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Films & Schedules - Monday, February 16, 2009

Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 1 PM (B4)


DIRECTOR: Tae-Kyung Kim - South Korea

Although living in extreme poverty in North Korea, Yong-su and his family find contentment and comfort just being together.  When his pregnant wife becomes ill, Yong-su secretly crosses the border to China to find medicine to cure her. There, he's arrested as an illegal worker and events quickly spiral out of his control.  He finds himself a pawn of the "North Korea Liberation Coalition," and is ultimately sent to South Korea.  Meanwhile, his wife's situation turns dire, and his son Jun is taken to a labor camp in Mongolia.  Undeterred by their circumstances, father and son keep faith that they...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 1:30 PM (WH)

Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008

DIRECTOR: Jun Gu - China

This year's Chinese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar--a rare documentary in a category dominated by narrative films--offers a fascinating, human perspective on Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Olympics.  Filmed over the course of five years, Dream Weavers follows five interwoven story lines: the plight of one of the 4,000 families who were relocated to make room for the Olympic Village; the construction of the innovative, welded-steel Bird's Nest stadium; the grueling regime of young female gymnasts; the training of hurdler Liu Xiang; and the training of the Beijing SWAT team.

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 2:30 PM (B1)

Wolf--The Laws of Wilderness

DIRECTOR: Daniel Alfredson - Sweden

A riveting study of man vs. nature and traditional society vs. modern life, Wold boasts a bravura performance from Coen Brothers veteran Peter Stormare (Fargo, The Big Lebowski), stunning panoramic vistas of the Arctic wilderness, and intense courtroom drama. Stormare plays Klemens Klemensten, a native Sami (or Lapplander) in the far north of Sweden who herds reindeer as his father did before him, assisted by his teenage nephew Nejla.  When a wolf attacks the herd, the two track the predator down, and, in a gripping encounter, Nejla kills the wolf with a single ax blow.  But wolves are endangered species...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 3 PM (B2)

Blind Sunflowers

DIRECTOR: José Luis Cuerda - Spain

Filmography: El Bosque Animado (87), La Marrana (92), Butterfly Tongues (99).

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 3:30 PM (B4)


DIRECTOR: Petr Zelenka - Czech Republic

A drama company from Prague arrives in Krakow to present a stage adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" at the city's alternative theater festival. The production is to be staged in an unusual venue: the local steelworks.  During rehearsals, the drama on stage spills over into the lives of the actors.  Dostoyevsky's themes of faith, immortality, and salvation cross borders as the film moves between its alternating perspectives.  Focusing on the trial scenes, this provocative film examines the subject of patricide and the complicity of the three younger Karamozovs and Smerdyakov. Hailed as the Czech film of the year, Karamazovs...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 4:15 PM (WH)

The English Surgeon

DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Smith - Great Britain

London neurosurgeon Henry Marsh spends his vacation time donating his professional skills at a hospital in Kiev, where the patients are desperate for care and the doctors are frustrated with their rudimentary medical equipment.  For Marion, a poor young Ukrainian man diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the arrival of Marsh ay be an answered prayer.  Before Marion's complicated surgery, Marsh makes a poignant journey to seek out the mother of a patient he failed to save several years earlier, in an attempt to let go of the memory that haunts him.  Featuring an original score written by Nick Cave...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 4:15 PM (B3)

Milking the Rhino

DIRECTOR: David E. Simpson - United States

Dispelling the prevailing western myth of Africa as a sort of wilderness theme park populated by people who despoil the land and slaughter endangered species, Milking the Rhino tells the inside story of Africa's environmental revolution and community-based conservation efforts.  Director Simpson follows members of two tribes, the Masai of Kenya and the Himba of Namibia, through fledgling plans to balance their ancient cattle-based economies with new initiatives for a lucrative eco-tourism industry.  The triumphs and the perils of this risky endeavor play out against the backdrop of some of the most sumptuously beautiful footage of Africa ever put on...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 4:45 PM (B1)


DIRECTOR: Lance Daly - Ireland

On Christmas day, Dylan, a sullen, asthmatic 11-year-old boy living in a Dublin slum, flees his father's drunken violence with Kylie, the neglected but determined girl next door.  Hoping to find Dylan's older brother, who ran away from home two years earlier, the two head for downtown Dublin, embarking on an adventure in which they will encounter both wonders and dangers greater than any they've faced before.  Along the way they discover, to their surprise, how deeply they love each other, and how much they love a world both magical and sordid.  Winner, Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 5:30 PM (B2)

