October 6, 2008

44th Chicago International Film Festival

It's that time of year again, time for the International Film Festival! This year there are some great films from the CEERES region that we'd like you to be aware of.

Like last year, we've put together a list (for the full schedule visit chicagofilmfestival.org):

ABSURDISTAN (France/Azerbaijan)

Veit Helmer

It's 1968, and flower children Catherine, Yves, and Herve are dreaming of a world free from factories, the draft, and the bitter May revolts. Desperately in love and painfully idealistic, they convince several of their friends to join them in starting a commune in the countryside. Twenty years later, with communism collapsing and AIDS exploding, Catherine and Yves' children must deal with the fallout from the free love generation. WORlD CINEMA 88 min Russian with English subtitles

10/23/08 06:15:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/25/08 06:45:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan


Jerzy Skolimowski

Internationally acclaimed director Jerzy Skolimowski's (Moonlighting) first film in 17 years is an alternately zany and pitch-black portrait of Leon's madcap courtship of his neighbor, Anna. Leon's oddball behavior—like crushing sleeping pills into Anna's sugar so he can snoop through her apartment smelling things—is somehow endearing until we learn the dark secret behind his attraction. 87 Min. Polish with English subtitles.

10/26/08 07:30:00 PM AMC River East 21

10/27/08 08:00:00 PM AMC River East 21


Vassilis Douvlis

Ilias and his wife Eleni have returned to Greece after many years in Germany. Ilias feels like a foreigner in his home village, and life in the country is killing Eleni's spirit. The arrival of Albanian migrant Petros is the first in a chain of events that will change their lives. With an engrossing love triangle as his foundation, Douvlis touches on the perils of identity and the shifting definition of home experienced by immigrants around the world. 98 min. Greek with English subtitles.

10/24/08 04:00:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan
10/26/08 03:30:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/27/08 05:50:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

KATYN (Poland)

Andrzej Wajda

In 1939, more than 12,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were executed by the Soviet army. Once the mass graves were discovered by the Nazis in 1943, the Soviets began an extensive campaign to cover up their involvement in the massacre. Katyn´ is a courageous film that tells the story of both the victims and those left behind: the survivors who became complicit in the cover-up, and those who refused to deny the truth. 118 min.

Polish, Russian, German with English subtitles.

10/19/08 12:45:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/25/08 01:15:00 PM AMC River East 21


Anna Melikyan

An Amélie-like fairy tale rich in a mesmerizing magic (literally) all its own, The Mermaid's heart is Alisa, a lonely little girl from a seaside town who takes a rebellious vow of silence at the age of five. Approaching her 18th birthday, Alisa is forced to relocate to Moscow, where a chance encounter with a free-spirited salesman of lunar real estate inspires her to speak again—and compete for his affection. 114 min. Russian with English subtitles.

10/22/08 08:20:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/28/08 08:15:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

NATIVE DANCER / BAKSY (Russia/Kazakhstan/France/Germany)

Gulshat Omarova

The award-winning director of Schizo returns with the absorbing story of a Kazakh baksy (shaman), Aidai, who has the power to heal people. She derives her power from the land she lives on, owned by wealthy businessman Batyr. But when the mafia and local authorities force Aidai from her home and build a motel on Batyr's land, a surprising chain of events springs from the powerful and mysterious woman. 87 min. Russian, Kazakh with English subtitles.

10/18/08 02:15:00 PM AMC River East 21

10/21/08 08:40:00 PM AMC River East 21


Vladimír Michálek

Based on the award-winning novel by Emil Hakl, this candid and revealing relationship study unfolds during an often bittersweet and untamed conversation between a seventysomething father and his middle-aged son. The two men—who love, respect, and hate one another all at once—take to the streets of Prague for their monthly visit, moving with a gentle sweep through their humorous collective memories and careening toward newfound revelations. 112 min. Czech with English subtitles.

10/25/08 12:30:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/27/08 06:10:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

SNOW / SNIJEG (Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany/France/Iran)

Aida Begic

The year is 1997, and the post-war village of Slavno is occupied by a mere handful of residents, mostly women. Some are widows. Others have had their children executed by the nearby Bosnian Serbs. Winner of the critics' week grand prize at Cannes, Snow picks up where most other war films leave off, capturing mournful, everyday lives with such attentiveness and regard that it becomes less a film of politics and more a film of touching fellowship. 99 min. Bosnian with English subtitles.

10/25/08 03:00:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/26/08 06:00:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan


Seyfi Teoman

Ten-year-old Ali is getting bullied at school. Older brother Veysel is looking to ditch military school for business school. Austere pop Mustafa disapproves, but uncle Hasan is all for it. Meanwhile, mom Guler is sure that her husband is having an affair. These minor family tensions come to a head one summer when Mustafa suddenly falls ill while away on a business trip. Named best Turkish film at the Istanbul Film Festival. 92 min. Turkish with English subtitles.

10/23/08 08:40:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/24/08 06:30:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan


Róbert Alföldi

Estranged from her daughter and cut off from the outside world, ex-actress Rebeka Weér lives with her deeply troubled son, Andor. Verbally abused by Rebeka since his childhood, Andor becomes a man who must learn to either live with their strained, yet sometimes tender, relationship or leave that suffocating environment behind to pursue love elsewhere. Somber, haunting, and erotic, Tranquility tells a story of self-destruction within the realm of a bizarre mother-son relationship. 108 min. Hungarian with English subtitles.

10/20/08 08:40:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan

10/21/08 08:30:00 PM AMC 600 N. Michigan


Karen Shakhnazaro

The 1970s marked the rise of communism and the peak of power in the Soviet Union. To teenager Sergey Narbekov, it meant friends, booze, girls, and The Rolling Stones. The Vanished Empire is an honest portrayal of four young friends transitioning from their late teens into adulthood. They live hard and love hard, giving no regard to the collapse of their country. 105 min. Russian with English subtitles.

10/19/08 12:30:00 PM ACM River East 21

10/20/08 06:10:00 PM ACM River East 21

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