The 2021 AFI European Union Film Showcase, taking place December 1–19 at the American Film Institute’s historic theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland will highlight 53 films representing all 27 EU member states, including 11 of the top contenders for this year’s Academy Award® for Best International Feature Film.
This year’s AFI European Union Film Showcase opens on December 1 with FLEE (Denmark), a visually stunning animated documentary that tells the story of a young man who fled Taliban-ruled Afghanistan for Denmark. The film was a Grand Jury Prize Winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is Denmark’s official Oscar®submission for Best International Feature Film.
The Closing Night selection is Pedro Almodóvar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS [MADRES PARALELAS] (Spain). Academy Award® winner Penélope Cruz (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, VOLVER) picked up the Best Actress Award at the 2021 Venice Film Festival for this contemporary melodrama that explores deep-rooted trauma in Spanish history and even motherhood itself. The film most recently screened as part of AFI FEST in Los Angeles.
The Centerpiece selection is HAPPENING (2021) [L’ÉVÉNEMENT] (France). Winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s (LOSING IT) powerful and timely 1960s-set drama follows a young college student who is forced to seek out an illegal abortion.
The lineup features several high-profile films directed by women, including Kristina Lindström (along with Kristian Petri), who will present their Sundance-debuted documentary THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD (Sweden) in person on December 7; the U.S. premiere of Kate Dolan’s eerie folk horror film YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER (Ireland); MARGRETE: QUEEN OF THE NORTH [MARGRETE DEN FØRSTE] (Denmark), Charlotte Sieling’s GAME OF THRONES-style tale of royal intrigue and betrayal, the first-ever biopic about Denmark’s Queen Margrete I; Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s timeless tale of youthful rebellion MURINA (Croatia); the U.S. premiere of Aurélia Georges’ SECRET NAME [LA PLACE D’UNE AUTRE] (France), starring Lyna Khoudri (THE FRENCH DISPATCH) as a former prostitute-turned-frontline nurse who switches identities with a war casualty; the Cannes-premiered LIBERTAD (2021) (Spain), the sensitive feature debut from Spanish writer/director Clara Roquet; Aga Woszczyńska’s suspenseful marital thriller SILENT LAND [CICHA ZIEMIA] (Poland); and the North American premiere of WOMEN DO CRY [Жените наистина плачат] (Bulgaria), the latest film from directing duo Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva, starring Academy Award® nominee Maria Bakalova (BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM).
Additional highlights include several eagerly anticipated new works from some of Europe’s best-known filmmakers and rising talents, including PETITE MAMAN (2021) (France), Céline Sciamma’s tender follow-up to Cannes award-winner PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE; BENEDETTA (France); Paul Verhoeven’s (BASIC INSTINCT, ELLE, TOTAL RECALL) examination of the real-life Catholic mystic and lesbian nun Benedetta Carlini; the North American premiere of Kornél Mundruczó’s (PIECES OF A WOMAN, WHITE GOD) time-hopping Holocaust triptych EVOLUTION (2021) (Hungary); Radu Jude’s (AFERIM) Golden Bear-winning socio-political satire BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN [BABARDEALĂ CU BUCLUC SAU PORNO BALAMUC] (Romania); PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT [LES OLYMPIADES, PARIS 13E] (France), by Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard (DHEEPAN, A PROPHET); and Christian Schochow’s (THE GERMAN LESSON, JE SUIS KARL) period espionage thriller MUNICH — THE EDGE OF WAR (Germany), starring Jeremy Irons and George MacKay.
Among the 11 official Best International Feature Film Oscar® submissions screening this year are THE HAND OF GOD [È STATA LA MANO DI DIO] (Italy), Paolo Sorrentino’s (THE GREAT BEAUTY, THE YOUNG POPE) surreal semi-autobiographical stunner; Fernando Léon de Aranoa’s workplace satire THE GOOD BOSS [EL BUEN PATRÓN] (Spain), starring Javier Bardem; Juho Kuosmanen’s (THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MAKI) delightfully unconventional road trip romance COMPARTMENT NO. 6 [HYTTI NRO 6] (Finland); GREAT FREEDOM [GROSSE FREIHEIT] (Austria), a Cannes prize-winning drama about a man (Franz Rogowski) constantly in and out of prison due to a law criminalizing homosexuality; LUZZU (Malta), a searing drama following a decommissioned fisherman who enters the black market in order to support his family; and ZÁTOPEK (Czech Republic), a rousing, crowd-pleasing biopic about legendary Czech Olympic runner Emil Zátopek.
