The Chicago International Film Festival brings amazing films from all over the world to be spotlighted each year in the Windy City, captivating audiences with not only large-scale blockbusters, but independent gems as well. The internationally renowned festival happens once a year, but you can catch a diverse roster of international movies for free all summer as Cinema/Chicago presents their 6th Annual International Summer Screenings Program.
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, host weekly screenings Wednesday evenings at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theatre, starting June 10th until September 16th. Each screening is free, but seating is first-come, first served basis and is limited to the theatre’s capacity. Films are also unrated, so best to check and see what is playing each week if you plan on taking along a younger audience member.
Each week spotlights a different slice of cinema from a different country, ranging from Romania to South Korea to France. And some screenings also include a discussion after the film led by different film professors and critics. Foreign films are a wonderful way to explore the differences and similarities of different cultures and our own, all while enjoying some visually stunning works of art.
The first film of the series is Hana, a Japanese samurai film based around the young samurai Sozaemon, who is sent to Edo to avenge the death of his father. Yet Sozaemon isn’t a skilled swordsman, and enjoys the basic daily life over the way of the sword. Sozaemon must choose to follow his chosen path, or to choose peace and forgiveness towards the men that killed his father. According to Cinema/Chicago, the movie examines â€œthe precepts at the core of the samurai genre-loyalty, obligation, courage, and revenge,â€ common themes that resonate throughout many choices in modern life and not just in a samurai film.
The International Summer Screening Program starts this week, June 10th, and is every Wednesday evening until September 16th at Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theatre, 77 E. Randolph St. The screenings are free. To find more detailed film information, including any warnings of mature subject or violence in the films being shown, please visit the International Connections site online.