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2010 — 46th Chicago International Film Festival

Overview Movies A-Z Directors A-Z Countries A-Z

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Germany

Hairdresser, The Hairdresser, The

Big is beautiful in this colorful comedy about an obese stylist who bears the burdens of her size with indefatigable good humor. Kathi, having recently relocated to Berlin with her teenage daughter after her husband left her for a younger, thinner woman, decides to open her own salon when she is refused employment because of her appearance. To fund this new venture, she defies adversity and takes on her most outrageous challenge yet.

German with subtitles, 106 min.

Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation, A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation, A

A young man goes on a powerful emotional journey through time and space in A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation, featuring the voice of Joseph Fiennes.

15 min.

My Joy My Joy

Russia’s open road is the setting for this striking, noirish thriller, in which truck driver Georgy sets off on what should be a routine delivery only to find it spiraling out of control. Encountering corrupt policemen, a tough teenage prostitute, and hostile locals, Georgy becomes lost in a wilderness of brutality and trackless back roads. As his situation becomes increasingly dire, will Georgy make it back out alive?

Russian with subtitles, 127 min.

Postcard to Daddy Postcard to Daddy

As a child, Michael Stock was sexually abused

German with subtitles, 85 min.

Princess of Montpensier, The Princess of Montpensier, The

Chicago favorite Bertrand Tavernier (’Round Midnight) directs this lush, unsentimental take on the historical romance, which takes a clear-eyed look at the intersection of passion and power in 16th-century France. Young, beautiful aristocrat Marie favors war hero Henri, but she’s married off to the Prince of Montpensier for political reasons. Once at court, she inspires love, violence, and thirst for power in the men around her as civil war tears the country apart.

French with subtitles, 139 min.

Problema Problema

More than 70 years after the Nazis burned books in Berlin’s Bebelplatz Square, 112 influential people from 56 countries (including Willem Dafoe, Bianca Jagger, and Wim Wenders) gathered there for a momentous nine-hour discussion about where humanity’s been and where it’s going. Personal and passionate answers to 100 public-submitted questions were captured with hundreds of cameras and astoundingly edited with a potent collage of archival footage from our collective history. This visceral, mind-blowing film is required viewing.

In English, 95 min.

Robber, The Robber, The

Based on the exploits of the Austrian criminal known as “Pump-Gun Ronnie,” this pulse-pounding true-crime thriller follows Johann, an impassive, calculating marathon runner, as he conducts a series of daring bank robberies in Vienna. His motivations for doing so are incomprehensible to everyone around him: he neither needs nor uses the money. It seems that, for Johann, pulling a heist is the ultimate sport.

German with subtitles, 97 min.

Sasha Sasha

A nuanced, bittersweet take on the coming-of-age film, Sasha follows a gifted young man who returns from vacation to find that his piano teacher and secret crush, Mr. Weber, is moving abroad. He tries to hide his heartbreak from others

German, Serbian, Croatian with subtitles, 101 min.

Shahada Shahada

Three Muslims grapple with how to reconcile their beliefs with the guilt, violence, and forbidden sexuality that are woven into the fabric of their everyday lives in Berlin. As they navigate this treacherous terrain, they find themselves pulled between religious tolerance and radicalism. Burhan Qurbani’s polished feature debut already has received widespread notice for its intimate view of the tension between modern life and timeworn tradition.

German, English, Turkish with subtitles, 88 min.

Greece

Black Field Black Field

In 17th-century Greece, a wounded slave-soldier takes refuge at a cliffside convent, forever changing the life of Anthi, a convent resident. Quiet and solemn, even for a nun, Anthi is not all she seems to be. Rooted within the epic scope of historical Greece during the Great Turkish War, Black Field elegantly focuses on the near-mythic love story between Anthi and the soldier, using remarkable, eerie visuals to chronicle Anthi’s path to freedom and self-discovery.

Greek with subtitles, 104 min.

Building Manager, The Building Manager, The

Fiftysomething Pavlos, a husband and father, takes over the responsibilities of his elderly mother’s job as the manager of a crumbling apartment building. Infatuated with a young shopkeeper and plagued with problems at home and at work, he soon finds himself in the grip of a full-fledged midlife crisis. Pairing understated humor with emotional insight, The Building Manager is a compassionate portrayal of the risk involved in surrendering completely to the vagaries of love.

Greek with subtitles, 92 min.