Complete list of 2021 Oscar® submissions for Best International Feature Film:
BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN [BABARDEALĂ CU BUCLUC SAU PORNO BALAMUC] (DIR Radu Jude, Romania)
COMPARTMENT NO. 6 [HYTTI NRO 6] (DIR Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)
FLEE (2021) (DIR Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark)
GREAT FREEDOM [GROSSE FREIHEIT] (DIR Sebastian Meise, Austria)
LEAVE NO TRACES [ŻEBY NIE BYŁO ŚLADÓW] (DIR Jan P. Matuszyński, Poland)
LUZZU (DIR Alex Camilleri, Malta)
SANREMO (DIR Miroslav Mandić, Slovenia)
THE GOOD BOSS [EL BUEN PATRÓN] (DIR Fernando Léon de Aranoa, Spain)
THE HAND OF GOD [È STATA LA MANO DI DIO] (DIR Paolo Sorrentino, Italy)
ON THE WATER [VEE PEAL] (DIR Peeter Simm, Estonia)
ZÁTOPEK (DIR David Ondříček, Czech Republic)
2021 AFI EUROPEAN UNION FILM SHOWCASE LINEUP
2021 Oscar® Selection, Austria
GREAT FREEDOM [GROSSE FREIHEIT]
Thurs, Dec. 2, 1:45 p.m.; Sat, Dec. 4, 1:45 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 8, 9:45 p.m.
In this Cannes prizewinning drama set in post-World War II Germany, Franz Rogowski stars as Hans Hoffmann, a man constantly in and out of prison due to a law criminalizing homosexuality. Unfolding across three intertwining timelines, the film tracks Hans’ decades-spanning bond with Viktor, a man serving a life sentence for murder. DIR Sebastian Meise. Austria/Germany, 2021, 116 min. In English and German with English subtitles.
Thu, Dec. 2, 9:50 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 6, 9:20 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 7, 2:20 p.m.
One night, 14-year-old drug dealer Johnny crosses paths with Antony, a famous actor. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and make tenuous plans for a better future, but old habits die hard. Actor Jeroen Perceval (THE ARDENNES, BULLHEAD) makes his feature filmmaking debut with this brutal portrayal of addiction and family. DIR Jeroen Perceval. Belgium, 2021, 104 min. In Dutch with English subtitles.
THE RESTLESS [LES INTRANQUILLES]
Fri, Dec. 10, 1:20 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 13, 6:45 p.m.
Damien is a successful painter in the south of France struggling with a bipolar diagnosis. His wife Leïla is tirelessly by his side, devoted to both her husband and their young son. Belgian filmmaker Joachim Lafosse took inspiration from his own father’s experiences with bipolar disorder for this moving portrait of familial love. DIR Joachim Lafosse. Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2021, 117 min. In French with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
WOMEN DO CRY [Жените наистина плачат]
Sat, Dec. 11, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Dec. 13, 2:20 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 4:30 p.m.
Academy Award® nominee Maria Bakalova (BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM) stars as a young woman with HIV in this feminist critique of modern Bulgarian society. Debuting at the Cannes Film Festival, this explosive drama from acclaimed directing duo Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova took its inspiration from Kazakova’s own family of strong women. DIR Vesela Kazakova, Mina Mileva. Bulgaria/France, 2021, 107 min. In Bulgarian with English subtitles.
Sat, Dec. 11, 4:00 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 9:20
This timeless tale of youthful rebellion, in the guise of neo-noir patriarchal critique, unfolds on an island off the Croatian coast. Julija is a strong-willed teen wondering what else the world has to offer. A visit from her father’s wealthy businessman friend might offer the promise of a new beginning, or an invitation to chaos. DIR Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic. Croatia/Brazil/U.S./Slovenia, 2021, 92 min. In English, Croatian and Spanish with English subtitles.
THE MAN WITH THE ANSWERS
Mon, Dec. 13, 9:20 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 9:05 p.m.
