Behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary, the secret police task Péter, a literary critic turned informant, with convincing exiled politician Anna to return to her homeland to face her accusers. Anna’s stalwart belief in her principles and her history with Péter’s family cause him to question his allegiances in this based-on-true-events story from award-winning auteur Márta Mészáros (Diary for My Children).
Hungarian with minutes, 103 min.
Winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes, this subtle examination of how victims internalize the abuse they suffer follows business journalist Laura, whose existence consists of little more than searching for the latest in a string of emotionless one night stands. She strikes up a disturbing relationship with a man whose taste for rough sex appeals to her, for reasons that become more apparent as February 29 approaches.
Spanish with subtitles, 94 min.
Nigeria / UK
Ten months have passed since former black ops soldier Malcolm (Idris Elba, The Wire) was brutally tortured at the hands of a Ukrainian arms dealer. Retreating into isolation in a Brooklyn apartment, Malcolm seeks to uncover a web of corruption involving a powerful senator… who also happens to be his brother. Paranoia and fear set in as Malcolm retraces the events of his failed military operation while confronting his own shameful and brutal past.
Lipsett Diaries is a moving, expressionistic portrait of the troubled life of filmmaker Arthur Lipsett.
Daniel Díaz Torres
The complicated love triangle between three friends on the eve of the Cuban missile crisis becomes a metaphor for the fraught politics of the Cold War in this playful dramedy. As Cuba solidifies its alliance with the Soviet Union, lively farm girl Lisanka helps her small town make the transition in whatever way she can. Yet she fiercely maintains her independence from revolution loyalist Sergio, staunch anti-communist Aurelio, and Soviet soldier Volodia, all of whom vie for her affections.
Spanish with subtitles, 110 min.
Empire battles empire and Jackie Chan battles everyone in this slapstick epic. Chan, a soldier who survives because he’s good at playing dead, captures an enemy general and attempts to turn him in for a bounty, but a dizzying array of armies, barbarians, betrayals, and natural wonders stands in his way. Bitter enemies at first, Chan and the general realize they must work together if either is to survive.
Mandarin with subtitles, 96 min.
In 1960s Poland, the totalitarian government seeks to disgrace an acclaimed writer whom they suspect of Zionist sympathies. Rozek, a thuggish agent in the secret police, convinces his beautiful, adoring lover Kamila to keep tabs on the distinguished academic. Over time, Kamila grows closer to her quarry, but her loyalties soon become divided in this tale of love, espionage, and politics.
Polish with subtitles, 118 min.
Tommaso, the co-heir to his family’s pasta business, returns home ready to drop a pair of bombshells on his conservative, homophobic father: that he is giving up his stake in the business to pursue a writing career in Rome, and that he is gay. Unfortunately, his brother and the capricious daughter of a rival businessman interfere with his plans to abdicate his role as the perfect son in this delicious comedy of family and food.
Italian with subtitles, 109 min.
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.
Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel
Who ever said poetry was boring? Four teams of supremely talented Chicago high school students harness the ecstatic power of words as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth poetry slam right here in Chicago. Come see this rousing, multiple-award-winning smash documentary make its hometown debut with the filmmakers and poets scheduled to attend.
The titular coward in this whimsical comedy is a gentle man, in the most unfortunate sense of the term. His ex-wife taunts him, his child ignores him, and his boss berates him; but his extreme meekness renders him unable to speak out against this harsh treatment. When he finally gets in touch with his inner alpha male after meeting Ines, a pretty and opinionated masseuse, he finds that speaking his mind carries its own brand of trouble.
Croatian with subtitles, 95 min.
Summer brings many changes for Anna, a quiet 14-year-old preparing for her confirmation. Her sexual awakening, brought about by her experimentation with a choirboy and the casual raunchiness of her grandfather, provokes doubts about her faith. She tries to work through her questions aided by her newly separated parents and the sensitive yet troubled village priest, but the conflict between faith and love may be irreconcilable.
French with subtitles, 92 min.
Odessa, Ukraine: full of rich culture, beautiful architecture, pulsating discos, and busloads of lonely middle-aged guys looking to land hot 20-year-old brides. Burned by women back home, guys from Minnesota to Marseilles are heading East
English, Russian with subtitles, 83 min.
Rising from poverty to the presidency of Brazil, the central figure of Lula, the Son of Brazil is a man of justice and peace. Raised by his mother to practice diligence and patience, Lula’s resilience enables him to persevere in his political career even in the face of adversity and certain defeat. Inspired by the life of the populist political leader, this rousing biopic is the latest film from Festival favorite Fábio Barreto.
Portuguese with subtitles, 128 min.