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2011 — 47th Chicago Film Festival

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Almanya: Welcome to Germany Almanya: Welcome to Germany

A six-year-old in Germany confronts and questions the nature of self-identity after learning of his Turkish grandfather’s journey as a guest worker in the 1960s.The discussion leads the whole family to travel to their original home in Turkey, a trip that will prove surprising in more ways than one. This delightful comedy shows that your identity is not determined by where you live or where your parents come from, but rather what you feel inside.

German with subtitles, 101 min

A Dangerous Method A Dangerous Method

Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient in A Dangerous Method. Jung’s weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). Both men fall under Sabina’s spell.

99 min

Goodbye First Love Goodbye First Love

There is nothing quite like first love-or the heartbreak that follows. Camille and Sullivan are head over heels, but his longing for independence and her need for security drive a deep wedge between them, and they part ways. Eight years later, Camille has finally moved on and found new love-until Sullivan reenters her life. This perfectly pitched tale of pathos and passion captures the ardor, intensity, and anguish of love.

French, German, Danish with subtitles, 110 min

If Not Us, Who If Not Us, Who

Literature has the power to change the world, or so university students Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Ensslin believe. Gudrun soon discovers that words are not enough and, seduced by one of Andreas Baader’s more direct and violent approaches to change, joins forces with him as co-founder of the Red Faction Army. This stirring political drama takes audiences back to a tumultuous time in history when ideologies clashed, love was made, bombs were exploded and bullets fired.

German with subtitles, 124 min

Land of Oblivion Land of Oblivion

To the citizens of Prypiat, April 26, 1986 began just like any other day. Anya (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace) and Piotr celebrate their marriage while young Valery spends time with his physicist father, oblivious to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that is irrevocably changing their lives. What follows is a lyrical, pathos-filled portrait of the next ten years of those powerless to separate themselves from the town and its defining tragedy.

French, Russian, Ukranian with subtitles, 107 min

On the Edge On the Edge

Badia and Imane dream of leaving their job at a shrimp processing plant in Tangier and working in the “Free Zone”, an enclave beyond the capital city that boasts European business practices and proffers entry into a better life. The twosome befriend another duo who work at a textile plant in the "Free Zone" and begin making some extra cash stealing goods to resell on the black market. Moody and edgy, reflecting the girls' own restiveness, this noir-infused tale plaintively examines the cost of class aspiration in an unyielding society.

Arabic with subtitles, 106 min

Romeos Romeos

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

The Shirt The Shirt

A wedding ceremony. The Men’s Room. Two men squeeze to fit into one of the small booths. Walter, 62 and Markus, 28. Between them: An Undershirt. A touching, understated look at a father/son relationship and the foibles of human nature.

German, with subtitles, 6 min


The Destiny of Lesser Animals The Destiny of Lesser Animals

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


Amnesty Amnesty

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