Film Programs

Contemporary World Cinema

A global survey of narrative feature length films.

After the Storm
Japan 2016 117 min.

Ryota—once a prize-winning novelist, now a compulsive gambler—is about to be cut out of his son’s life by his ex-wife. But when a typhoon traps his family together for a night, this gently bittersweet drama shows that he just may have a chance at redemption.

Switzerland 2016 91 min.

In this Charlie Kaufman-esque drama, Swiss detective Aloys Adorns isolates himself, obsessively watching videos he makes of the people he tails. When his camera is stolen and a stranger named Vera blackmails him over the footage, the two enter into a game in which imagination and reality blur.

Singapore 2016 115 min.

Aiman is a diligent corrections officer at a maximum-security prison in Singapore, where Rahim, the resident executioner, needs an heir to his thankless job. Aiman, who in turn needs a father figure, proves a determined pupil—but this psychological drama takes a turn when Aiman's history is revealed

Iran 2016 87 min.

Fragmented flashbacks and static long takes are used to powerful effect in acclaimed Iranian director Pourya Azarbayjani’s cathartic drama, based on a true story, of a former soldier in the Iran-Iraq War; haunted by his past, he attempts to recover the body of a friend lost in battle.

Baden Baden
Belgium 2016 96 min.

When wandering 20-something Ana returns to her hometown of Strasbourg to find her grandmother ill, she settles down to try to help around the house while rekindling old flames—and lighting new ones. A dreamy portrait of a young woman gaining the courage to navigate adulthood.

Poland 2016 114 min.

In this drama of the psyche that’s based on real-life events, a Polish official seeks the Church’s understanding regarding her acts of torture during Stalin’s war on religion. While waiting for an audience with the cardinal, she has encounters that force her to confront her own desire to be healed.

Boris Without Beatrice
Canada 2016 93 min.

In this modern morality tale from Canadian director Denis Côté, one-percenter Boris Malinovsky can’t fathom why his wife left her government post and retreated into silence—until an oracular stranger arrives, spouting Greek myth and forcing him to examine his own role in her despair.

Death By Death
France 2016 90 min.

Michel is surrounded by neurotic women: his insecure girlfriend and his mother, who is dying and requires his care. Fraught with anxiety, he begins to believe he himself is dying—and his life begins to crumble around him in this absurdist black-and-white dramedy.

Romania 2016 104 min.

A naive city dweller must confront his crime-lord grandfather’s former gang of enforcers when he inherits a remote stretch of land in this tale of societal corruption set against the barren wilds of Romania, which oozes tension in the tradition of No Country for Old Men.

The Eccentrics. On the Sunny Side of the Street
Poland 2015 112 min.

Fabian returns to post-WWII Poland from England with a mission: to bring swing music to the Eastern bloc. He forms a band of eccentrics helmed by Modesta, who becomes his lover. They experience wild success—until Modesta disappears and the regime forces them underground in this charming dramedy.

Germany 2016 101 min.

When Fabian moves to Portugal to patch things up with ex-girlfriend Doro, his jealousy—coupled with crippling anxiety and a fixation on the aftermath of Lisbon’s 1755 earthquake—reaches dangerous proportions in this tense drama.

A Good Wife
Serbia 2016 90 min.

Milena faces devastating choices in this unsettling drama set in Belgrade long after the Balkan War. Not only is her doctor insisting on a mammogram, but she has just come across disturbing footage of her husband’s military past. Is the façade of her comfortable family life about to crumble?

Granny's Dancing on the Table
Sweden 2015 89 min.

Hanna Sköld combines animation and live action to tell the deeply disturbing, fairy tale–like story of young Eini, who lives with her controlling father in the woods—where her only means of escape is concocting a fantasy world in which she tries to make sense of her family’s dark history.

Green Horse Rustlers
Czech Republic 2016 105 min.

Pavel and Ka a are obsessed with illegally mining the semiprecious stone green moldovite in South Bohemia. With all the action of a vintage-era Western (police run-ins, mine collapses, brawls), this Czech drama gives viewers a glimpse into a singular subculture.

Japan 2016 118 min.

