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 min
Roberto Flores Prieto
Manrique’s lonely existence watching over an abandoned salt mine in the remote Colombian Caribbean suits him just fine. Content in his isolation, with a dog that spends its nights chasing fireflies as his sole companion, his world is upended when his teenage daughter Valeria shows up as if out of nowhere. As the days pass, Valeria’s determined but cheerful presence forces Manrique out of his routine in this beautiful, understated story about family, love, and the small joys of life.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 100 min
With only one week left until she leaves for the Army, teenager Brianna spends her final days at her home in the Chicago suburbs packing and saying goodbye to friends. But in her quiet moments and the seemingly mundane interactions with family members, Brianna’s anxiety about her decision is palpable. Eschewing melodrama, the film imbues this simple story with a deft style and effortlessly natural performances, creating an assured portrait of a young woman in transition.
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 min
Three Guatemalan teens depart on the treacherous 1,200-mile trek towards the United States, riding atop dilapidated trains in the hope of finding a new life. Together they must undergo an unrelenting, arduous journey in which no one they meet can be trusted and catastrophe waits around every corner. Constantly upending audience expectations, this unrelenting immigration thriller will leave viewers at the edge of their seats until its nail-biting climax comes to a shocking close.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 102 min
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 min
In the dead of a snowy Russian winter, police major Sobolev, rushing recklessly to the hospital for the birth of his child, causes a fatal accident. Panicked and under great pressure from his colleagues, he participates in the cover up of his crime. But that decision will have disastrous consequences, compounded at each step by the increasingly elaborate scheme and its violent results. The tension builds to an electric climax as the guilt-wracked Sobolev goes on the lam in this thrilling crime drama.
Russian with English Subtitles, 99 min
This tautly written drama follows Irene - nicknamed “Miele” (Italian for “Honey”) - as she treads legal and moral boundaries performing assisted suicides on elderly hospital patients. Progressively de-humanized and alienated, Irene finds what’s left of her morals challenged when she is approached by a depressed, fatalistic, yet physically healthy architect who has lost his will to live. A thought-provoking, humanistic character study featuring sharp, sensitive performances, Miele represents a mature and capable directorial debut from celebrated actress Valeria Golino (Respiro).
Italian with English Subtitles, 96 min
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
This modern day film noir tracks Parker, a shy high school teacher arriving at a new school. While he is earnest in his passion for teaching, his extra-curricular attentions are drawn to a gorgeous young woman. When he realizes she is a student at his very school - and forbidden fruit - he grows increasingly obsessed. When the girl goes missing, a female detective comes snooping around, fueling Parker’s unstable, even dangerous, behavior as she gets closer to the shocking truth.
Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho with English Subtitles, 109 min
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 min
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 min
Out of work and deeply in debt, telecommunications expert Dimitris abandons his rural hometown in northern Greece and makes for the capital at the behest of his former boss, who enlists his help in tracking down a shadowy group of phone hackers. But what was supposed to be a straightforward job soon grows exponentially more complicated when Dimitris happens upon some dark secrets his employer is hiding in this slow-burning, suspenseful exploration of life in Athens.
Greek with English Subtitles, 88 min
A remarkable story inspired by true events, Wolfschildren follows 14-year-old Hans and his younger brother Fritz, orphaned after WWII, on the long and difficult journey to Lithuania where family friends might take them in. Almost immediately, the brothers are separated, and Hans must make his way alone through treacherous territory, fighting off disease and hunger while outrunning the Soviet army, praying that he and his brother will find each other again in this beautifully shot, true-life thriller.
German with English Subtitles, 90 min
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