Enigmatic ex-diving champion Victor leaves his home in Greece to visit his estranged mother in Germany. On a ferry to Italy, he meets Matthias, an uninhibited German who talks his way into tagging along for the ride. Stelios Kammitsis’ latest is both a warm-hearted road trip through Europe and a tender queer romance. DIR Stelios Kammitsis. Cyprus/Greece/Italy, 2021, 81 min. In English, Greek, German and Italian with English subtitles.
SHADOW COUNTRY [KRAJINA VE STÍNU]
Sun, Dec. 12, 1:10 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.
Meticulously researched, Bohdan Sláma’s (THE COUNTRY TEACHER) black-and-white epic is based on real events that occurred in the Sudetenland region in the 1930s and ’40s, including the Austrian Anschluss and Nazi occupation, the forced expulsion of the Jewish community and post-war reprisals by Czechs against ethnic Germans. DIR Bohdan Sláma. Czech Republic/Slovak Republic, 2020, 135 min. In Czech with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Czech Republic
Sat, Dec. 18, 2:00 p.m.
In 1968, disgraced Australian Olympian Ron Clarke escaped to Prague to seek guidance from his eccentric mentor Emil Zátopek. As Zátopek imparts his wisdom, the story flashes back to his humble beginnings and his journey to becoming the greatest Czech athlete of all time. David Ondříček’s captivating biopic is a rousing winner. DIR David Ondříček. Czech Republic/Slovak Republic/Germany/Finland, 2021, 131 min. In English and Czech with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Denmark
Wed, Dec. 1, 7:15 p.m.; also screens Thurs, Dec. 2 at 5:00 p.m.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen uses a visually dazzling range of animation styles to breathe life into the true story of his friend Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), a young man who fled Taliban-ruled Afghanistan as a child refugee, went into hiding in Russia and ultimately came of age as a young gay man in Denmark, his adopted homeland. DIR Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway, 2021, 90 min. In English, Danish, Russian, Dari and Swedish with English subtitles.
MARGRETE: QUEEN OF THE NORTH [MARGRETE DEN FØRSTE]
Sun, Dec. 12, 6:15 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 6:45 p.m.
Charlotte Sieling directs a GAME OF THRONES-level tale of royal intrigue and betrayal in this first-ever biopic about Denmark’s Queen Margrete I. In 1402, Margrete is busy ruling through her adopted son Erik. When a mysterious man comes forward claiming to be her biological son, she faces an impossible dilemma. DIR Charlotte Sieling. Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Poland/Czech Republic/Iceland, 2021, 120 min. In English, Danish, German, Swedish, Norwegian and French with English subtitles.
THE PACT (2021) [PAGTEN]
Thurs, Dec. 2, 4:15 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m.; Mon, Dec. 6, 2:00 p.m.
It’s 1948 and 63-year-old “Out of Africa” author Karen Blixen (pen name: Isak Dinesen) is a lonely literary sensation — until she meets talented 30-year-old poet Thorkild Bjørnvig. She promises him stardom if he will obey her unconditionally. From director Bille August (PELLE THE CONQUEROR) comes this sterling adaptation of Bjørnvig’s bestselling memoir. DIR Bille August. Denmark, 2021, 115 min. In Danish with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Estonia
ON THE WATER [VEE PEAL]
Sat, Dec. 4, 11:30 a.m.; Tue, Dec. 7, 4:45 p.m.
1982, Soviet Estonia. Bullied at school and pestered by his cantankerous grandfather, awkward preteen Andres seeks refuge on frozen Lake Tamula, where he escapes the doldrums by ice fishing with his friends. Estonian filmmaker Peeter Simm’s crowd-pleasing dramedy is based on the bestselling novel by Olavi Ruitlane. DIR Peeter Simm. Estonia, 2020, 95 min. In Estonian with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Finland
COMPARTMENT NO. 6 [HYTTI NRO 6]
Sun, Dec. 5, 7:00 p.m.
Juho Kuosmanen’s delightfully unconventional road trip romance follows two strangers who form a surprising bond while travelling by train across Russia — Laura, a grad student on her way to see Murmansk’s famous rock paintings, and Ljoha, a keen vodka-drinker with a foul mouth, headed to work at a large mine in the region. DIR Juho Kuosmanen. Finland/Russia/Estonia/Germany, 2021, 107 min. In Finnish and Russian with English subtitles.