Toshio and Akie live a happy, if predictable, family life—until Yasaka arrives, that is. The mysterious stranger from Toshio’s past has just been released from prison, and Toshio offers him work in his small factory. But before long, Yasaka’s own past comes to catastrophic light.

Romania 2016 89 min.

Romanian director Adrian Sitaru unearths such taboo subjects as abortion and incest in this tragicomedy. Retired doctor Victor Anghelescu lives happily with his four grown children—until a polite dinner conversation takes a dark turn toward chaos, leading us to question our own moral boundaries.

The Last Family
Poland 2016 124 min.

Exquisitely shot in two Soviet bloc–style apartment buildings and shot through with flashes of wicked humor, this unsettling biopic explores the art of Polish surrealist Zdzislaw Beksinski as well as his relationship with his anxiety-ridden son. The script was based on the painter’s own recordings.

Lily Lane
Hungary 2016 91 min.

Featuring creepy, often stunning camerawork and startling sound effects, this unsettling Hungarian drama meanders—much like a fairy tale—through a darkling world, as unstable, childlike Rebeka takes her young son Dani on journeys around Budapest telling stories.

The Mad Kings
France 2015 105 min.

A small French village is upended when Jeannot returns home from jail to find the love of his life, Chantal, shacked up with the town butcher. Jealousy fueled by alcohol sets the stage for this updated Greek tragedy, where men act like kings—until their hubris begets their downfall.

My First Highway
Belgium 2016 82 min.

A seaside family vacation provides a deceptively placid setting for this startling drama out of Belgium, in which director Kevin Meul explores the emotional turbulence of youth and the veil that separates thrill from disaster through the consequences of a teenage boy’s fumbling attempts at romance.

New World
Poland 2015 90 min.

Three short dramas examine the struggles of immigrants in Warsaw: Zhanna raises her daughter alone when her husband is imprisoned; Afghani nightclub worker Azzam suffers PTSD; Vera immigrates from Ukraine for a sex change only to learn she is now responsible for raising her child.

Old Stone
China 2016 80 min.

In Johnny Ma’s noir-ish debut feature, taxi driver Lao Shi runs into a motorcyclist, then saves his victim’s life by paying for his admittance to the hospital. The callous response to his compassionate act, even from those closest to him, forces him to consider dire solutions to his growing troubles

One Week and a Day X
Israel 2016 98 min.

Over the course of a day, Eyal ditches work, steals cannabis from a hospice and otherwise seeks solace while his wife Vicky struggles to return to normal in this poignant comedy about a grieving couple emerging from the Jewish period of mourning for their deceased son.

The Ornithologist
Portugal 2016 117 min.

ENDS THURSDAY 7/13/2017.

Radio Dreams
Iran 2016 93 min.

ENDS THURSDAY 7/27/2017 at Sie FilmCenter.

The Salesman
Iran 2016 125 min.

WINNER! Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. LIMITED SCREENINGS ONLY!

Iceland 2015 99 min.

In this quiet coming-of-age tale by Rúnar Rúnarsson, a teenaged boy returns to a bleak, rain-flecked hamlet in remote northwest Iceland, where life revolves around the local fish factory and cheap booze—and where no one understands him except his grandmother and the shy, beautiful, unavailable Lára.

Staying Vertical
France 2016 100 min.

ENDS THURSDAY 3/16/2017.

Greece 2016 104 min.

Kostis, a middle-aged doctor, takes a job on a resort island, where he meets the young, flirty Anna, part of a group of young hedonists. The more she includes him in their fun, the more his grip on selfhood begins to loosen in this Greek portrait of a midlife crisis.

United States of Love
Poland 2016 104 min.

It’s 1990, and Poland is ripe for change. Against that sociopolitical backdrop, this low-key drama places four women yearning for escape and fulfillment. Beauty queen Marzena’s husband works abroad. Renata, a teacher, nears retirement. Agata is a young but unhappy wife.

Russia 2016 83 min.

Natasha, a middle-aged zoo employee bullied by her co-workers, suddenly finds she’s growing a tail. With her new appendage, she meets Pytor, a young radiologist who takes a special interest in her. Will she finally get the exciting life she desires in this fabulistic dramedy?

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