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2014 International Screenings Program, June 4 - October 1

Cinema/Chicago, together with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and our consular and cultural partners, is pleased to present the 12th Annual International Screenings Program.

Every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm with the exception of Wednesday, September 17, the Chicago International Film Festival, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, presents a free weekly film series that celebrates the  Festival's rich history of showcasing the best in cinema from around the globe. These 17 feature films from as many countries demonstrate the richness and diversity of the past fifty years of international filmmaking and represent Festival award winners and audience favorites.

International Screenings is the highlight event of the International Connections Program, whose committee members include representatives from various consulates and cultural organizations in Chicago. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to theater capacity. Admission is not guaranteed. Films are unrated. Viewer discretion is advised.

Claudia Cassidy Theater 
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, 2nd floor                                        



Wednesday September 10, 6:30pm

Director Ryszard Bugajski, 1990, Poland 
Co-presented by: Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago

After a night out, spirited, carefree cabaret singer Tonia wakes up in a military prison without any idea as to why she is there. In the interrogations that follow, Tonia is humiliated and beaten in the secret police's attempts to coerce her into incriminating an old acquaintance. Taking a hard, realistic look at the structures of power and torture under the Stalinist regime of 1950s Poland, Interrogation pivots on a strong protagonist who refuses to allow the political system to break her. As Poland marks this year 25 years since the rebirth of her democracy, the film looks in retrospect at the dark realities of the post-WWII oppression the country grappled with until the communist regime crumbled in 1989, opening the way to the reunification of the divided Europe. 118 minutes. Polish with subtitles.

**In 1990 Interrogation won the Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize at the 26th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here

Wednesday September 24, 6:30pm
Director Henrik Ruben Genz, 2008, Denmark

In this gripping, genre-bending thriller, Copenhagen police officer Robert is reassigned to the provinces after a case of professional misconduct. Determined  to play it by the book, the reofrmed constable is uneasily received by a town whose denizens, it turns out, are hiding a terrible secret of their own. Elements of the uncanny inflect this highly stylized, highly original drama. 90 minutes. Danish with subtitles.

**In 2008 Terribly Happy won the Silver Hugo for Best Director at the 44th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here

Wednesday October 1, 6:30pm
Directors Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn, 1988/2004, US 

Reflecting what he calls the "disjunctiveness" of modern life, artist Leon Golub's massive canvasses depict unpleasant imagery - mercenary killings, torture, and death squads. This documentary reveals the full complexity of Golub's work, juxtaposing images and ideas, and following the artist at work from 1985 to 2004. Golub offers not simply a profile of a painter with a political conscience, but an investigation into the power of the artist to reflect our times and to change the way we think about our world.. 80 minutes. 

**In 1998, Golub won the Silver Hugo in the documentary competition at the 24th Chicago International Film Festival. The Festival featured the updated version of the film in 2004 at the 40th Anniversary. 

To view the trailer, click here.


Wednesday June 4, 6:30pm
Director: Andres Dresden, 2002, Germany
Co-presented by: Goethe-Institut

In the economically depressed city of Frankfort-Oder, affable lug Uwe runs a fast food snack bar called the Grill Point. Working round the clock, Uwe has little energy or affection left for his neglected wife Ellen or their two kids. Their friends Chris and Katrin too have lost the spark in their marriage. When Chris and Ellen drift into an affair, the uneventful, routine lives of all four are thrown into confusion in this funny, painfully honest, and deeply affecting bittersweet drama. 111 minutes. German with subtitles. 

**In 2002 Grill Point won the Silver Hugo for Best Director and the Silver Hugo for Best Ensemble Acting at the 38th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.

Wednesday June 11, 6:30pm
Director Ishmael Bernal, 1982, Philippines

In this highly original meditation on faith and fascination, Elsa's vision of the Virgin Mary transforms her rural town, bringing tourists with their new morals and a plague of cholera and visiting upon Elsa unwanted notoriety. When her visions stop, she finds herself ostracized, but soon she's the subject of a rumor - that she is pregnant by the Holy Ghost. Unable to take the pressure, Elsa schedules one last miracle. 124 minutes. Tagalog with subtitles.

**In 1983 Miracle won the Bronze Hugo in the International Competition at the 19th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.

Wednesday June 18, 6:30pm


Director Shemi Zarhin, 2006, Israel

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest

For years, hotel cook Aviva has had an uncontrollable impulse to write, which she does with passion and fervor, unaware of her talent and indifferent to success. With her sister's encouragement, Aviva's writing is brought to the attention of well-known author Oded, who takes her under his wing. But when her lifelong labor of love is pitted against the well-being of her family, Aviva's life begins to shift. This exquisitely wrought, idiosyncratic drama weighs the value of artistic and intellectual property against the sacrifices that it exacts. 107 minutes. Hebrew with subtitles.

**In 2006 Aviva My Love won the Plaque for Best Screenplay at the 42nd Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.

Wednesday June 25, 6:30pm
Director Xavier Dolan, 2010, Canada
Co-presented by: Consulate General of Canada in Chicago

French-Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) returns with a hyper-stylized ode to the pleasure and pain of young love. Dolan costars with the devastatingly stylish Monia Chokri as best friends vying for the affections of a beautiful but elusive Adonis named Nicholas. Swooning romanticism is offset by a wry sense of humor, displaying a mastery of form that marks Dolan as one of the brightest young talents working today. French with subtitles. 

**In 2010 Heartbeats won the New Directors Competition at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival.

Wednesday July 2, 6:30pm

Director Giuseppe Piccioni, 1999, Italy
Co-presented by: Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Caterina, a nun preparing to take perpetual vows, discovers an abandoned infant for whom she has overwhelming maternal feelings. In search of the baby's family she encounters Ernesto, a distant loner who confesses he may be the child's father. Their chance meeting transforms the lives of the two in ways they could not have anticipated. This gentle, poignant tale explores the ways in which uncertainty can afflict and exalt the lives of ordinary people. 100 minutes.  Italian with subtitles. 

