The Gene Siskel Film Center will present the 22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival from March 8 through April 4, with 22 films directed or co-directed by women (more than one-third of the films screened). The festival will present 60 premieres from 28 European Union nations, making it the largest EU cinema showcase in North America. Support female filmmakers by attending films like Arantxa Echevarria Carmen & Lola (Spain), Peter Lataster and Petra Lataster-Czisch You Are My Friend (Netherlands) and Liina Trishkina Take it Or Leave It (Estonia). See the full list HERE.
Carmen & Lola
Director Arantxa Echevarria, Spain
In a traditional Gypsy community in Madrid, where a girl’s place is to marry young and have babies, two girls develop a forbidden romance. Carmen (Rosy Rodríguez) is engaged to Lola’s (Zaira Romero) cousin. When the attraction goes too far, there are consequences. You’ll be glued to the screen as the film brings forth topics of not only sexuality but gender roles and religion.
The film shows that following your heart is more than a romantic idea, but a harsh reality that may or may not be worth it. You will feel like a fly on the wall, looking into people’s lives instead of being a viewer looking at the screen. (SAT: 5/5).
Buy tickets to screenings on Sunday, March 10 @ 5:30 p.m. Or Thursday, March 14 @ 8:15 p.m.
You Are My Friend
Director Petra Lataster-Czich, Netherlands
This documentary is the sequel to Miss Kiet’s Children, returning to an elementary classroom of immigrants. The film centers on a Macedonian boy, Branche, who struggles immensely with adjusting to a new country and language. While it is gut-wrenching to see an unhappy child beg his father not to leave him as he sobs, it is interesting to see his progression in school. This film is focused mostly on the children, with very limited adult participation.
The film is inspiring in the sense that the teacher promotes unity, and instills in them that while there are differences, everyone has t get along. (SAT: 4/5).
Buy tickets to screenings on Friday, March 15 @ 4:15 p.m. or Wednesday, March 20 @ 6 p.m.
Take It or Leave It
Director Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, Estonia
Erik (Reimo Sagor) struggles with accidental fatherhood when his ex-girlfriend Moonika ((Liis Lass) rejects their newborn daughter. Lass is convincing in the role of a spiteful mother who abandons her child, only to return years later to disturb their bond. While viewers can appreciate the relationship between Erik and his daughter, the ending leaves much to be desired. (SAT: 3.5/5)
Buy tickets to screenings on Friday, March 8 @ 4 p.m. or Thursday, March 14 @ 6:15 p.m.
More about the Chicago European Union Film Festival…
* * *
All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.
Tickets to each screening--unless stated otherwise—are $11/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/tickets or through the individual films’ weblinks on www.siskelfilmcenter.org. There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 8:30 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm, Sunday.
© Stephanie A. Taylor (3/8/19) FF2 Media
Featured photo: Carmen & Lola; 2018, ARANTXA ECHEVARRIA, SPAIN, 103 MIN.
Photos: Gene Siskel Film Center