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS [OUISTREHAM]
Sun, Dec. 5, 2:00 p.m.; Thu, Dec. 9, 4:30 p.m.
Juliette Binoche stars as a Parisian journalist who goes undercover as a broke divorcée in this nuanced portrait of the gig economy. She eventually lands a job as a cleaner on the cross-Channel ferry, where she bonds with her coworkers, a group of tough, world-weary women. But will they discover the truth about their new friend? DIR Emmanuel Carrère. France, 2021, 106 min. In French with English subtitles.
Thurs, Dec. 2, 7:00 p.m.
Provocateur Paul Verhoeven returns with a true passion project, an examination of the real-life Catholic mystic and lesbian nun Benedetta Carlini, who rose to become abbess of her convent in the early 17th century before being removed by the papacy. ELLE’s Virginie Efira stars as Benedetta, with Charlotte Rampling as her rivalrous superior. DIR Paul Verhoeven. France/Belgium/Netherlands, 2021, 131 min. In French with English subtitles.
DELICIOUS (2021) [DÉLICIEUX]
Sun, Dec. 12, 4:00 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 7:00 p.m.
France, 1789: fired from his cushy job for daring to serve nouvelle cuisine, renowned chef Manceron meets a mysterious woman keen to be his apprentice. The two cook up a revolutionary idea: serving meals à la carte at Manceron’s family-run inn, inventing the concept of the restaurant, in Éric Besnard’s crowd-pleasing historical romp. DIR/SCR Éric Besnard. France, 2021, 112 min. In French with English subtitles.
HAPPENING (2021) [L’ÉVÉNEMENT]
Fri, Dec. 10, 7:00 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s powerful, ’60s-set drama is based on the novel by Annie Ernaux, itself drawn from the author’s own experiences as a college student who was forced to seek out an illegal abortion when legal avenues to terminate her pregnancy were nonexistent. DIR Audrey Diwan. France, 2021, 100 min. In French with English subtitles.
LOVE SONGS FOR TOUGH GUYS [CETTE MUSIQUE NE JOUE POUR PERSONNE]
Sat, Dec. 11, 9:30 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 16, 7:00 p.m.
Samuel Benchetrit’s latest quirky comedy focuses on a group of middle-aged gangsters who’ve long run the smuggling operations in their port city, but who now may be losing a step to their younger, wilder rivals. Featuring François Damiens, Ramzy Bedia, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Bouli Lanners, Joey Starr, Gustave Kervern and Vanessa Paradis. DIR Samuel Benchetrit. France/Belgium, 2021, 107 min. In French with English subtitles.
MAGNETIC BEATS [LES MAGNÉTIQUES]
Sat, Dec. 18, 9:20 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 19, 9:00 p.m.
Vincent Maël Cardona crafts a pulsating tale of pirate radio, New Wave music, young love, sibling rivalry and political unrest set in Brittany in the early ’80s. When introverted Philippe is conscripted and sent to West Berlin, his life is turned upside down — can he move out of his charismatic brother’s shadow and into his own light? DIR Vincent Maël Cardona. France/Germany, 2021, 98 min. In English, French and German with English subtitles.
PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT [LES OLYMPIADES, PARIS 13E]
Fri, Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m.; Thu, Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m.
Jacques Audiard’s latest film is a fresh, sexy and very French look at the intertwined lives of four millennials and a provocative examination of modern love, based on graphic novels by Adrian Tomine. Émilie is a free-spirited slacker who starts hooking up with her new roommate Camille. Nora’s life unravels after her resemblance to cam girl Amber Sweet is discovered by her classmates. DIR Jacques Audiard. France, 2021, 104 min. In French and Mandarin with English subtitles.
PETITE MAMAN (2021)
Sun, Dec. 12, 1:20 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 4:40 p.m.
Taken to her mother’s childhood home following the death of her grandmother, young Nelly explores the surrounding woods, where she meets a girl to whom she bears a striking resemblance. Their tender friendship forms the heart of Céline Sciamma’s poetic follow-up to her acclaimed 2019 drama PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE. DIR Céline Sciamma. France, 2021, 72 min. In French with English subtitles.
SECRET NAME [LA PLACE D’UNE AUTRE]
Sat, Dec. 11, 1:20 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 7:00 p.m.
