Even in the midst of intense political conflicts, people try to get on with their lives. So it is with Mariam and Bassam, a Palestinian couple who met during the relatively peaceful summer of 2000. This wonderfully observant film follows their relationship from courtship to marriage, and beyond. Bassam, a telephone repairman in Cleveland, returns to Palestine to find a “home-made” bride. He quickly meets and marries the young Mariam, but leaves he in Palestine with his family. Soon afterward, a new intifada takes place and violence erupts throughout Palestine. Life in wartime is brilliantly evoked: people talk on cell phones, quarrel and cook dinner while tanks are shelling buildings a few blocks away. After many months, Bassam is able to procure a visa for Maraiam, but she soon discovers that life is exile in the UC is not what she expected. This charming film says a great deal about love, courtship, and the roles of women and men in Palestinian society, while touching on the details of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
Fed up with the destructive patterns of life at home, fiercely independent indigenous teen Murra seeks refuge from her mother’s incessant partying, fleeing to her uncle’s house. To help her channel her emotions, he enrolls Murra in a youth therapy excursion in the wilderness of Western Australia, where she reluctantly joins other adolescents, each battling their own demons. A pair of guides mentors the group, teaching them to use photography as a form of self-expression; Murra takes to the art form, finding a new lens through which to view not only the dramatic landscape but also her world, her dreams, and her future. Jub Clerc’s feature debut resonates as a profoundly personal and impassioned take on the coming-of-age story.
Screenings & Events
Fri, Oct 21 @ 7:45pm CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 20
Sat, Oct 22 @ 11:30am CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 20
Available to stream Oct 13 @ 12:00pm CT through Oct 23 @ 11:59pm CT for a 48-hour watch window. Available in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin only.
- Liz Kearney
- Jub Clerc, Steve Rodgers
- Katie Flaxman
- Emma Fletcher
- Katie Milwright
- Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Mark Coles-Smith, Ngaire Pigram, Carlos Sanson Jr, Pedrea Jackson, Mikayla Levy, Andrew Wallace, Tasma Walton
- David Williams
- Liliya Grigorova
- Robert Connolly, Robert Patterson
The Legend of Molly Johnson
On a small homestead deep in Australia’s Snowy Mountains, Molly Johnson is dead set on survival. With her husband away on a drove, the pregnant matriarch must fend for her family against the wild, threatening countryside. When her secret past gets the town talking, she is pushed to extremes. This blistering neo-western, reimagined from director Lea Purcell’s acclaimed play (itself an adaptation of Henry Lawson’s classic short story), is a riveting examination of race, family, and identity.
Screenings & Events
Wed, Jul 27 @ 6:30pm CDT
at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago
Free tickets available to claim starting July 11 or available at the door (subject to availability). Walk-up tickets will be available at the door starting 15 minutes before the start of the screening if open seating remains.
Post-screening discussion with Aaron Carroll, First Secretary-Trade & Economic, Australian High Commission, Canada; Consul-General Chris Elstoft, Australian Consulate-General Chicago.
Post-screening discussion presented by:
The Australian Dream
The life and legacy of celebrated Australian rules football star Adam Goodes is inspirational not only for his remarkable play on the field but also for his courage and resilience off the field. Goodes, a player of Aboriginal heritage, faced racism and discrimination from players, fans and society at large but used his stature to expose, educate, and heal. Dynamic and potent, The Australian Dream draws on Goodes’ particular experience as the prism through which to tell a deeper, if all-too-familiar, story about race, identity, and belonging.
Competitive ballroom dancer Scott Hastings has been groomed his entire life by his dance-teacher mother and reclusive father to win the coveted Pan-Pacific title. However, he has grown bored performing classic dances and starts dancing unconventional steps, thus disqualifying himself from the winner’s circle. Quiet beginning dancer Fran, however, encourages Scott to dance his own steps, and she becomes his secret partner. Chaos breaks out at the championships as Scott is torn between dancing with established winner Tina Sparkle or taking a chance on Fran, though it is sure to cost him the win. Meanwhile, a cast of wacky characters grows out of control while trying to maintain tradition in this romantic comedy/mockumentary about competitive ballroom dancing in Australia.