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2009 — 45th Chicago International Film Festival

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

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Partners Partners

France / Switzerland
Director: Frédéric Mermoud

It was love at first sight for the couple of devil-may-care teens at the heart of this scorchingly sexy mystery. Two months later, Vincent’s dead body is being fished out of the Rhône, and Rebecca is nowhere to be found. Using tension-building flashbacks, Frédéric Mermoud reconstructs the timeline of this ill-fated affair, plunging us into a world of kinky love and sordid prostitution.

French with subtitles, 93 minutes

Persecution Persecution

Director: Patrice Chéreau

Daniel has a talent for making life go his way, but lately he’s been put to the test by a stranger who follows him through the streets, to his job, to his apartment. And this strange relationship is not the only one wearing on him: His possessive attitude toward Sonia, his partner of three years, is slowly poisoning them both. Soon Daniel will discover how it feels to be both persecutor and persecuted…. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Romain Duris, and Jean-Hugues Anglade star in this psychological drama from provocative director Patrice Chéreau (Intimacy, Queen Margot).

French with subtitles, 100 minutes

Photograph of Jesus Photograph of Jesus

Director: Laurie Hill

Looking for photographs of Jesus, yetis, and Hitler in 1948? Help is at hand with this documentary-fantasy based on true stories of requests for impossible images.

Photograph of Jesus will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 2: Animation Nations: Information & Show Times

7 minutes

A Place of One's Own A Place of One's Own

Hong Kong / Taiwan
Director: Lou Yi-an

The search for a home dominates the lives of a diverse group of strangers in the directing debut from the writer of God Man Dog. Lou Yi-an subtly interweaves the stories of a struggling indie rocker and an ailing origami master, whose fates collide over an inauspicious real estate deal. A sympathetic cast brings the characters to life, and the radiant cinematography illuminates many sides of contemporary Taipei.

Mandarin, Taiwanese, Amis with subtitles, 118 minutes

Plastic City Plastic City

Brazil / China / Hong Kong
Director: Yu Lik Wai

This super-stylized, turbo-charged crime saga enters the dark heart of Liberdade, a gritty multiethnic neighborhood of SÃo Paulo. A fearsome Chinese outlaw called Yuda and his adopted son Kirin lord over this nest of rivaling gangs, corrupt politicians, and erotic dancers. When a conspiracy lands Yuda in jail, it’s up to Kirin to fight his father’s wars singlehandedly, but does Yuda really want his brutal empire saved?

Portuguese, English, Mandarin with subtitles, 118 minutes

Please Say Something Please Say Something

Director: David O'Reilly

Please Say Something explores the troubled relationship between a very emotional cat and her husband, a workaholic mouse. Will they be able to resolve their inter-species differences?

Please Say Something will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 2: Animation Nations: Information & Show Times

10 minutes

Police, Adjective Police, Adjective


From the writer/director of the internationally acclaimed 12:08 East of Bucharest comes an austere cop drama that says a lot by doing a little. Young inspector Cristi's conscience is keeping him from sending a kid to jail for seven years on a dope-smoking charge, but his by-the-book boss has other ideas about the definition of 'police.' Affirming Porumboiu as a singular new talent, Police, Adjective is already the winner of two top awards at Cannes.

Romanian with subtitles, 115 minutes

Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate

Director: Derrick Anthony

Two brothers, unaware of each other's existence, are brought together by their fathers deceptions. Caught off guard by the revelation, the brothers reflect on their separate, but equally painful, childhoods.

Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Prank Prank

Director: Péter Gárdos

For the rambunctious seventh graders at an early-20th-century boarding school, the preferred extracurricular activity is playing increasingly outrageous pranks on one brainy classmate. The lax Father Zoltan thinks boys will be boys, but when stern young Father Weigl begins to implement his own secret plan to curb the kids' "anarchic activity," he unwittingly sets the entire school on a tragic course.

Hungarian with subtitles, 93 minutes

Precious: Based on the book ‘Push’ by Sapphire Precious: Based on the book ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Director: Lee Daniels

Set in Harlem in 1987, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire is the story of a 16-year-old African American girl born into a life no one would want. Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is pregnant for the second time by her absent father. At home, she must wait hand and foot on her abusive and poisonously angry mother (Mo’Nique). School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with an awful secret: She can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Winner of three awards at Sundance, Precious is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.

109 minutes

Premature Premature

Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green

After Tisha, a streetwise teenager from the Bronx, discovers she’s pregnant, she must face a difficult decision. With nowhere to turn, she confronts the grim realities of her situation alone.

Premature will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

14 minutes

Public Speaking Public Speaking

Director: Alex Hans Hansen

With mere seconds before his big speech, a high school student turns to President Ronald Reagan to help him conquer his fear of public speaking.

Public Speaking will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

4 minutes