Themes of class anxiety, moral panic and mistaken identity from Wilkie Collins’ 1873 source novel are transposed to a World War I setting by filmmaker Aurélia Georges, adding new resonance to the story of Nélie Laborde’s (Lyna Khoudri, THE FRENCH DISPATCH) journey from prostitute to frontline nurse to beloved ward of a wealthy widow. DIR/SCR Aurélia Georges. France, 2021, 112 min. In French with English subtitles.
THE VELVET QUEEN [LA PANTHÈRE DES NEIGES]
Fri, Dec. 10, 4:45 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 4:45 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 16, 6:45 p.m.
Marie Amiguet makes an impressive feature documentary debut, embedding herself on a trek across Tibet as wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and writer/adventurer Sylvain Tesson go in search of the elusive snow leopard. The result is visually stunning and thought-provoking, with an evocative score by Warren Ellis featuring vocals by Nick Cave. DIR Marie Amiguet, Vincent Munier. France, 2021, 94 min. In French with English subtitles.
FABIAN: GOING TO THE DOGS [FABIAN ODER DER GANG VOR DIE HUNDE]
Fri, Dec. 17, 1:00 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 19, 1:00 p.m.
German auteur Dominik Graf adapts this 1931 novel by Erich Kästner into a freewheeling, stylistically dynamic film. Literary-minded World War I veteran Jakob slums it as an advertising copywriter until he meets fellow aesthete Cornelia on the cabaret scene. But Cornelia’s acting career, and some attendant compromises, spell doom for the young couple. DIR Dominik Graf. Germany, 2021, 176 min. In German with English subtitles.
MUNICH – THE EDGE OF WAR
Sat, Dec. 4, 4:15; Wed, Dec. 8, 7:00 p.m.
Hugh Legat (George MacKay) is a civil servant working under British PM Neville Chamberlain (Jeremy Irons), who’s anxious to stop Hitler from invading Czechoslovakia. Legat takes on a dangerous mission to intercept documents that could prevent the impending war. Christian Schwochow directs this exhilarating spy thriller with nail-biting panache. DIR Christian Schwochow. Germany/UK, 2021, 123 min. In English and German with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
NEXT DOOR (2021) [NEBENAN]
Fri, Dec. 17, 9:45 p.m.; Sat, Dec. 18, 4:45 p.m.
Daniel Brühl stars as a successful actor living in Berlin. On the morning of a flight to audition for a superhero film, he stops into the local pub. There he meets Bruno, his next-door neighbor who’s been waiting for this very moment to exact his revenge. Brühl makes his directorial debut with this wicked, socially conscious and self-deprecating comedy. DIR Daniel Brühl. Germany, 2021, 92 min. In English, Spanish and German with English subtitles.
WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY [რას ვხედავთ, როდესაც ცას ვუყურებთ?] [RAS VKHEDAVT, RODESAC CAS VUKUREBT?]
Fri, Dec. 3, 1:30 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 5, 5:00 p.m.
After a pair of chance encounters, pharmacist Lisa and soccer player Giorgi are smitten. They arrange a date, but both awaken the day of their rendezvous under the curse of the “evil eye” — magically transformed into different people. Alexandre Koberidze crafts a modern-day fairytale unlike any other, packed with wit and charm. DIR Alexandre Koberidze. Germany/Georgia, 2021, 150 min. In Georgian with English subtitles.
MOON, 66 QUESTIONS [ΣΕΛΗΝΗ, 66 ΕΡΩΤΗΣΕΙΣ]
Sun, Dec. 5, 9:30 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 7, 9:45 p.m.; Thu, Dec. 9, 2:00 p.m.
After her estranged father is diagnosed with a grave illness, 20-something Artemis (Sofia Kokkali) reluctantly returns to Athens to care for him. This audacious feature debut from filmmaker Jacqueline Lentzou boldly blends a tragic narrative with home movies, diaries, tarot cards and movement to tell a distinct story of familial reconciliation. DIR Jacqueline Lentzou. Greece/France, 2020, 108 min. In Greek with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Sun, Dec. 12, 9:45 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 13, 4:45 p.m.
