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Documentary

These real-life stories go up-close and personal with the people and issues that define who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going.


In-Person
Virtual

Acts of Love

Isidore Bethel, Francis Leplay  |   United States, France
After his heart is broken in Mexico, American filmmaker Bethel relocates to Chicago and sets up a new video project: He arranges meetings with strangers and then casts them as [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Any Given Day

Margaret Byrne  |   United States
In this raw, moving, and remarkable examination of struggle and resilience, director Margaret Byrne (Raising Bertie) follows Chicagoans Angela, Daniel, and Dimitar as the trio participates in a probation program [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Babi Yar. Context

Sergei Loznitsa  |   The Netherlands, Ukraine
In the fall of 1941, German troops, assisted by Ukrainian Police and without any resistance from the local population, shot dead 33,771 Jewish people in the Babi Yar ravine in [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Citizen Ashe

Sam Pollard & Rex Miller  |   United States, United Kingdom
Tennis star Arthur Ashe broke barriers to become the first Black man to win the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open—at the height of the civil rights movement in [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

A Cop Movie (Una película de policías)

Alonso Ruizpalacios  |   Mexico
Police corruption is rampant around the world, but Mexico City’s la policía are among the most notorious. In this thoroughly original and unpredictable docu-fiction hybrid, award-winning filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios (Museo, [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Cow

Andrea Arnold  |   United Kingdom
Following on the hooves of other celebrated animal docs (Gunda, My Octopus Teacher, Kedi), Oscar-winning director Andrea Arnold (American Honey, Fish Tank), in her auspicious nonfiction debut, offers this wholly [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Exposure

Holly Morris  |   United States
As the polar ice caps melt, travel to the Arctic has become increasingly treacherous. Even so, in the face of precarious ice floes and punishing frostbite, an expedition of 11 [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Flee

Jonas Poher Rasmussen  |   Denmark
Marrying striking animation and archival footage to breathtaking effect, Flee retraces one man’s harrowing experiences escaping life under Taliban rule. Amin Nawabi, a 36-year-old academic, recounts his childhood flight from [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

For the Left Hand

Leslie Simmer, Gordon Quinn  |   United States
When aspiring Chicago pianist Norman Malone was just 10-years-old, his father violently attacked him with a hammer, leaving the young virtuoso paralyzed on his right side. But Malone never gave [...]
  
In-Person

Julia

Julie Cohen & Betsy West  |   United States
Julia brings to life the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

The Last Forest (A Última Floresta)

Luiz Bolognesi  |   Brazil
In this luminous follow-up to Ex-Shaman, Bolognesi’s 2018 Chicago IFF winner, the Brazilian filmmaker returns to the rainforest of his homeland to tell another bewitching yet tragic story of Indigenous [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

The Last Shelter (Le Dernier Refuge)

Ousmane Samassékou  |   France, Mali, South Africa
On the edge of the Saharan desert in West Africa, at the crossroads of hope and defeat, lies the Caritas Migrant House, a temporary waystation for thousands of people every [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

Rebecca Halpern  |   United States
In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was the toast of Chicago, his eponymous restaurant one of the world’s top fine-dining destinations. A gastronomic revolutionary and a culinary bad-boy, Trotter paved [...]
  
In-Person

Mayor Pete

Jesse Moss  |   United States
In the great tradition of electioneering films such as The War Room and Knock Down the House, Mayor Pete brings viewers inside Pete Buttigieg’s mission to be the youngest and [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Oscar Micheaux – The Superhero of Black Filmmaking

Francesco Zippel  |   Italy
The most successful African American director of the first half of the 20th century, Oscar Micheaux wrote, directed, and produced more than 44 films and six novels before his death [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

The Other Side of the River

Antonia Kilian  |   Germany, Finland
At only 19, Hala fought in one of the Kurdish armed forces’ all-female brigades to liberate her hometown from ISIS. Now, working as a policewoman, she has a new mission: [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Punch 9 for Harold Washington

Joe Winston  |   United States
In this epic story of American politics, race, and triumph against all odds, director Joe Winston chronicles the captivating rise, surprising reign, and enduring legacy of Chicago’s first African American [...]
  
In-Person
Virtual

Shorts 4: Abstract Reflections (Documentary)

Whitney Skauge, Maxime Jean-Baptiste and Audrey Baptiste, Eliana Esther Bots, Lorraine Price, Sunniva Sundby and Andreas J. Riiser, William A. Kirkley  |   Canada, France, Norway, The Netherlands, United States

These non-fiction films include intimate portraits and daring confrontational works that exhibit the myriad textures of everyday life. Autobiographical memories and reimagined histories shape new perspectives.

In-Person
Virtual

Skál

Cecilie Debell, Maria Tórgarð  |   Faroe Islands, Denmark
Vivacious poet Dania, 21, who comes from a conservative Christian community, lives on a remote island in the North Sea. When she falls for secular hip-hop artist Trygvi, aka “Silver [...]
  
In-Person

The Story of Film: A New Generation

Mark Cousins  |   United Kingdom
In this inspiring survey of cinematic innovation, British cineaste Mark Cousins follows up his 2011 influential work The Story of Film: An Odyssey with this expansive and illuminating journey across [...]
  
Drive-In

The Velvet Underground

Todd Haynes  |   United States
The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of rock and roll and made Lou Reed famous for his distinctive lyrics and attitude. Acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes [...]