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2012 — 48th Chicago Film Festival

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Romania

Agon Agon

A powerful drama about cultural conflict and the strength of familial bonds, Agon explores the relationship between Albanian brothers who must deal with prejudice treatment and bigotry in a new country. Saimir is well-established and thriving with a stable job and a fiancé in Greece, while Vini, newly emigrated, is involved with dangerous criminals. Family is incredibly important to both brothers, but their differences open a rift between them that they must confront.

Albanian, Greek with subtitles, 110 min

Beyond the Hills Beyond the Hills

Mungiu, who took Cannes’ top prize in 2007 with 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, returns to feature filmmaking with another gripping existential drama. Inspired by the real-life horror of a modern-day exorcism-gone-wrong, Mungiu follows two friends, Voichita and Alina, whose lives have taken them down drastically different paths. When the pair reconnects, Voichita’s stern, oppressive monastery proves to be a harsh, claustrophobic and ultimately tragic environment for Alina.

Romanian with subtitles, 150 min

Diaz: Don’t Clean up this Blood Diaz: Don’t Clean up this Blood

The 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, drawing an estimated 200,000 protestors from around the world, became a disaster site when the local police violently stormed the Diaz school, a temporary shelter for many of the activists. An exhilarating yet tragic tale of students, journalists, and police on the front lines, Diaz follows the journeys of several characters involved, shrewdly examining the causes and consequences of the fateful events.

Various Languages with subtitles, 120 min

Of Snails and Men Of Snails and Men

An absurdist drama tinged with dark humor, Of Snails and Men takes place in the small Romanian town of Muscel, where a French company plans to convert the town’s failed factory into a snail cannery. Knowing that thousands will be left unemployed, the union leader concocts an outlandish scheme to buy back the factory: the workers will, en masse, travel to Bucharest to earn money at a sperm bank.

Romanian, French, and Spanish with subtitles, 93 min