Fermat's Room

DIRECTOR: Luis Piedrahita, Rodrigo Sopeña - Spain

Invitations have been sent to four notable Spanish mathematicians to attend a mysterious weekend excursion to a remote location (rowboat-across-the-lake remote).  Code names of famous mathematicians from history are assigned to protect their identities--or for some other sinister purpose?  The host is named Fermat, and the weekend's goal is to solve one of the world's greatest enigmas.  After an elegant dinner, though, the real challenge is presented: the foursome must solve incoming logic puzzles and submit the answers through a handheld PDA, or else… let's just say that not knowing your math might be dangerous to your health.  With their...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 6 PM (WH)

Pressure Cooker

DIRECTOR: Jennifer Grausman, Mark Becker - United States

Fighting to overcome the challenges of broken homes, abusive relationships and financial burdens, three inner-city seniors and Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in Wilma Stephenson, cooking instructor.  A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson is a force to be reckoned with, and her boot camp method of teaching the culinary arts is not for the faint of heart.  Under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school--the cheerleading practices, football games, and school dances---are swept aside as the students prepare for a citywide cooking competition to win scholarships to some of the country's top culinary...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 6:30 PM (B3)

Upstream Battle

DIRECTOR: Ben Kempas - Germany

One of the most infamous environmental battles in the last decade has centered on the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, which runs from Southern Oregon through Norther California to the Pacific.  In 2002, an estimated seventy thousand salmon died from water management decisions that did not favor fish runs.  In Upstream Battle Kempas tells the remarkable story of the battle over the use of the river, in which the stakeholders in this ecosystem--farmers who rely on the water for irrigation; tribes of the Hoopa, Yurok, Karuk and Klamath whose cultures are based on salmon fishing; and commercial fishermen...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 7 PM (WH)

Il Divo

DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino - Italy

Giulio Andreotti, arguably the most famous and notorious Italian politician of the post-war era, was prime minister in his country no less than seven times.  His professional career is a history of contemporary Italian politics, and the allegations repeatedly leveled against him of corruption and Mafia involvement reflect the darkest elements of Italian society from the 1960s through the 1980s.  Sorrentino manages to weave a complicated maze of political conspiracies and skullduggery into an engrossing, stylistically dazzling drama. "To call Il Divio a biopic would be a gross injustice.  It is, indeed, a depiction of the life and times of...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 7 PM (B1)

Worlds Apart

DIRECTOR: Niels Arden Oplev - Denmark

Based on a newspaper story Oplev read about a girl expelled from the Jehovah's Witness Church, Worlds Apart tells the story of Sara, a pretty, sheltered 17-year-old who goes from door to door with her community members to preach about judgment day and eternal salvation.  But when Sara meets and falls in love with the worldly Teis--not a Jehovah's Witness--she is confronted with the most difficult choice of her life.  Torn between her conscience, faith and passion, she is forced to choose between her own desires and those of her family.  As Sara, Rosalinde Mynster gives a magical, sensitive portrayal...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 7:15 PM (B4)

Love of Siam

DIRECTOR: Chookiat Sakveerakul - Thailand

Love of Siam is part domestic drama and part a sensitive and honest exploration of teenage sexuality.  Childhood friends Mew and Tong are living peacefully with their families in Bangkok when their lives are disrupted by the mysterious disappearance of Tong's older sister.  Tong's shattered family moves away, separating the boys for years, until they encounter each other again in their late teens. Mew is now the leader of an aspiring boy band whose managing assistant bears a striking resemblance to the lost sister.  As they reestablish family and social connections, lingering feelings from their youth become an emotional attachment...

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Mon, Feb 16, 2009
at 7:45 PM (B2)


DIRECTOR: Maris Martinsons - Lithuania

Inspired by Six Degrees of Separation and a  line from Dostoyevsky about "the tears of that one tortured child," Loss tells of a tangled web of lineage, adoption and deception.  This brooding drama delves into the harsh lives of six people whose destinies are intertwined after a tragic accident more than two decades before.  The story unfolds as a priest in Ireland meets a woman, Valda, from his native Lithuania, and dark secrets from his past emerge.  Valda herself is locked in a desperate struggle to honor a promise she made to her son: to return to him.  "Gints Berzins'...

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