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2013 — 49th Chicago Film Festival

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La Paz La Paz

Director: Santiago Loza

Returning home to Buenos Aires following a stint at a psychiatric clinic, sensitive, reserved teen Liso must work to rebuild his life. Struggling to reconnect with family and friends, he drifts from one experience to the next, while those around him unsuccessfully try to understand him. A quiet but impactful drama about one young man’s search for peace, La Paz explores the depths of unyielding loneliness with subtle yet intricate imagery, drawing the viewer into its complex emotional universe.

Spanish with English Subtitles, 73

Labor Day Labor Day

Director: Jason Reitman

Labor Day centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.


Lad: A Yorkshire Story Lad: A Yorkshire Story

Director: Dan Hartley

After the death of his father, young and sensitive Tom sees his life devolve into chaos. Getting into trouble with the law, Tom is assigned to work in the service of avuncular park ranger Al Thorpe. Initially resistant to the compulsory service, Tom eventually finds a father figure and a friend in Al and a sense of place in the Yorkshire countryside. A lyrical, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story, Lad delicately captures a pivotal moment in a troubled young life.


The Last of the Unjust The Last of the Unjust

Austria / France
Director: Claude Lanzmann

For his latest documentary epic, Claude Lanzmann (Shoah) revisits the footage of his 1975 interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the president of Theresienstadt’s Jewish Council of Elders, and the only "Jewish Elder" to survive the war. The strikingly intelligent, charismatic Murmelstein candidly reflects on his unique historical role, one for which he was both demonized and celebrated. Through these interviews and visits to historical sites, Lanzmann provides an incisive view of a complex, beguiling character.

French and German with English Subtitles, 218

Lasting Lasting

Poland and Spain
Director: Jacek Borcuch

Love-struck college students who meet on a working summer holiday in the idyllic Spanish countryside, Michal and Karina’s blissful moment of first love is cut short when Michal has a fateful - and shocking - encounter with a stranger. When Michal reveals his secret to Karina, their lives are thrown into chaos. With gorgeous, award-winning cinematography, the film sensitively explores the devastating fallout of Michal’s actions as their relationship is put to the test and the future grows increasingly unpredictable.

Polish and Spanish with English Subtitles, 93

Life Feels Good Life Feels Good

Director: Maciej Pieprzyca

Mateusz is an intelligent, romantic young man tragically trapped inside his own body, suffering from severe cerebral palsy that makes speech and controlled movement nearly impossible. Born into a loving family, Mateusz’s protected world is shattered when circumstances place him in an institution where he is misunderstood and mistreated. Featuring an astonishing, virtuoso lead performance, Life Feels Good beautifully recounts the true story of one man’s extraordinary efforts to endure in the face of impossible odds.

Polish with English Subtitles, 107

Lifelong Lifelong

Germany / Netherlands / Turkey
Director: Asli Özge

This expertly crafted, gorgeously shot drama explores the fading connection between Ela, a respected artist, and her husband Can, a successful architect. As the two grow apart, Ela worries that Can is cheating on her. Though in preparation for a major gallery show, Ela finds herself increasingly distracted. With the sophisticated tautness of a thriller and the devastating emotion of a tragedy, Lifelong tracks one relationship’s heartbreaking disintegration.

Turkish with English Subtitles, 102

Like Father Like Son Like Father Like Son

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hard-working architect Ryota spends his days meticulously planning his family’s future. His plans are turned upside down when he and his wife discover that, due to a hospital mix-up six years earlier, their young son Keita is not their own. The foundations of their identities as loving parents begin to crumble as they must negotiate their newly complicated circumstances, as they meet their biological child and send Keita to live with his new family.

Japanese with English Subtitles, 130

The Lonely Bones The Lonely Bones

Director: Rosto

A one-eyed man makes his escape from a hotel room, entering a hellish world where time and space intertwine.

Part of Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem

English, 10

A Long And Happy Life A Long And Happy Life

Director: Boris Khlebnikov

Sasha, a city kid with agrarian ambitions, moved to the country to head up a collective farming project, determined to make the experiment work. A recent local government offer to buy up the farmland seems too good to resist, but Sasha becomes staunch in his decision to stay. Bolstered by the resolution of the local farmworkers, he is pitted against the stakeholders in a decision that may cost him his livelihood - or his life - in this heady social-realist drama.

Russian with English Subtitles, 77

Love Games Love Games

South Korea
Director: Joung Yu-mi

A couple teases, torments, and comforts each other through a series of rituals.

Part of Shorts 4: Our Lovers' Story