Given the current recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing, we at the Chicago International Film Festival are looking at past selections from each year of the Festival that you can stream now from home. Stream our past selections as we look forward to the 56th Chicago International Film Festival this October 14-25, 2020. Find the full 56 Films for 56 Years selections here.
For today’s #56Films entry, we present Antonia’s Line, the first female-directed feature to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1996 after screening at the 31st Chicago International Film Festival.
Director: Marleen Gorris
31st Chicago International Film Festival
Anotonia’s Line spins the feminist tale of a woman making her own path. The film opens in the 1940s post-WWII and takes place over a 40-year period. We follow a woman named Antonia [Willeke van Ammelrooy], who returns to her hometown with her daughter Danielle [Els Dottermans], where she plans to visit her ill mother on her deathbed. After her mother passes, Antonia starts a farm. The people of the town do not understand her independent and revolutionary ways. Through her radical living, Antonia sends ripples change reverberating throughout the community. The story, which carries traces of magic, covers three generations of Antonia’s family, all of whom deal with life, death and beauty. We see this life through the eyes of mothers and daughters, accompanied by a score of depth that moves to the beat of an empowered heart by Ilona Sekacz. Written and directed by Marleen Gorris, the film would go on to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1996, thus becoming the first female-directed feature to receive this award. — Rebecca Martin, Cinema Femme