Cinema/Chicago Announces 2022 Summer Screening Series: Adaptation
World Cinema Comes to Chicago in Annual Free Screenings Program May 24 - September 21, 2022
CHICAGO, Illinois – Cinema/Chicago, presenter of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced the full lineup of films showcased in the 18th Summer Screenings series, a free 18-week international film series. Developed through a one-of-a-kind collaboration with 20 partner organizations including consulates, cultural organizations, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), each week casts a spotlight on a different national cinema, with discussions following select screenings. The program is free and open to the public, with films presented at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays May 24 - June 28, 2022 at the Chicago History Museum and Wednesdays July 6 - September 21, 2022 at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Breathing new life into stories translated to the screen, the theme of this year’s selections is Adaptation. Since the invention of cinema, movies have drawn inspiration from art forms of all kinds. Whether faithful renderings of popular novels or radical re-imaginings of historical events, film can create vast, visual worlds while telling the stories that matter to us most. From the mysterious return of a long-lost daughter to the inhabitants of a pollution-filled city dreaming of a starry sky to a successful actor on the verge of a breakdown, this year’s selections adapt novels, children’s books, short stories, and real-life events.
“We’re excited to see our city reopening with new arts and culture experiences and the return of our beloved summertime traditions for Chicagoans and visitors alike — including the 2022 Summer Screenings program,” said DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey. “Revitalizing our city’s arts and culture scene is essential to our post-pandemic recovery, and the arts must be at the center of bringing Chicago back, downtown and in all 77 neighborhoods.”
The full schedule of 2022 Summer Screenings programs is as follows, with each presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public; tickets can be reserved in advance beginning two weeks before each screening at www.chicagofilmfestival.com/summerscreenings, or can be claimed in-person (subject to availability).
May 24 WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT (Germany) Chicago History Museum
May 31 A GIRL RETURNED (Italy) Chicago History Museum
June 7 PERDITA (Mexico) Chicago History Museum
June 14 THE GOOD BOSS (Spain) Chicago History Museum
June 21 TOXIKOMA (Hungary) Chicago History Museum
June 28 PEACE BY CHOCOLATE (Canada) Chicago History Museum
July 6 SHELTER (Ireland) Chicago Cultural Center
July 13 SMALL COUNTRY: AN AFRICAN CHILDHOOD (France) Chicago Cultural Center
July 20 MEMORIES OF MY FATHER (Colombia) Chicago Cultural Center
July 27 THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON (Australia) Chicago Cultural Center
August 3 MARIAN ANDERSON: THE WHOLE WORLD IN HER HANDS (U.S.) Chicago Cultural Center
August 10 THE BOOK OF FISH (South Korea) Chicago Cultural Center
August 17 POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN (Japan) Chicago Cultural Center
August 24 LET IT BE MORNING (Israel) Chicago Cultural Center
August 31 I DON’T WANNA DANCE (The Netherlands) Chicago Cultural Center
September 7 CHEN UEN (Taiwan) Chicago Cultural Center
September 14 ear for eye (U.K.) Chicago Cultural Center
September 21 MY FATHER MARIANNE (Sweden) Chicago Cultural Center
Film synopses, in alphabetical order:
THE BOOK OF FISH (Jasan-eobo) Dir. Joon-ik Lee South Korea, 126min 2021 1801. When a new king ascends the throne, scholar Jeong Yak-Jeon is exiled to a remote island for incorporating Christianity into his Confucian teachings. There, he becomes fascinated with the awesome variety of sea creatures caught by the island’s fishermen and, with one local’s help, authors an encyclopedia of the underwater world. Based on Jeong ’s life and Book of Fish, the film is a sweeping account of 19th century Korea and a tender portrait of an unlikely friendship. Korean with subtitles.
CHEN UEN Dir. Wan-Jo Wang Taiwan, 130min 2020 One of the most celebrated and influential comic book artists in all of Asia, Chen Uen drew influence from Chinese ink and western-style painting, wuxia films, and the world around him. He crafted a signature style, one that he adapted across art forms including video games and puppet shows. A series of emotional interviews are combined with a stunning visual showcase of his work to present an intimate portrait of a monumental talent, his evolution across different media, and his enduring legacy. Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles.
ear for eye Dir. debbie tucker green UK, 85min 2021 Writer-director debbie tucker green daringly adapts her acclaimed stage work for the screen, a layered collection of scenes that give voice to the joys, struggles, triumphs, and defeats of the ongoing struggle for racial equality. Cinematic flourishes, from invigorating closeups and dynamic camera movement to riveting light design, give visual depth to the arresting dialogue. A blistering examination of racial injustice in the U.S. and U.K., ear for eye is a breathtaking work of anger, joy, and contemplation.
