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2011 — 47th Chicago Film Festival

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Cairo 678 Cairo 678

Director: Mohamed Diab

Three Egyptian women from different social backgrounds join forces to fight against their country’s tolerance toward sexual harassment. Nelly files the first sexual harassment lawsuit in the history of the country, Seba, a victim of a gang rape, teaches self-defense, and Fayza takes these self-defense lessons a step too far. An expertly crafted combination of character study, social critique, and vigilante action, Cairo 678 is one of those rare films that resonates with audiences of both genders and across cultural divides.

Arabic with subtitles, 100 min

Caretaker for the Lord Caretaker for the Lord

Director: Jane McAllister

A fragile community clings to a run-down Church in Glasgow’s east end as it faces closure. As line dancing and yoga illuminate the caretaker’s warm church hall, the Minister bitterly preaches that the Church has lost its direction and should be left to die. The broken building trembles in this battle for space and souls. A thoughtful piece of verite filmmaking that lets it subjects do the talking.

17 min

Carol Channing: Larger than Life Carol Channing: Larger than Life

Director: Dori Berinstein

Inspiring, heartwarming, hilarious and full of life, this portrait of the Tony® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress, singer and comedienne weaves Broadway history with an unbelievable love story to capture the unique persona behind the iconic performances in Hello Dolly and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Stay for the end credits: the film's outtakes just cannot be missed.

88 min

A Certain Breed A Certain Breed

Director: Scott Smith

Adopting from the animal shelter can be both joyful and heartwarming, unless of course, you try to adopt them from two volunteers by the names of Brad and Emily. Then your experience might go from slightly uncomfortable to simply terrifying. Perfectly pitched mockumentary magic.

Chico & Rita Chico & Rita

Directors: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando

Amidst the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Havana in the 1940s, Chico and Rita fall immediately in love. But infidelity and their respective pursuit of fame both unite and pull them apart for the next six decades. Spanish filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba (La Belle Epoque, Calle 54), graphic artist Javier Mariscal, and animator Tono Errando pay tribute to the great Afro-Cuban and Be-bop musicians of the 40s and 50s in this delightfully sensuous animated film.

English, Spanish with subtitles, 94 min

Chronicle of My Mother Chronicle of My Mother

Director: Masato Harada

Best-selling novelist Kosaku Igami has made a career out of using his family as fodder for his novels, much to their dismay. When his mother, the spirited family matriarch, is diagnosed with dementia, Igami must come to terms with the toll his own behavior has taken on his increasingly distant family and resolve his own long-simmering resentments. Evocative of classic Ozu, this gorgeously wrought epic family portrait explores the tenderness and trappings of familial bonds.

Japanese with subtitles, 119 min

Cinema Komunisto Cinema Komunisto

Director: Mila Turajlic

If the illusion of reality is the currency of cinema, then cinephile and former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito bought and paid for his country’s thrilling and heroic (but mostly made up) history. This award-winning documentary chronicles the 40-year history of Avala Studio, built by Tito to crank out well-made propaganda films in order to shape and control his country’s image in a post-war world. This veritable compendium of archival footage and clips from over 60 classic Yugoslav films includes remembrances from Tito’s personal projectionist.

Serbian with subtitles, 101 min


Cinema/Chicago’s yearly CineYouth Festival celebrates the work of students 21 years old and younger, highlighting the creativity of the next generation of filmmakers. Best of the Fest showcases the winning films from the 2011 CineYouth Festival; categories include Documentary, Drama, Comedy, and Music Video. This screening will include a Q+A with select winning CineYouth filmmakers. *This is a free event, but audience members must get tickets. Tickets are available for free events ONLY at the Festival Box Office at AMC River East 21 (322 East Illinois Street) or the Festival office (30 East Adams Street, Suite 800).

Various languages with subtitles, 95 min

Circus Columbia Circus Columbia

Director: Danis Tanovic

After living in exile in Germany for 20 years, Ditko returns to his hometown in Yugoslavia hoping to start a new life. He comes back in style: sexy girlfriend, new Mercedes, wads of cash and a black cat named Bonny. He tries to reconnect with his 20-year-old son, Martin, but the lad is far more interested in Dad’s new girlfriend. Soon the winds of war blow into town, forcing Divko and the townspeople to decide which side they are on.