**In 1999 Not of this World won the Silver Hugo at the 35th Chicago International Film Festival.

Wednesday July 16, 6:30pm

Director Catherine Breillat, 2001, France

Co-presented by: Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago


Fifteen year old Elena is beautiful if somewhat shallow while her younger sister Ana
ïs is plump, withdrawn and ever observant. While on holiday, Elena falls for Italian law student Fernando, while Anaïs bears witness to her sister's seduction. A precise, rigorous, and at times critical dissection of the cat and mouse game between the sexes, Fat Girl is an arresting examination of adolescent sexuality within the context of the complicated bond between sisters. 86 minutes. French with subtitles.

**In 2001 Fat Girl was awarded the Gold Hugo for Best Film at the 37th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.

Wednesday July 23, 6:30pm


Director Daniel Burman, 2010, Argentina
Co-presented by: Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in Chicago

Despite being siblings, Marcos and Susana are as different as night and day. Susana is careless and domineering, fond of doing things on a whim and thinking about consequences later, while soft-spoken Marcos has the apologetic air of one who is used to cleaning up after other people's messes, shouldering the responsibilities that Susana ignores. A master of character studies, Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace) sketches their complicated and changing relationship dynamics with a deft combination of lightness, depth and pathos. 105 minutes. Spanish with subtitles.

**Brother and Sister won the Silver Hugo for Best Ensemble at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival (2010). 

To view the trailer, click here

Wednesday July 30, 6:30pm

Director Kim Ki-duk, 2006, South Korea

Co-presented by: The Korean Consulate in Chicago


Obsession, self-destruction, and loneliness drive this haunting romance. Lovely but sullen Seh-hee constantly suspects her easygoing boyfriend Ji-woo of lusting after other women. As she becomes increasingly jealous and irrational, Seh-hee takes ever extreme measures to ensure his continued interest. Kim Ki-duk once again proves his mastery of form and content, infusing this complex picture with sharp visuals and an intensity of tone that ranges from keenly affecting to deeply unsettling. 97 minutes. Korean with subtitles.

**In 2006 Time won a Plaque at the 42nd Chicago International Film Festival.

Wednesday August 6, 6:30pm

Director Y
ôji Yamada, 2002, Japan

Co-presented by: Japan Information Center at the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago


ôji Yamada's beautifully crafted elegy to a slowly disappearing way of life follows a reluctant, low-ranking samurai in Japan's vanishing feudal era. Iguchi's life is filled not with exciting sword duels and fierce battles but, rather, with bookkeeping and household chores. When the clan's lord dies, conflict breaks out over who will be his successor, and Iguchi must set off for a fateful battle with a skillful rebel samurai. 129 minutes. Japanese with subtitles.

**In 2003 The Twilight Samuari was an Official Selection for the 39th Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.

Wednesday August 13, 6:30pm


Director Maria Novaro, 1991, Mexico
Co-presented by: Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago

Single mom Julia is quite content, supported by a loyal group of friends and a good job at the local phone company but neither offers much excitement. She finds that at night, when she is queen of the local ballroom. When her dance partner Carmelo suddenly disappears, Julia is determined to find him. Her quest takes her on a journey into the dark side of the port city of Veracruz, where her life will change forever. 120 minutes. Spanish with subtitles.  

**In 1991 Danzón won the Silver Hugo for Best Actress for Maria Rojo at the 27th Chicago International Film Festival.

Wednesday August 20, 6:30pm

Director Fredi M. Murer, 2006, Switzerland

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago


Vitus is an unusually intelligent and gifted boy whose commanding parents expect him to parlay his natural talents into a career as a world-famous pianist. Vitus, however, longs only to lead the carefree life any normal 12 year old would take for granted. As undue pressure placed on him increases, Vitus boldly defies both his parents and his talent by taking a literal and figurative leap toward a world of freedom. Murer infuses brilliant images ana fantastic atmosphere into an exceptional screenplay, one which cleverly elucidates the mind of a child and reminds us that the best part of being young is the joy of imagination. 120 minutes.  Swiss German with subtitles. 

**In 2006 Vitus won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the 42nd Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.


Wednesday August 27, 6:30pm

Director Gavin Hood, 1999, South Africa

Co-presented by: South African Consulate General in Chicago


In rural Zululand, a city lawyer decides to take the case of a local herd boy who has killed a on-year-old baby in the belief that the infant was, in fact, an evil spirit. Central to the case is the boy's unshakable faith in the Tikoloshe, a creature thought to be responsible for infertility and other evils in the community. In this thrilling crime drama, writer, director, and actor Gavin Hood presents a visually splendid, complex portrait of the disparate cultures that enrich and, at times, divide the communities that make up South Africa. 104 minutes. 

**In 1999 A Reasonable Man was an Official Selection of the 35th Chicago International Film Festival.

Wednesday September 3, 6:30pm


Director Philippe Barcinski, 2007, Brazil

Co-presented by: Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago


Enio and Pedro, two strangers in Sao Paulo, have spent their lives trying to control the uncontrollable. They are about to discover that an unpredictable world can rob them of what is most precious - then repay them with something entire unexpected. Sao Paulo, its own character in the story, is revealed with the intimacy of a lover, with sweeping overhead shots displaying its animated streets in clean, crisp daylight, then returning after dark to flaunt its city lights in wooly soft focus. 90 minutes. Portuguese with subtitles.


**In 2007 Not By Chance won the Silver Hugo in the New Directors Competition at the 43rd Chicago International Film Festival.

To view the trailer, click here.