A GIRL RETURNED (L’Arminuta) Dir. Giuseppe Bonito Italy, 110min 2021 Summer, 1975. A 13-year-old girl mysteriously appears at a farmstead and moves in with the family. Who is she? What is she doing there? Based on a 2017 bestseller, A Girl Returned tells the story of a girl who unwillingly returns to the biological family she never knew and must reckon with her new home and sense of abandonment. Rendered with stunning emotional clarity, the film is a thoughtful examination of childhood, motherhood, and the ties that bind. Italian with subtitles.
THE GOOD BOSS (El buen patrón) Dir. Fernando León de Aranoa Spain, 120min 2021 In this scorching satire, seemingly benevolent boss Blanco’s (Javier Bardem) industrial scales factory is up for a prestigious award, with one week until the upcoming evaluation. Just as he is feeling assured they will measure up, a disgruntled ex-employee demands his job back and throws everything out of balance. Described by the director as the “reverse angle shot” of his 2002 Mondays in the Sun, this comedy slyly observes the precarious state of the modern workplace. Spanish with subtitles.
I DON’T WANNA DANCE Dir. Flynn von Kleist The Netherlands, 89min 2021 Teenager Joey and his little brother are delighted to be placed back with their mother Daphne after two years apart. All seems to be going well. Daphne has a job and Joey finds his niche with a dance group. But when Daphne sinks back into old, destructive patterns, Joey does whatever it takes to keep social services away. How long can he keep it up and at what cost? Scriptwriter Jaroen Scholten van Aschat collaborates with lead actor Yfendo van Praag to create a personal, earnest portrait of a boy fighting to reach adulthood. Dutch with subtitles.
THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON Dir. Leah Purcell Australia, 108min 2021 On a small homestead deep in Australia's Snowy Mountains, Molly Johnson is dead set on survival. With her husband away on a drove, the pregnant matriarch must fend for her family against the wild, threatening countryside. When her secret past gets the town talking, she is pushed to extremes. This blistering neo-western, reimagined from director Lea Purcell's acclaimed play (itself an adaptation of Henry Lawson's classic short story), is a riveting examination of race, family, and identity.
LET IT BE MORNING (Vayehi Boker) Dir. Eran Kolirin Israel, 101 min 2021 When Sami returns with his wife and son to his Arabic village for his brother’s wedding, he plans a quick return to Jerusalem, where his business and mistress await. Just as he is leaving, the village is unexpectedly put under lockdown by Israeli soldiers, and Sami finds himself caught in an uneasy web of personal and political intrigues. This adaptation of Sayed Kashua’s 2006 novel mixes wry comedy with a touch of the absurd to create a perceptive, winsome satire. Arabic, Hebrew with subtitles.
MARIAN ANDERSON: THE WHOLE WORLD IN HER HANDS Dir. Rita Coburn U.S., 113min 2022 Best known for her 1939 concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, internationally celebrated singer Marion Anderson’s career was propelled by her immense talent, but also steered by limits imposed by racism and segregation. Director Rita Coburn adapts archival recordings of interviews and performances alongside intimate correspondence, brought to life by actors Regina Taylor and Harry Lennix, to center Anderson’s own voice. Balancing public triumphs with personal struggles, this powerful documentary tells the story of a pioneering artist and civil rights activist in her own words.
MEMORIES OF MY FATHER (El olvido que seremos) Dir. Fernando Trueba Colombia, 136min. 2020 Beloved by his boisterous family and the Medellín communities he cared for, Doctor Héctor Abad Gomez was a prominent physician, tireless public health activist, and cherished father. This adaptation of the tender memoir by son and celebrated author Héctor Abad Faciolince moves between sun-dappled carefree days in the 70s and a starker, foreboding late 80s defined by violent forces and ideological extremes to chronicle the life and times of Dr. Abad, a courageous and resolute man of principle. Spanish with subtitles.