Filmmaking duo Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber take audiences on an exploration of Jewish identity and generational trauma told over three acts, each unfolding in a single take. Based on an earlier theater piece by the filmmakers, it is surreal and heartfelt, with striking images by Mundruczó and a poignant and personal script from Wéber. DIR Kornél Mundruczó. Hungary/Germany, 2021, 97 min. In Hungarian and German with English subtitles.
FOREST – I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE [RENGETEG – MINDENHOL LÁTLAK]
Mon, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 14, 2:00 p.m.
Emotions run high in seven magnetic shorts from Hungarian auteur Bence Fliegauf, who returns to the fervent terrain of his 2003 breakthrough FOREST. Each miniature finds Fliegauf exposing deep psychic pain, examining fraught relationships with searing dialogue and a handheld camera. Inspired by Cassavetes, these realist dramas are claustrophobic and revelatory. DIR Bence Fliegauf. Hungary, 2021, 112 min. In Hungarian with English subtitles.
NATURAL LIGHT [TERMÉSZETES FÉNY]
Wed, Dec. 1, 9:30 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m.
Dénes Nagy won the Best Director award at this year’s Berlinale for this immersive World War II drama about a Hungarian special unit rooting out partisans in the occupied Soviet Union. When Lieutenant Semetka takes over his unit after their commander is killed, he becomes a morally compromised participant in sinister events. DIR Dénes Nagy. Hungary/Latvia/France/Germany, 2021, 103 min. In Hungarian with English subtitles.
YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER
Sat, Dec. 4, 9:45 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 9, 9:30 p.m.
Irish writer/director Kate Dolan’s feature debut is an eerie folk horror, channeling everything from MIDSOMMAR to CARRIE to THE WICKER MAN. When a troubled single mother disappears after an argument and returns several days later with a noticeable personality change, her daughter can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. DIR Kate Dolan. Ireland, 2021, 93 min. In English.
Fri, Dec. 3, 9:30 p.m.; Tue, Dec. 7, 7:00 p.m.
Acclaimed director Jonas Carpignano returns to Italy’s Calabrian region to tell the story of a teenager, Chiara, who uncovers deadly secrets about her close-knit family — which, it turns out, is intimately connected to the local mafia. Carpignano weaves a gripping drama as Chiara searches for the truth about her mysteriously missing father. DIR Jonas Carpignano. Italy/France, 2021, 121 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Italy
THE HAND OF GOD [È STATA LA MANO DI DIO]
Thurs, Dec. 2, 7:15 p.m.
Hearing that soccer legend Diego Maradona has signed to play for Napoli, gawky teen Fabie and his father (Toni Servillo) are overjoyed. But fate has other plans as cinema, soccer, life and death collide. Paolo Sorrentino directs this surreal, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama, which has drawn comparisons to Fellini’s AMARCORD. DIR/SCR/PROD Paolo Sorrentino. Italy, 2021, 130 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
Sat, Dec. 18, 11:45 a.m.; Sun, Dec. 19, 4:30 p.m.
The solitary life of an Italian shepherd and the subterranean adventures of a team of speleologists intersect in Michelangelo Frammartino’s long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s LE QUATTRO VOLTE. Nearly wordless and shot with a mystical touch, it chronicles the unknown depths of life and nature, detailing in parallel two great voyages to the interior. DIR Michelangelo Frammartino. Italy/France/Germany, 2021, 93 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
MARX CAN WAIT [MARX PUÒ ASPETTARE]
Fri, Dec. 10, 11:15 a.m.; Sun, Dec. 12, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Dec 13, 9:15 p.m.
In this deeply personal documentary, legendary Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio explores the life and suicide of his twin brother Camillo. Incorporating a rich trove of archival footage, excerpts from his own expansive filmography and interviews with family and friends, Bellocchio looks at the complex repercussions of his brother’s death. DIR Marco Bellocchio. Italy, 2021, 96 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
THE YEAR BEFORE THE WAR [GADS PIRMS KARA]
Tue, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 16, 2:00 p.m.
Inspired by silent cinema, this surreal, black-and-white thriller follows a hapless adventurer as he stumbles across 1913 Europe, a continent on the brink of World War I. The Latvian doorman wanders from an experimental Swiss nudist community to imperial Vienna, finding himself embroiled in the revolutionary plans of communists, anarchists and nationalists. DIR Dāvis Sīmanis. Latvia/Lithuania/Czech Republic, 2021, 95 min. In Latvian, German, Russian and French with English subtitles.
