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Cinema/Chicago News

Take 2: ChiFilmFest Selections to Stream in December 2020

Published: October 27, 2020  |  Filed under: Festival News

I’m Your Woman is streaming on Amazon Prime

Welcome to TAKE 2, our monthly feature where we highlight recent Chicago International Film Festival selections that are now playing in theaters or on streaming platforms in case you missed them at the Festival! Take a look below for the best of #ChiFilmFest to watch this month, and enjoy a Festival livestream Q&A after the film featuring the filmmakers.


Ammonite

Dir. Francis Lee
Special Presentation, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

In 1800s England, acclaimed but unrecognized fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), she cannot afford to turn his offer down. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, Mary initially clashes with her unwelcome guest, but despite the distance between their social class and personalities, an intense bond begins to develop, compelling the two women to determine the true nature of their relationship.

Streaming Details:
Available on Premium VOD beginning December 4.

Livestream Q&A and Tribute to star Kate Winslet:

40 Years a Prisoner

Dir. Tommy Oliver
Black Perspectives/Documentary, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

This powerful documentary bears witness to the lifelong efforts of Michael Africa, Jr. to secure the freedom of his parents, who were incarcerated for four decades. Along with seven other members of MOVE, a Black Liberation group active in Philadelphia in the 1970s, Debbie and Michael Africa, Sr. were charged in the death of a police officer during a brutal raid by authorities at the end of that decade. Interviews with journalists, activists, and others, along with archival footage of the MOVE commune, are intercut with Michael Africa, Jr.’s ongoing battles with the courts. With uncanny resonance to our current moment, the film delivers a bracing examination of the embattled state of liberty in the face of a racially and politically biased justice system.

Streaming Details:
Available on HBO Max beginning December 8.

Livestream Q&A with director Tommy Oliver and subject Michael Africa, Jr.:

Finding Yingying

Dir. Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
City & State/Documentary, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

In April 2017, idealistic Chinese student Yingying Zhang came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study agriculture. Six weeks later, she went missing. Filmmaker Jiayan “Jenny” Shi chronicles the circumstances around her disappearance and its devastating consequences on her family, friends, and community. All the more resonant and timely in the wake of rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S., Finding Yingying is at first an intriguing mystery and, ultimately, a haunting and heartbreaking exposition reflecting the state of current U.S.-Chinese relations.

Streaming Details:
Available via the Gene Siskel Film Center Virtual Cinema beginning December 11.

Livestream Q&A with director Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, producer Brent E. Huffman, and cinematographer Shilin Sun:

I’m Your Woman

Dir. Julia Hart
International Competition, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

Suburban housewife Jean (Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) lives a seemingly easy life, supported by husband Eddie’s (Bill Heck) career as a thief. But when Eddie betrays his partners, Jean and her baby are forced to go on the run, and Eddie’s old friend Cal (Arinzé Kene) is tasked with the job of keeping them safe. After Cal mysteriously disappears, Jean befriends Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), and the two women set out on a perilous journey into the heart of Eddie’s criminal underworld. A decidedly female take on crime dramas of the 1970s, I’m Your Woman is a tale of love, betrayal, motherhood, family, and what it takes to claim your life as your own.

Streaming Details:
Available on Amazon Prime beginning December 11.

An Evening with Rachel Brosnahan from the 56th Chicago Intl. Film Festival:

Farewell Amor

Dir. Ekwa Msangi
Black Perspectives, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

After 17 years in New York, working to support his family back in Angola, Walter has grown ever more comfortable living as a single man in the U.S. When wife Esther and daughter Sylvia are finally able to join him in the city, the three must find a way to reconnect as the time apart has rendered them virtual strangers. Arranged in chapters told from the perspective of each character, this insightful, beautifully conceived film captures the immigrant experience with finely detailed nuance, as Sylvia’s embrace of urban youth culture and dance sets the stage for an inevitable clash of values. From their colliding worlds, can they fashion an entirely new sense of home?

Streaming Details:
Available on VOD services beginning December 11.

Livestream Q&A with director Ekwa Msangi and actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine:

Sylvie’s Love

Dir. Eugene Ashe
Black Perspectives, 56th Chicago International Film Festival

In Sylvie’s Love, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. When Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), the daughter of a record-shop owner (Lance Reddick), meets Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a saxophonist who gets a part-time job at the shop, the two begin a friendship that sparks a deep passion in each of them unlike anything they’ve felt before. Years after their summer romance comes to an end, Sylvie has success as a TV producer, while Robert tries to come to terms with what the age of Motown is doing to jazz, the music that defines his work. While life continues to take Sylvie and Robert in different directions, they cross paths again, only to find their feelings for each other remain the same. Writer-director Eugene Ashe combines romance and music into a sweeping story that brings together changing times, a changing culture, and the true price of love.

Streaming Details:
Available on Amazon Prime beginning December 23.

Livestream Q&A with director Eugene Ashe:

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