Chicago Latino Film Festival 

Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 16th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by the International Latino Cultural Center, continues Friday through Thursday, April 7 through 13. Film and video screenings will be at Water Tower, 845 N. Michigan; Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton; Univ. of Illinois-Chicago Lecture Center B2, 750 S. Halsted; Loyola Univ. Rubloff Auditorium, 25 E. Pearson; Loyola Univ. Crown Center, 6525 N. Sheridan; Lake Forest College Johnson Science Center, 555 N. Sheridan, Lake Forest; Metzli Video Cinema, Asociacion Pro Derechos Obreros, 1838 W. 18th St.; and Bank One Center Theater, 2 N. Dearborn. Tickets for most programs are $8.50; for students, senior citizens, and disabled persons, $8; and for ILCC members, $7.50. Festival passes, good for ten screenings not including special events, are $70; for ILCC members, $60. For more information call 312-431-1330. Films marked with a 4 are highly recommended.

FRIDAY, APRIL 7

Betrayal

Three short stories by Brazilian playwright Nelson Rodrigues inspired this 1998 anthology film about sexual infidelity, directed by Arthur Fontes, Claudio Torres, and Jose Henrique Fonseca. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Rebellion in Patagonia

Based on a true story, Hector Olivera's 1974 Argentinean film dramatizes a struggle between landowners and striking peasants in the 1920s. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Only People

Ignacio (Pablo Echarri), a moody medical resident in Buenos Aires, has a reputation for getting too involved with his patients, but his compassion is combined with an urge to impress his parents and surpass his peers. The filmmaking techniques in this thoughtful if faintly sophomoric drama are occasionally inspired, occasionally gratuitous, but mainly methodical. Like life and episodic television, the movie is structured in segments that don't always resolve or lead directly to the next. It begins on an eerie note as Ignacio questions family members about the interests of comatose patients, whom he then talks to, hoping to inspire their recovery so he can present his findings at an upcoming conference. Later, as he stops juggling ambition and empathy, the intriguing, almost supernatural tone fades, giving way to something that's more conventional but still moving. Roberto Maiocco directed this 1999 Argentinean film. (LA) (Water Tower, 6:20)

Things I Forgot to Remember

The Blessed Virgin appears in response to the prayers of a Cuban-American family after its youngest son rejects his Latino heritage and decides to Americanize himself by studying TV shows. Enrique Oliver directed this 1998 comedy, a U.S.-Spanish coproduction. (Water Tower, 6:40)

Short videos, program two

Dan Banda's hour-long Indigenous Always looks at the life of the Native American woman La Malinche and her role in the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Mauricio Velez Dominguez and Marcela Gaviria's Colombian short Top Bull (1999) profiles Pedro "Toro Tope" Duarte, a vaquero chief near the Orinoco River. (Metzli Video Cinema, 7:00)

Spirit of My Mother

Sonia (Johana Martinez), a young Honduran woman working as a maid in Los Angeles, is disturbed by dreams of her dead mother beckoning her to return home. Her life as a single mother in the U.S. is bleak and disappointing, and the film's handling of it borders on the amateurish. But once Sonia arrives on the east coast of Honduras among the Garifuna, a mix of West Africans and Carib Indians, the film acquires a poetic (if uneven) tone. Its raison d'etre seems to be the Dugu, an elaborate West African ritual that appeases the spirit of the dead; Sonia's extended family cook a feast by the sea, sing and dance, pray to tribal gods, and follow up with a Catholic mass. The story of a woman reclaiming her tribal roots recalls Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust, though this 1998 feature by Ali Allie is less lyrical and more modest in scope. (TS) On the same program, The Age of the Heart (1999), a Brazilian short by Tamy Marrachine. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

Short videos, program four

Claudia Courbon's hour-long In Search of a Memory constructs an oral history of the African slaves brought to Colombia to pan for gold in the 16th century. In Penelope Price's An Angel Passes (1999) Argentinean artist Claudia Bernardi creates a work inspired by the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:30)