RUNNER (2021) [BĖGIKĖ]
Tue, Dec. 14, 9:30 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 9:30 p.m.
After her boyfriend suffers a psychotic break, Marija desperately tracks him across the city in a bid to keep him safe — risking her own health and sanity in the process. RUN LOLA RUN meets UNCUT GEMS in this fast-paced, anxiety-riddled thrill ride, boosted by a glitchy electronic soundtrack and handheld camerawork. DIR Andrius Blazevicius. Lithuania/Czech Republic, 2021, 87 min. In Lithuanian with English subtitles.
THE CABIN (2021) [HYTTE]
Thurs, Dec. 16, 4:30 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 19, 11:00 a.m.
Divorcee Luc takes an impromptu vacation to the North Pole, where he forges unexpected connections with two strangers. Jean-Louis Schuller’s meditative film is about identity, masculinity and the technological saturation of the 21st century, told over the course of nine months in the life of a man metaphorically adrift at sea. DIR Jean-Louis Schuller. Luxembourg/Belgium, 2021, 76 min. In English and French with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Malta
Wed, Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Maltese fisherman Jesmark makes the tough decision to take an EU-funded payout to decommission the luzzu, or traditional fishing boat, captained by his father and grandfather before him. But in order to support his family, he then makes the fateful decision to enter into Malta’s shadowy black market fishing industry. DIR Alex Camilleri. Malta, 2021, 94 min. In English and Maltese with English subtitles.
Sun, Dec. 5, 4:30 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m.
Decades after her daughter was executed in Iran, Haleh, now living in the Netherlands, still isn’t sure who was responsible. When she meets Leyla, who has just fled Iran, she becomes convinced that Leyla is the one who gave her daughter up to the authorities, and she slowly embarks on a carefully plotted revenge. DIR Kaweh Modiri. Netherlands/Germany/Denmark, 2021, 100 min. In Farsi and Dutch with English subtitles.
SILENCE OF THE TIDES
Fri, Dec. 3, 4:40 p.m.; Mon, Dec. 6, 7:00 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 8, 2:20 p.m.
Filmmaker Pieter-Rim de Kroon explores the Wadden Sea, the largest tidal wetlands in the world, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. His poetic film depicts the complex and fragile interrelationships between all creatures living in this unique ecosystem, both in the sea and on the land. DIR Pieter-Rim de Kroon. Netherlands, 2020, 102 min. No dialogue.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Poland
LEAVE NO TRACES [ŻEBY NIE BYŁO ŚLADÓW]
Fri, Dec. 10, 1:30 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Based on a true incident, this Kafkaesque tale of police brutality and the state-sanctioned cover-up that followed feels as blisteringly relevant today as it did when it shook Poland in 1983. Rising Polish filmmaker Jan P. Matuszyński has crafted a harrowing and important portrait of a crucial moment in Poland’s history, filled with heartbreaking performances. DIR Jan P. Matuszyński. Poland/Czech Republic/France, 2021, 160 min. In Polish with English subtitles.
SILENT LAND [CICHA ZIEMIA]
Fri, Dec. 3, 11:00 a.m.; Wed, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m.
A bourgeois Polish couple rent a luxurious villa on the Italian seaside. After a freak accident occurs, the police take statements from the couple, but their stories don’t quite add up. Filmmaker Aga Woszczyńska’s precisely observed portrait of marital bonds tested under the strain of a criminal investigation makes for a suspense-filled feature debut. DIR Aga Woszczyńska. Poland/Czech Republic/Italy, 2021, 113 min. In English, Polish, French and Italian with English subtitles.
THE TSUGUA DIARIES [DIÁRIOS DE OTSOGA]
Fri, Dec. 17, 4:30 p.m.; Sun, Dec. 19, 6:45 p.m.
Told in reverse order in diary-like entries, this delightful cinematic puzzle about three housemates spending their COVID lockdown in the countryside reveals its meta origins, blurring the lines between film and reality. Shot in 16mm, this sun-dappled tale is a refreshing experiment from married filmmakers Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes. DIR Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes. Portugal, 2021, 102 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Romania
BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN [BABARDEALĂ CU BUCLUC SAU PORNO BALAMUC]
Fri, Dec. 10, 9:30 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 16, 9:30 p.m.
