Chicago Cultural Center Free International Screenings Program
When: Wednesdays, May 29-October 2, 2019 6:30pm-8:00pm (No screenings July 3 and September 18)
Where: Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North
June 5 Westwind
Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut
Dir. Robert Thalheim, 2011, Germany, 89min
Summer 1988: As promising young athletes in the GDR, twins Isa and Doreen attend a training camp at Lake Balaton, Hungary. There they meet Arne and Nico from Hamburg. What begins as a holiday romance for Doreen and Arne develops into a serious love affair. This heartfelt love story is set against a high-stakes political backdrop, giving the film both lightness and gravity. German with subtitles.
June 12 We Are Thankful Siyabonga
Co-presented by the South African Consulate in Chicago
Dir. Joshua Magor, 2018, South Africa, 94min
Based on the real encounter between the director and lead actor, this measured, compelling docu-fiction follows a day in the life of Siyabonga, a young man from a township who dreams of becoming an actor. Upon learning about a film production in a nearby town, he does whatever it takes, including scrounging for wifi and taxi fare, to make the journey to meet the director. Zulu with subtitles.
June 19 Passing Summer
Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago
Dir. Cho Sung-kyu, 2018, South Korea, 93min
Joengbong and Seong-hye run a guesthouse on Jeju Island. With vacation season nearly over, some last-minute guests show up to enjoy the final days of summer. Things get complicated when it becomes clear that each visitor is somehow connected to the owners’ murky pasts. Beachside romance begins to blossom as these quirky characters find themselves entangled in passions both present and past. Korean with subtitles.
June 26 Clara
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago
Dir. Akash Sherman, 2018, Canada, 105min
An astronomer obsessed with the search for alien life is fired from the university when his emotional past begins to affect his judgement. Determined to discover life in the distant universe, he enlists the help of a down-on-her luck research assistant. As the pair looks toward the night sky, they begin to make contact with the things that make life worth living.
July 10 Tour de France
Co-presented by the Cultural Service of the Consulate General of France in Chicago
Dir. Rachid Djaidani, 2017, France, 95 min.
Threatened by his rival, popular young rapper Far’Hook (SADEK) must flee Paris. His producer sends him to accompany his crotchety father, retired mason Serge (Gérard Depardieu), on a tour of France’s ports in the footsteps of painter Joseph Vernet. Despite generational and cultural divides, an improbable friendship begins to form as the two embark on a journey of reconciliation setting France’s past against its present. French with subtitles.
July 17 The Camino Voyage
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago
Dónal Ó Céilleachair, 2018, Ireland, 90 min.
This epic 2,500 km modern day Celtic odyssey from Ireland to northern Spain documents the overseas pilgrimage of a writer, two musicians, and a stonemason, who set out to test their mettle and connect with their heritage. Traveling in a traditional Irish boat, a Naomhóg, the crew faces long days and rough seas, sharing their stories, songs, and poems with the welcoming denizens of seaside towns.
July 24 A Time in Quchi
Co-presented by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago
Dir. Chang Tso-chi, 2013, Taiwan, 109 min.
Bao, a city boy obsessed with his phone and video games, is sent to his grandfather’s home in rural Quchi for the summer. Eventually freeing himself from technology, Bao befriends local boys as he begins to tap into the rhythms of summertime. Rendered with poetic visuals and humor, A Time in Quchi is a stunning coming-of-age tale that grapples with both the joys and sorrows of growing up. Mandarin with English subtitles.
July 31 Pinamar
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Argentina in Chicago
Dir. Federico Godfrid, 2016, Argentina, 83 min.
Two brothers return to the beachfront town of their childhood summers to scatter their mother’s ashes and sell the family apartment. When they reconnect with their old friend Laura, both are smitten and compete for her affections, channeling their sense of loss into fraternal rivalry. Moonlit beaches, verdant forests, and the ever-present ocean serve as the backdrop for this reflective tale of grief, romance, and forgiveness.
