Cinema/Chicago News

TAKE 2: What to See in Theaters and Stream in May 2019

Published: May 1, 2019  |  Filed under: Festival News

Ash is Purest White screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center starting May 17, 2019.

Welcome to TAKE 2, a new 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.

In Theaters


Director: Stephen Cone
Winner, Chicago Award, 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Set during a sweltering Chicago summer, this slice-of-life story follows Cyd, a 16-year-old girl visiting her intellectual aunt Miranda, a successful novelist. Cyd is free-spirited, sporty and sensuous. The straightlaced Miranda finds fulfillment in writing, religion, and friendships. As these opposites strive to find common ground, each follows their own path of self-discovery.

Director Stephen Cone scheduled to attend for post-screening discussion.

Screening Details:
May 29 @ 6:30 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Chicago, IL
FREE: Part of Cinema/Chicago’s weekly free Summer Screenings Program


Director: Jia Zhangke
Winner, Silver Hugo for Best Director and Best Actress, 54th Chicago International Film Festival

In this gripping crime saga set in modern China from the master filmmaker (A Touch of Sin), Tao Zhao stars as a resolute woman devoted to her mobster lover Bin and loyal to the Jianghu underworld. But after she is arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, she returns to society only to find that Bin has moved on, leaving her to fight for her place in a world she no longer recognizes.

Screening Details:
Opens May 17, visit website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL


Director: Ash Mayfair
Winner, New Directors Competition Gold Hugo for Best Film, 54th Chicago International Film Festival

In late-19th century Vietnam, 14-year-old May is chosen to become the third wife to a wealthy landowner, and she soon becomes pregnant with a child she believes will be a male heir. But after she witnesses a forbidden romance, May finds herself struggling to come to terms with her hidden desires in this stunning and sensuous portrait of young womanhood.

Screening Details:
Opens May 31, visit website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL


Director: Christian Petzold (Phoenix, Barbara)
Official Selection, International Competition, 54th Chicago International Film Festival

After a fascist invasion of France, Georg poses as a dead author and attempts to flee to Mexico, but becomes trapped in Marseilles. There, he encounters a woman searching for her missing husband—the man whose identity he has assumed. A cinematic puzzlebox that unfolds neither entirely in the past nor in the modern era, Petzold’s surreal film offers a trenchant exploration of the plight of refugees.

Screening Details:
Opens May 31, check website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL

On Streaming


Director: Sudabeh Mortezai
Winner, Silver Hugo: Special Jury Prize, 54th Chicago International Film Festival

In this lucid social drama, a young Nigerian woman finds herself caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking. Having worked the streets for years, Joy has almost paid off her debt to “Madame.” When she is charged with supervising Precious, a newbie teenage girl who is not ready to accept her fate, Joy begins to see the exploitation for what it is and is inspired to take action.

Streaming Details:
Joy is available to stream on Netflix starting May 24.

Next time, don’t wait to catch up. The 55th Chicago International Film Festival takes place October 16-27, 2019. Festival passes are on sale now.

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