Called before a school tribunal after her sex tape gets leaked on the internet, high school teacher Katia Pascariu must defend herself against society’s false pieties, institutional misogyny, structural racism and media-saturated derangements. The result is a tour-de-force of satirical political comedy in Romanian auteur Radu Jude’s provocative, Golden Bear-winning film. DIR Radu Jude. Romania/Luxembourg/Croatia/Czech Republic, 2021, 106 min. In Romanian with English subtitles.
UPPERCASE PRINT [TIPOGRAFIC MAJUSCUL]
Sun, Dec. 12, 9:00; Thu, Dec. 16, 4:15 p.m.
In 1981, uppercase chalk slogans demanding freedom appeared in the Romanian city of Botoşani. The culprit was a teenager whose case is documented in the Romanian secret police files. Award-winning filmmaker Radu Jude deftly blends documentary recreation with archival TV footage to create a portrait of Ceaușescu’s dictatorial surveillance state. DIR Radu Jude. Romania, 2020, 128 min. In Romanian with English subtitles.
THE MAN WITH HARE EARS [MUŽ SE ZAJEČÍMA UŠIMA]
Sat, Dec. 11, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Dec. 12, 11:00 a.m.
Sixty-year-old Josef, a self-centered writer, has been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to hear others’ thoughts, among other bizarre developments. Now, for the first time, he must look inward on a journey of self-discovery. Filmmaker Martin Šulík won Best Director at the 2020 Warsaw Film Festival for this flight-of-fancy-filled crowd-pleaser. DIR Martin Šulík. Slovak Republic/Czech Republic, 2020, 104 min. In Slovak and Czech with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Slovenia
Wed, Dec. 15, 4:20 p.m.; Fri, Dec. 17, 11:00 a.m.
At a quaint nursing home in the foggy Slovenian countryside, dementia patients Bruno and Duša strike up a bittersweet romance, destined to meet cute over and over again due to their failing memories. Delicately told by filmmaker Miroslav Mandić, this tender romance offers hopefulness in the face of life’s biggest challenges. DIR Miroslav Mandić. Slovenia/Italy, 2020, 90 min. In Slovenian with English subtitles.
2021 Oscar® Selection, Spain
THE GOOD BOSS [EL BUEN PATRÓN]
Sat, Dec. 4, 7:00 p.m.; Thurs, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m.
When dedicated factory owner Blanco (Javier Bardem) finds his company nominated for a local business award, the pressure is on. But a disgruntled former employee, a heartbroken supervisor and an infatuated intern complicate his plans for perfection. Filmmaker Fernando Léon de Aranoa (LOVING PABLO) reunites with Bardem for this darkly comic workplace satire. DIR Fernando Léon de Aranoa. Spain, 2021, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Sat, Dec. 11, 1:30 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 15, 6:45 p.m.
Sheltered 15-year-old Nora finds her routine summer vacation turned upside down with the arrival of Libertad, the daughter of her grandmother’s Colombian caretaker, who ushers in a summer of sneaking out, self-discovery and sexual awakening. This vibrant coming-of-age story is the directorial debut of Spanish screenwriter Clara Roquet (10.000 KM, PETRA). DIR Clara Roquet. Spain/Belgium, 2021, 104 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
PARALLEL MOTHERS [MADRES PARALELAS]
Fri, Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m.
A sublime Penélope Cruz stars in the latest film from Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar. Cruz and newcomer Milena Smit both play single mothers whose lives intersect in multiple ways after they both give birth on the same day in this contemporary melodrama that explores motherhood, femininity and a deep-rooted trauma from Spain’s history. DIR Pedro Almodóvar. Spain, 2021, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD
Tue, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.; Wed, Dec. 8, 4:45 p.m.
Q&A with filmmakers Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri on Dec. 7
Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri’s haunting documentary looks at how society objectifies young actors. Its focus is Björn Andrésen, the star of Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film DEATH IN VENICE, whom the director famously proclaimed, “the most beautiful boy in the world.” Now 50 years later, Andrésen reflects on his troubled life and career. DIR Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri. Sweden, 2021, 94 min. In English, Swedish, French and Japanese with English subtitles.