia Peck (Shut Up & Sing) follows Abargil as she speaks with teens in South Africa, visits campuses in the US, and returns to Italy for the first time since her attack in search of closure.
English, Hebrew, Italian with English subtitles 92
Mateusz is an intelligent, romantic young man tragically trapped inside his own body, suffering from severe cerebral palsy that makes speech and controlled movement nearly impossible. Born into a loving family, Mateusz’s protected world is shattered when circumstances place him in an institution where he is misunderstood and mistreated. Featuring an astonishing, virtuoso lead performance, Life Feels Good beautifully recounts the true story of one man’s extraordinary efforts to endure in the face of impossible odds.
Polish with English Subtitles 107
The lives of five seemingly unrelated lost souls intertwine in Sweden’s chilly capital in this delicate and wryly funny ensemble film. A precocious yet untalented young writer, a friendless advertising genius, a tight-lipped workaholic, a shy upper-class boy with a secret crush, and a recently dumped young woman all come to realize hard truths about love and life over the course of several days.
Swedish with English Subtitles 97
After decades of working in a Tijuana factory, Rafael finds that, due to a technicality, he won’t be receiving a pension. Lidia works as a maid whose demanding boss devotes all her attention to her dog Princess. When her boss dies and leaves her fortune entirely to Princess, Lidia finds herself working for a canine millionaire. Gorgeously observed with striking visuals, Workers tells the moving, often absurdly funny story of two employees who are pushed to the breaking point.
Spanish with English Subtitles 120
Blue Ruin is a classic American revenge story that recently won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival where it screened in the Directors’ Fortnight. The film follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when her returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
The quiet lives in a small logging town in northern Maine are irrevocably changed when a seemingly minor oversight leads to tragedy in the dead of winter. Lesley (Steppenwolf’s Amy Morton), a school bus driver, is overwhelmed with remorse, while her husband (Mad Men’s John Slattery) offers little solace. Another family grieves its own immeasurable loss and must deal with questions of culpability. Gorgeously shot in a severe, unforgiving landscape, Bluebird presents a moving meditation on family, responsibility, and redemption.
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