Chicago Children's Film Festival opening night | Chicago Reader

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An international potpourri of morality-minded shorts. The most sophisticated and impish is Your Choice! by Japanese animator Koji Yamamura, a series of visually striking non sequiturs featuring squiggly caricatures. Hassan-Hussen, by Kyrgyzstan filmmaker Aktan Abdykalykov, is a sweet vignette about two kid brothers, carrying pails of water, who get into a tussle and then are reconciled by their grandfather. In Theis & Nico, by Denmark's Henrik Ruben Genz, a teenager prods his older brother into his first kiss, with an immigrant girl from a neighboring apartment tower. Ron Krauss's Puppies for Sale is a Norman Rockwell lesson in empathy, featuring Jack Lemmon as a pet-store owner and a saccharine sound track by Hollywood veteran Elmer Bernstein. On the same program: The Apartment Cat (France), Phone Terror (Norway), and Looks Like Rain (Germany).

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