Short videos, program five

Juan Carlos Borrero and Joaquin Gutierrez's Colombian film Ananeko (1991) examines the Huitotos and Andokes tribes along the Caqueta River. Carlos Azpurua's Venezuelan film Amazon, the Business of This World (1987) investigates the New Tribus, Protestant missions from the U.S. that have been accused of undermining indigenous cultures on behalf of multinational corporations. (Loyola Univ. Rubloff Auditorium, 7:30)

Crane World

In Pablo Trapero's 1999 Argentinean drama, an aging former rock musician angles for a job as a crane operator, hoping to support his son and elderly mother. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Jaime

A teenage boy, distraught over his parents' separation, tries to get a job in hopes that a steady income will reunite the family. Antonio-Pedro Vasconcelos directed this 1999 Portuguese film. (Water Tower, 8:30)

The Cloud

A small independent theater in Buenos Aires struggles to survive, threatened by lack of funds, power shortages, construction of a shopping mall nearby, and a rainstorm that's been going on for 1,600 days. Fernando E. Solanas (The Hour of the Furnaces) directed this 1998 Argentinean film. (Water Tower, 8:50)

Nuyorican Dream

Few works have captured the powerful pull of ghetto life as well as this video by Laurie Collyer, which documents five years in the life of a Puerto Rican welfare family in Brooklyn. Only the oldest child, Robert, has escaped, to a Manhattan apartment and a career educating Latino kids; he's contrasted with the three drug-addled siblings he tries to help. Danny knows he should get a job but speaks passively about his life ("Shit flips on you"), while Robert reminds us that during Danny's teenage years in jail he received no education or vocational training. The older sisters became teenage mothers, and most of their children wind up living in grandmother's small apartment; Collyer's handheld camera does an excellent job portraying this crowded space and the interdependency of people living in such close quarters, so it's no shock when sister Tati loses her apartment and Danny is returned to prison for seven years. The grandchildren, though, are full of life--one plays in Danny's lap as he nods off, an image that leaves the viewer with the disturbing question of which way these kids are headed. (FC) (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

Rum and Coke

Maria Escobedo directed this 1999 film about a Cuban-American woman whose mistrust of Latino men is eroded by a passionate firefighter. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

A Glass of Rage

Aluizio Abranches directed this 1999 Brazilian film about an intense sexual relationship between a young woman and a middle-aged man. On the same program, Mario Diamante's short film Night Flower (1999). (Water Tower, 9:10)

The Pianist

Two young pianists collaborating on a musical in Paris in the late 1930s are divided by the civil war in their native Spain. Mario Gas directed this 1998 drama. (Water Tower, 11:00)

Southern Border

Gerardo Herrero's 1998 saga of a Spanish immigrant rising to wealth and power in Buenos Aires is a curious albeit entertaining mix of racy melodrama and socialist hokum, with a supernatural twist that serves as the story's deus ex machina. Roque (Jose Coronado) arrives in the Argentinean port city in the late 1800s, just as it's about to boom, and schemes his way to the top with the counsel of a prescient ghost (Federico Luppi) and a hard-edged but pure-hearted madam (Maribel Verdu). Yet he always has time to help the downtrodden, and using his friendships with both the riffraff and the nouveau riche, Herrero (Comanche Territory) paints a colorful cross section of the populace and politics that transformed Buenos Aires into a dynamic metropolis by the end of the century. Despite some soap-opera flourishes and over-the-top acting, the film exudes an earthy, ribald spirit that's as seductive as the anthemic tango tunes on its sound track. (TS) (Water Tower, 11:00)

SATURDAY, APRIL 8

Short films, program three

A program of 35-millimeter short films from El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and the U.S. (Water Tower, 3:30)

Time for Revenge

A demolition expert hired by a construction company finds himself in danger after he uncovers corporate corruption. Adolfo Aristarain directed this 1981 Argentinean thriller. (Water Tower, 3:30)