August 7 Glasses Megane
Co-presented by the Japan Information Center at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
Dir. Naoko Ogigami, 2007, Japan, 106 min.
Uptight career woman Taeko arrives at the Hamada Inn for an unplugged beach vacation, but island life is nothing like she expected. Confronted with a cadre of eccentric locals with curious pastimes like “merci” exercises and “twilighting,” Taeko can’t wait to escape their quirky lifestyle fast enough. Or can she? This offbeat dramedy celebrates the joy of life’s simple delights. Japanese with subtitles.
August 14 Virgins
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest
Dir. Keren Ben Rafael, 2018, Israel, 91 min.
In this magical, bittersweet tale, rebellious teen Lana can’t wait to escape her small coastal town of Kiryat Yam, a place where everything seems to have stopped in time. Longing for love and adventure, she detests the inertia that surrounds her. How could she imagine that a rumored mermaid off the coast would wake up her town and tempt her with alluring, unforeseen possibilities? Hebrew with subtitles.
August 21 The Man Who Bought the Moon
L’uomo che comprò la luna
Co-presented by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
Dir. Paolo Zucca, 2018, Italy, 102 min.
In this absurdist, feel-good comedy, undercover Italian operative Kevin Pirelli is sent to his ancestral island to track down a Sardinian fisherman who has laid claim to the moon. In spite of his extensive training, nothing can quite prepare Kevin for the real Sardinia. At the heart of this time-honored tale of the clash between cultures is a story of love, honor, and homegoing. Italian and Sardinian with subtitles.
August 28 Three Summers
Co-presented by the Australian Consulate-General in Chicago
Dir. Ben Elton, 2017, Australia, 95 min.
Every summer, revelers of all stripes gather at the Westifal music festival. When Irish folk band fiddler Keevey meets Roland, a self-righteous theremin player, sparks literally begin to fly. From one year to the next, their rollercoaster romance forms the backdrop of interweaving stories of Morris Dancing, didgeridoos and drumming in this comedy about a community who discover they have more in common than their taste in music.
September 4 Two Irenes
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago
Dir. Fabio Meira, 2017, Brazil, 89 min.
13-year-old Irene is bored by her ho-hum, small-town existence, until she uncovers her father’s double life complete with a second, secret family. Keeping this to herself, she strikes up a friendship with her stepsister, a girl her age who also happens to be named Irene. What follows is a delicate dance of identity, betrayal, and self-discovery as Irene must manage her own duplicitous existence. Portuguese with subtitles.
September 11 Semana Santa
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago
Dir. Alejandra Márquez Abella, 2016, Mexico, 85 min.
Dali and her eight-year-old son Pepe head to the beach for a holiday with Dali’s boyfriend, Chavez, in tow. A promising start to their highly anticipated vacation, culminating in Pepe’s Easter Sunday birthday, is soon derailed/thwarted as the seductions of resort life tantalize each one. Will this emerging family be able to survive the tidal wave of temptations that threatens to tear them apart? Spanish with subtitles.
September 25 Brazilians
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Hungary in Chicago
Dir. Csaba M. Kiss and Gábor Rohonyi, 2017, Hungary, 95 min.
In this winning social comedy that scored big at the Hungarian box office, the gypsy community in Acsa village have long been treated like second-class citizens. Pressured by the parish priest, the mayor invites them to participate in the local soccer championship with a trip to the World Cup going to the victors. With their cultural pride and athletic prowess at stake, this team of lovable outcasts must band together. Hungarian with subtitles.
October 2 Strawberry Days
Co-presented by the Swedish American Museum and the Consulate General of Sweden in Chicago
Dir. Wiktor Ericsson, 2017, Sweden, 93 min.
In this tender coming of-of-age romance, Polish teenager Wojtek has joined his down-on-their-luck migrant worker parents to pick strawberries in Sweden for the summer. Smitten with the landowners’ daughter, he quickly wins Anneli over with his persistent charm. Just as love begins to blossom, the young couple is faced with not only their social and cultural differences but also but also each community’s own prejudices. Swedish and Polish with subtitles.