Cinema Chicago Logo

2013 — 49th Chicago Film Festival

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

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

The Major The Major

Director: Yury Bykov

In the dead of a snowy Russian winter, police major Sobolev, rushing recklessly to the hospital for the birth of his child, causes a fatal accident. Panicked and under great pressure from his colleagues, he participates in the cover up of his crime. But that decision will have disastrous consequences, compounded at each step by the increasingly elaborate scheme and its violent results. The tension builds to an electric climax as the guilt-wracked Sobolev goes on the lam in this thrilling crime drama.

Russian with English Subtitles, 99

Malak Malak

Director: Abdeslam Kelai

When 16-year-old Malak discovers that she’s pregnant, she quickly finds herself alone in a community that marginalizes and mistreats single mothers. Abandoned by the baby’s father, shunned by her family, and in dire need of cash, Malak is forced to take desperate measures. An elegantly-photographed portrait of a young woman’s struggles, Malak garnered major awards at Morocco’s National Film Festival, including the Jury Prize, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for its young star Chaimae Ben Acha.

Moroccan Arabic with English Subtitles, 97

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

UK and South Africa
Director: Justin Chadwick

Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education, and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild his country’s once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus) stars as Nelson Mandela, and Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.


Marcel, King of Tervuren Marcel, King of Tervuren

Director: Tom Schroeder

Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters.

Part of Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

English, 6

Marilyn Myller Marilyn Myller

Director: Michael Please

The heroine is trying really hard to create something, but can expectation and reality ever truly align?

Part of Shorts 2: Animation - Cel Division

English, 6

The Mass Is Ended The Mass Is Ended

Director: Nanni Moretti

After a decade of seclusion, young, idealistic priest Don Giulio is assigned to his first parish. But when he returns to Rome to find that even his own friends and family have readily succumbed to the Deadly Sins, he wonders if the town is afflicted with more problems than he alone can fix. The Mass Is Ended is a thoughtful comedic look at problems of the heart and soul from beloved writer-director-star Nanni Moretti (Caro Diario, We Have A Pope).

Year: 1985

Part of Comedy, Italian Style: This year, the Festival celebrates Italian cinema with a look back at beloved comedies covering five decades.


Medium Cool Medium Cool

Director: Haskell Wexler

Two-time Oscar®-winner Haskell Wexler presents his legendary film about a reporter who becomes embroiled in the violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Shot in Chicago during the convention, the film blurs the lines between staged and documentary action. The screening will also include Wexler’s brand new Medium Cool Revisited (2013), a short documentary comparing his classic film to Chicago’s recent NATO protests. TV newsman Walter Jacobson will lead a Q&A with Wexler after the screening.


Melaza Melaza

Cuba / France / Panama
Director: Carlos Lechuga

With the closure of the local sugar mill, the picturesque Cuban town of Melaza has become desolate and lifeless. School teacher Aldo and now-unemployed Monica eke out a meager living, going as far as renting out their tiny home to the local prostitute for extra cash. When they get in trouble with the authorities, resulting fines lead to more desperate measures. This funny, heartfelt romantic drama explores the limits of love and trust in the face of hardship.

Spanish with English Subtitles, 80

Memories They Told Me Memories They Told Me

Director: Lúcia Murat

Old friends, all onetime members of Brazil's radical resistance, come together around Ana, the charismatic, fearless heart of their circle, now on her deathbed. As they think back on their choices and the paths they have tread, Ana’s spirit is a constant presence, reminding them of their failed utopia and their shared, mythologized past. This Brazilian Big Chill passionately reflects on revolution and terrorism, love and sex, and the compromises that time exacts.

Portuguese with English Subtitles, 95

Miele Miele

Director: Valeria Golino

This tautly written drama follows Irene - nicknamed “Miele” (Italian for “Honey”) - as she treads legal and moral boundaries performing assisted suicides on elderly hospital patients. Progressively de-humanized and alienated, Irene finds what’s left of her morals challenged when she is approached by a depressed, fatalistic, yet physically healthy architect who has lost his will to live. A thought-provoking, humanistic character study featuring sharp, sensitive performances, Miele represents a mature and capable directorial debut from celebrated actress Valeria Golino (Respiro).

Italian with English Subtitles, 96

The Miracle The Miracle

Director: Simon Staho

Jakob and Johanna were first loves, best friends, and ballroom dancers - until she found a better partner. Years later, embittered Jakob returns to find the once vibrant dancer wheelchair-bound and trapped in an unhappy marriage to the local priest, who makes the hoped-for miracle of her recovery the center of his ministry. Their romance rekindled, they must choose between love and security. A sense of mystery and doom pervade this gripping drama about passion, faith, and perversity.

Danish with English Subtitles, 100

The Missing Picture The Missing Picture

Cambodia and France
Director: Rithy Panh

Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Un Certain Regard prize, this highly personal, moving account of director Rithy Panh’s own experiences of the Cambodian genocide addresses the lack of images of the government’s atrocities by creating its own. Intricately detailed clay figurines are employed to represent young Panh, his family, and many others brutally victimized by the Khmer Rouge in this inventive yet rigorous approach to a haunting subject.

French with English subtitles, 92

Monsoon Shootout Monsoon Shootout

Director: Amit Kumar

As heavy monsoon rains lash the badlands of Mumbai, Adi, a rookie cop out on his first assignment, raises his gun in the face of a criminal and is suddenly faced with the most vital decision of his life: to shoot or not to shoot? Monsoon Shootout presents three alternate scenarios, each sending Adi on a on a spiraling journey downward that pits him against fate and a system mired in moral ambiguity.

Hindi with English subtitles, 88

The Motel Life The Motel Life

Director: Alan and Gabe Polsky

This haunting melodrama from Chicago filmmakers Gabe and Alan Polsky follows Frank (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee Flannigan, brothers who scrape out a paltry living, working odd jobs and drinking hard while living in a motel. Everything changes after a hit-and-run accident sends them on the lam, making their way to the home of Frank’s old flame Annie (Dakota Fanning). Although they seem to be safe from the law, Jerry Lee’s instability and all-consuming guilt renders their future increasingly uncertain.


Mothers Mothers

Director: Xu Huijing

In rural China, the job of enforcing the Communist Party's one-child policy falls on government bureaucrats tasked with imposing fines, birth control, and forced sterilizations. Xu Huijing documents this process in his native village of Ma, following the tenacious efforts of the local birth control chief during an increased sterilization quota period, revealing the absurd and tragic local consequences of high-level government policy.

Mandarin with English Subtitles, 68

My Sweet Pepper Land My Sweet Pepper Land

France / Germany / Kurdistan
Director: Hiner Saleem

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, two unlikely allies converge in a war-torn Kurdish village at the borders of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Both Baran, a former Kurdish independence war hero, and Govend, a beautiful young woman defying tradition by accepting a post at a newly-opened school, are hell-bent on seeing order and civilization restored to their damaged country. Elements of the Western genre combine with the awe-inspiring landscapes in director Hiner Saleem’s socially-inflected frontier tale.

Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish with English Subtitles, 95

Mystery Mystery

Director: Chema García Ibarra

A woman trapped in an unhappy marriage decides to take advice from the Virgin Mary.

Part of Shorts 7: Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

Spanish, 11