The Scalper

Andy Garcia stars as a professional ticket scalper in New York City. Richard Wenk directed this 1999 film, originally titled Just the Ticket. A Chicago premiere. (Water Tower, 3:50)

Ecstasy

A trio of friends plot to become wealthy by robbing their own relatives in this 1996 Spanish film by Mario Barroso. (Water Tower, 4:10)

Short films, program two

Short films from Ecuador, Argentina, and the U.S. (Facets Multimedia Center, 4:30)

Short videos, program one

Phillip Rodriguez's 1999 video Pancho Villa and Other Stories includes interviews with the Mexican insurgent's widow and others in the town of Parral, Chihuahua, who knew him. These men and women, now in their 90s, still have vivid recollections of the 1910 revolution and other pivotal events leading up to Villa's assassination in a stagecoach while traveling to his retirement ranch near Parral. Their accounts and digressions--especially the widow Soledad's--are personal rather than political, right down to the lament for the white tortillas of that era, complementing or contradicting the "official" history of the revolution. Rodriguez's talking-head format would be grating if the stories weren't inherently engrossing, but he effectively juxtaposes the Pancho imagined by the movies with the less mythic Francisco Villa remembered by the interviewees. (TS) On the same program: Joe Cardona and Mario De Varona's Honey Girl (1998), a portrait of boxer Melissa Salamone. (TS) (Metzli Video Cinema, 5:00)

Short videos, program three

In David Benavente's Chilean short Artificial Games (1999) a Russian girl living in Santiago befriends a blind thief. Stephen Olsson's Our House in Havana documents an aging Cuban-American woman's return to the island she fled in the 60s. (Facets Multimedia Center, 5:00)

Rum and Coke

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Time Out

Colombia's guerrilla forces and military lay down their arms long enough to watch the 1994 World Cup qualifying games, but an air force pilot accidentally launches a missile at an American oil company's research facility after his team scores. Sergio Cabrera directed this 1999 black comedy, a coproduction of Colombia, Spain, and Italy. (Water Tower, 6:00)

On the River of the Amazons

Ricardo Dias directed this 1995 Brazilian documentary in which zoologist Paulo Vanzolini leads a trip down the title river. (Water Tower, 6:20)

Rizo

Julio A. Sosa-Pietri's 1998 Venezuelan feature chronicles the life of fictional playwright Alejandro del Rey (Jean Carlo Simancas), whose avant-garde theater spectacles and leftist sympathies win him renown but alienate the country's cultural commissars. Much of the film takes place in Caracas in the 70s, when del Rey is entangled in affairs with two actresses while working on an ambitious play requested by his mentor. Sosa-Pietri presents del Rey as an arrogant but seductive romantic who likes to recite poetry and make love and who thumbs his nose at a lucrative offer to adapt Hamlet for TV with the melancholy Dane as a South American jungle baron. The disheveled Simancas is the picture of a childlike artist teetering between idealism and dissipation, but the film teeters as well, between soap opera and intellectual biography, and the abrupt cuts to friends reminiscing about del Rey only add to the jumble. Equally inexplicable is the film's coda 20 years later, in which del Rey stages his last play by the sea as if he were shooting for a J. Crew catalog. Sosa-Pietri could be suggesting that the artist's anarchism has given way to narcissism, but your guess is as good as mine. (TS) (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

Park Bench

After leaving his girlfriend of two years, a young man decides to sit on the same park bench and at the same spot in a neighborhood bar until he meets a new lover. Agusti Vila directed this 1999 Spanish film. This screening is part of the festival's program "A Night of Spain"; a reception follows at Instituto Cervantes, 875 N. Michigan. Tickets are $25, $20 for members of the ILCC or Instituto Cervantes. (Water Tower, 7:00)

