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2009 — 45th Chicago International Film Festival

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


Hong Kong

Astro Boy Astro Boy

A thrilling tale of a true hero, Astro Boy is full of action, adventure, humor, and heart brought to life on the big screen in breathtaking CGI animation. Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, he learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. When his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero. Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage lead an all-star voice cast.

94 minutes

Claustrophobia Claustrophobia

Five coworkers cram into one car for their shared ride home. The tension churning through this tight space instantly intimates the clandestine office romances Claustrophobia will explore. Cleverly piecing together fragments of these often ambiguous relationships, this urbane, naturalistic drama reminds us that physical proximity and intimacy are two vastly different things.

Cantonese, Mandarin with subtitles, 100 minutes

A Place of One's Own A Place of One's Own

The search for a home dominates the lives of a diverse group of strangers in the directing debut from the writer of God Man Dog. Lou Yi-an subtly interweaves the stories of a struggling indie rocker and an ailing origami master, whose fates collide over an inauspicious real estate deal. A sympathetic cast brings the characters to life, and the radiant cinematography illuminates many sides of contemporary Taipei.

Mandarin, Taiwanese, Amis with subtitles, 118 minutes

Plastic City Plastic City

This super-stylized, turbo-charged crime saga enters the dark heart of Liberdade, a gritty multiethnic neighborhood of SÃo Paulo. A fearsome Chinese outlaw called Yuda and his adopted son Kirin lord over this nest of rivaling gangs, corrupt politicians, and erotic dancers. When a conspiracy lands Yuda in jail, it’s up to Kirin to fight his father’s wars singlehandedly, but does Yuda really want his brutal empire saved?

Portuguese, English, Mandarin with subtitles, 118 minutes


The History of Aviation The History of Aviation

The picnic is over and the guests are preparing to go home when a missing girl ignites a frenzy. Soon the upper-middle-class partiers, dressed in cocktail garb, are scouring the steep bluffs of Normandy.

The History of Aviation will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 4: Escape and Rebellion: Information & Show Times

Hungarian with English Subtitles, 15 minutes

Lost Times Lost Times

A car mechanic who moonlights as a smuggler, Iván Priskin finds himself wanting to chase his dreams but remaining rooted by his sense of obligation. Iván’s autistic sister Eszter depends on him for survival, motivating him to strive for more while at the same time confining him to a countryside largely devoid of both hope and opportunity. When a tragedy befalls Eszter, Iván must renegotiate the relationship between his own self-interest and his love for his sister.

Hungarian with subtitles, 90 minutes

Made in Hungaria Made in Hungaria

It’s rock ’n’ roll versus communism in this rollicking musical comedy. Teen Miki and his parents return to oppressive 1960s Hungary after four years in the States. Miki’s stash of contraband Jack Daniels and 45s by Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis makes him a hit with local kids starved for American pop culture—but it’ll be harder to win over his ex-flame Vera, tough-guy rocker Röné… and especially the local comrades.

Hungarian with subtitles, 109 minutes

Prank Prank

For the rambunctious seventh graders at an early-20th-century boarding school, the preferred extracurricular activity is playing increasingly outrageous pranks on one brainy classmate. The lax Father Zoltan thinks boys will be boys, but when stern young Father Weigl begins to implement his own secret plan to curb the kids' "anarchic activity," he unwittingly sets the entire school on a tragic course.

Hungarian with subtitles, 93 minutes