MY FATHER MARIANNE (Min pappa Marianne) Dir. Mårten Klingberg Sweden, 110min 2020 Newly single, twentysomething aspiring journalist Hanna leaves Stockholm to move back in with her parents in her small hometown. Already feeling adrift, her world is turned upside-down when her father, a respected priest, informs his family that he wants to come out as Marianne. How can Hanna, who hardly believes in herself, accept her father for who she really is? Charming and heartbreaking, the film is inspired by award-winning writer Ester Roxberg’s 2014 autobiographical novel. Swedish with subtitles.
PEACE BY CHOCOLATE Dir. Jonathan Keijser
Canada, 96 min 2021 When their factory is bombed, a Syrian family flees Damascus and spends three years living as refugees. Eventually arriving in snow-covered rural Nova Scotia, the family must adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. With the help of some friendly locals (and to the chagrin of others), the family begins to rebuild their chocolate business and their lives. This heartwarming story of perseverance and human connection in the face of insurmountable odds is based on Tareq Hadhad’s real-life story. English, Arabic with subtitles.
PERDITA Dir. Jorge Michel Grau Mexico, 106 min 2019 In this taut thriller, ambitious orchestra conductor Eric lands in Mexico City with his wife Carolina after accepting a prestigious position with the Philharmonic. It feels like they are living their dream, so Carolina’s sudden departure leaves him angry and confused. Finding refuge in the arms of sympathetic bartender Fabiana, Eric plunges into a steamy affair. But then the girlfriend starts asking questions about the wife’s disappearance. A remake of the Colombian hit The Hidden Face. Spanish with subtitles.
POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN (Entotsu machi no Puperu) Dir. Hirota Yûsuke Japan, 100min 2020 Poupelle of Chimney Town is the breathtaking story of young Lubicchi and a man made of garbage, Poupelle. Living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, Lubicchi yearns to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. Adapted from the bestselling picture book, Poupelle of Chimney Town is filled with inspiring performances and splendid music and sound effects and produced at Tokyo’s famed STUDIO4ºC. Japanese with subtitles.
SHELTER (Foscadh) Dir. Seán Breathnach Ireland, 93min 2021 Stricken with grief after his parents’ death, the reclusive, extremely shy 28-year-old John Cunliffe is attacked on the street. As he recovers in the hospital, both physically and mentally, he begins to fall for his nurse Siobhán. Upon his release from the ward, he begins to abandon his hermit-like ways and open his heart to the world. Featuring stunning, mist-covered landscapes and a magnetic lead performance, this adaptation of Donal Ryan’s The Thing about December is an emotional character study of one man's journey to embrace life. Irish with subtitles.
SMALL COUNTRY: AN AFRICAN CHILDHOOD (Petit Pays) Dirs. Eric Barbier France, 111 min 2020 The son of a French father and Rwandan mother, 10 year-old Gabriel spends idyllic days studying at school and playing with friends in a well-sheltered Burundian community. That is, until the ethnic genocide in neighboring Rwanda spills into his world, threatening families and taking lives. From the semi-autobiographical novel of singer and writer Gaël Faye comes this perceptive and affecting tale of a childhood interrupted and paradise lost. French, Kirundi, Swahili with subtitles.
TOXIKOMA Dir. Gábor Herendi Hungary, 124min 2021 Captivating performances abound in this gripping drama detailing Hungarian actor and star personality Győző Szabó’s epic clash with hard-nosed psychiatrist Dr. Imre Csemus on his journey to overcome addiction and reclaim his life. Just as Győző’s career is soaring, his personal life plummets precipitously – and only one thing, or one person, can save him. But in his dogmatic effort to save his narcissistic patient, will the doctor’s own ego take him down as well? Adapted from the actor’s memoir. Hungarian with subtitles.
WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT (Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl) Dir. Caroline Link Germany, 119 min 2019 In this sensitive adaptation of Judith Kerr’s internationally acclaimed autobiographical classic, nine-year-old Anna finds the world shift dramatically around her in 1933 Berlin. When her father, a high-profile Jewish theater critic, abruptly flees to Zurich to escape the Nazis, the family scrambles to follow, leaving everything and everyone behind—from a beloved nanny and friends to cherished toys. A new life filled with challenges and privations, met with persistence and triumphs, lies ahead. German, Swiss German, French, English with subtitles.