The American Tapestry

This feel-good video documentary (1999) argues that the U.S. is richer for being a tapestry of immigrant cultures--not exactly an original point. Director Gregory Nava presents stories of five families from different cultures and time periods, but he encourages false generalizations from particulars: we learn that the Jew immigrating in 1920 got in more easily than the Chinese in 1933, but the video never explains the difficulties eastern Europeans faced after the 1924 immigration law. Some interesting details emerge (copies of the Chicago Defender urging southern blacks to move north were "smuggled" into southern towns by railroad porters), but they get lost as Nava meanders through the ordinary (a veteran recalling World War II, a Mexican woman explaining that she loves her children). His principal idea of visual style seems to be inserting a sunset about every ten minutes. (FC) On the same program, Estetyka, a short video by Joao Machado. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:30)

I Will Survive

Emma Suarez and Juan Diego Botto are quite appealing in this 1999 romantic comedy from Spain, playing tentative lovers who come to understand their own limitations. Marga, a playful single mother who runs a video store, hasn't dated since her boyfriend died in a car accident, and when she meets I–aqui, a Styrofoam sculptor ten years her junior, she thinks he's the man for her until she learns about the gay relationship in his past. The characters often talk about old movies, and both Marga's and the film's point of reference is Breakfast at Tiffany's; like Holly Golightly, she hangs out with a bohemian crowd but values friendship and family. Directors Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes share Pedro Almodovar's ear for the blithe banter of hip, neurotic urbanites, though they forsake his melodrama for a laid-back naturalism. (TS) (Water Tower, 8:30)

A Sweet Scent of Death

Egged on by his drinking buddies, a young man decides to avenge himself against a Gypsy who may have murdered the young man's lover. Gabriel Retes directed this 1998 drama, a Spanish-Mexican-Argentinean coproduction. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Only People

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 8:50)

Road Dogz

Three Latino youths find their friendship tested as they wrestle with personal problems in this coming-of-age film by Alfredo Ramos. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

At Midnight and a Half

Mariana Rondon and Marite Ugas directed this Venezuelan-Peruvian coproduction (1999) about a small town threatened by a tidal wave. On the same program, The Road to the Coast (1999), a short film by Jose Sanchez-H. (Water Tower, 9:10)

Short videos, program one

See listing this date above. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:30)

A Glass of Rage

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 11:00)

Southern Border

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 11:00)

SUNDAY, APRIL 9

Short videos, program one

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Lake Forest College Johnson Science Center, 2:00)

Black Tears

Watching this 1997 documentary about Cuban salsa pioneers Vieja Trova Santiaguera, one wishes that director Sonia Herman Dolz had tried harder to capture the men behind the public masks. Dolz presents many scenes of the elderly musicians as they rehearse and perform, and a few obligatory backstage interviews in which the five bandsmen muse over their lives, but the film contains few truly candid shots. Evidently the musicians are never crabby, never snap on the road, never say or do anything scandalous or even human. They do, however, make a pilgrimage to a statue of Karl Marx, where the band's leader rhapsodizes about the Cuban government's generous support--Don't Look Back this ain't. Still, every time the band dips into its repertoire of intensely moving songs, the film soars. (Jack Helbig) On the same program, Bye Bye Prison (1998), a Spanish short by Michael Aguilo. (Water Tower, 3:30)

Raluy: A Night in the Circus

In this Spanish feature, a ten-year-old girl leaves her TV-dominated home, finds the world's last circus company, and battles an evil television executive. (Water Tower, 3:30)

The Cloud

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 3:50)

Short videos, program three

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Facets Multimedia Center, 4:00)

Short films, program three

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 4:10)

Short films, program two

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Facets Multimedia Center, 4:30)

Short videos, program two

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Metzli Video Cinema, 5:00)

Crane World

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Jaime

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 6:00)

The Triangle of the Lake

Sincere but foolish, this clunky Bolivian SF effort concerns a man whose wife gets swallowed up by a parallel universe via the Bermuda Triangle, somewhere east of Atlantis, and who enlists a wise old parapsychologist to help him retrieve her (with a little help from hypnosis and a laptop computer). Like one character who can't tell the difference between Mozart and Ray Conniff, director Mauricio Calderon can't seem to distinguish between philosophical notions and generic standbys. I enjoyed some of the tatty special effects, gratuitous low angles, and Ed Wood profundities in this New Age nonsense, but its sluggish storytelling defeated me. (JR) (Water Tower, 6:20)