Bosnian with subtitles, 113 min

The Clown The Clown

Director: Selton Mello

What do those who make people laugh for a living think is funny? Benjamin, a clown traveling with the Circus Esperanza, tackles this question and more when he decides to leave the circus he grew up in and pursue his own dreams. With only a copy of his birth certificate in hand, Benjamin looks for answers, and for his identity, away from the bright lights of the big top.

Portugese with subtitles, 88 min

Club Zeus Club Zeus

China / Netherlands
Director: David Verbeek

First rule of Club Zeus: women feel what they want to feel. This Shanghai male host club caters to the emotional (and sexual) needs of its professional clientele and Leonardo, its youngest host, understands those needs perfectly. But his mentor and “big brother” Sly wants a better future for Leonardo and is willing to pay any price to free him from his duties. Shot in just ten days, Club Zeus is a visually striking exploration of the need for companionship in this digital age.

Mandarin with subtitles, 75 min

Cold Sweat Cold Sweat

Director: Adrián García Bogliano

Online dating? What’s the worst that could happen? Well, apparently, you could find yourself trapped in an old house at the mercy of a pair of aging right-wing revolutionaries turned sadists with a penchant for torturing young women with decaying dynamite and buckets of nitroglycerin. Prolific low-budget horror maestro Bogliano serves up a stylish slice of extreme genre cinema, which also alludes to the troubled state of generational politics in his homeland.

Spanish with subtitles, 80 min

Cooley High Cooley High

Director: Michael Schultz

In light of the demolition of the last building at the Cabrini Green public housing complex, we revisit a crucial period in the history of local Black cinema. Heartfelt and moving, this teen pic follows best friends Leroy “Preach” Jackson and Richard “Cochise” Morris, high school seniors at Cooley Vocational School near the housing complex, as they begin to consider their future. They contend with girl trouble, difficult teachers, a couple of neighborhood thugs, and the police. Directed by Michael Schultz (Car Wash, Krush Groove) and written by Eric Monte, the creator of the smash hit TV series Good Times.

107 min

Coriolanus Coriolanus

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’ (Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General, is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’ anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.

122 min

Corpo Celeste Corpo Celeste

Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Mysteries of the flesh collide with questions of the soul when Marta, her mother and younger sister move back to their native Italy. Enrolled in catechism class, Marta finds that the lessons contradict the local priest’s support of a morally ambiguous political candidate. Marta must come to terms with her conflicts over the church’s religious teachings as well as the conflicts occurring within her own changing body.

Italian with subtitles, 90 min

Kshay (Corrode) Kshay  (Corrode)

Director: Karan Gour

Chhaya, a woman of limited means, leads a good, decent life alongside her husband Arvind - until she becomes obsessed with a sculpture of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Chhaya will stop at nothing to bring home this statue, and soon her past weaknesses and disappointments (including a miscarriage) bubble to the surface, consuming and corroding her soul. Corrode is the latest example of an exciting new wave of independent Indian cinema.

Hindi with subtitles, 92 min

Crazy Horse Crazy Horse

France / USA
Director: Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman’s latest documentary takes us inside the legendary 60-year-old Parisian cabaret club, presenters of the “best nude dancing show in the world,” as they rehearse and perform a new titillating show called Désirs, staged by famous French choreographer Philippe Decouflé. The third in Wiseman’s trilogy of films about iconic French institutions, Crazy Horse reveals the intense pace these young women must maintain to perform 15 shows a week for hundreds of tourists from around the world.

French with subtitles, 120 min

Cropped Cropped

Director: Dave Wade

The Australian outback has been decimated by the brutal drought, destroying the livelihoods of farmers across the land. Barry and his family have been hit particularly hard, but their lives soon take a dramatic turn as they discover a mysterious object on their property. Each member of the family reacts differently to the gruesome new addition to the family which slowly stretches their relationships to breaking point. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your head … Cropped is a hilarious and disturbing black comedy.

15 min