The Pianist

See listing for Friday, April 7. (Water Tower, 6:40)

Juan, I Forgot I Don't Remember

Juan Carlos Rulfo, son of the Mexican poet Juan Rulfo, traveled to the state of Jalisco to interview people who knew his father, and while his subjects didn't provide him with much information, their personal recollections provided the basis for this 1998 documentary. On the same program, Margarida Cardoso's Between Us (1999), a short film from Portugal. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

We Shall Not Abandon

In 1994, during a round of parish consolidations, Cardinal Bernardin closed Saint Francis of Assisi Church near Roosevelt and Halsted, combining it with the recently renovated but poorly attended Holy Family Church just west of it. Though Saint Francis was originally built for German immigrants in the mid-19th century, mass there had been celebrated in Spanish since 1925; one advocate calls it "the mother church of the Mexican community." After many months of street protests by the congregation and an occupation of the church to save it from total demolition, it was finally reopened. The story is a heartening tribute to the power of direct action, but this 1999 video documentary by Jeffrey and Tanya Reshke is often awkward in execution. The filmmakers offer too many similar images of the church's interior and exterior, none particularly expressive in composition or movement, and some more creative attempts at illustrating the story, such as a zoom in on a burned-out building as a voice-over refers to "changing demographics," seem weirdly inappropriate. (FC) On the same program, God Speaks Spanish, a short video by Andres Orizco. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

Blind Sky

A woman has an encounter with a career criminal while making a bus trip through southern Chile. Nicolas Acu–a directed this 1999 feature. (Water Tower, 8:30)

The Face of the Angel

Traumatized by his mother's death during the Argentinean military regime of the late 1970s, a young boy lusts for revenge against his right-wing schoolmates. Pablo Torre directed this 1998 film. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Final Rite

Oscar Urrutia Lazo directed this Mexican feature about a photographer who loses his shadow during an Indian ceremony and follows the tribe in hopes of reclaiming it. (Water Tower, 8:50)

Black and Gold

This 1999 video advocates the cause of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, a former New York City street gang that claims to have transformed itself into a political organization. Nation leader King Tone, radical attorney Ron Kuby, and others make a plausible case that the members have been targeted by police, suffering massive arrests but few convictions, because they're attacking the capitalist system instead of killing each other. Directors Richard Rowley and Jacquie Soohen combine hip-hop beats with a variety of visual techniques to capture the group's spirit and the contradictions under which they operate. Some of these--anamorphic stretching that widens people's faces, superimposing colorful graffiti over images of the group--prove more distracting than illuminating, while the video ignores many basic questions, such as whether the group has truly shed its criminal past. (FC) On the same program, The Page (1998), a Mexican short video by Eduardo Soto-Falcon. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

Heroes Without a Cause

Fighting the Vietcong in 1968, two Puerto Rican GIs stranded in enemy territory while away their time debating issues of war, family, and honor. Raul (Jimmy Navarro) is a patriotic hothead who's quick on the trigger, whereas Carlos (Jorge Castillo) is more skeptical about the war; meanwhile, their loved ones worry about them back home. The material, with its echoes of Platoon and The Deer Hunter, is potentially thought provoking, but this 1998 feature never comes alive: the screenplay, by director Ivan Dariel Ortiz, substitutes stilted dialogue for dramatic tension, and the jungles of Southeast Asia look suspiciously like a national park. But Ortiz manages to honor the Puerto Ricans who fought in Vietnam without masking his antiwar stance. (TS) (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

Lisbon

Carmen Maura stars as a housewife in flight from her well-to-do family who convinces a Portuguese video and CD salesman to give her a lift to Portugal before they catch up with her. This 1999 Spanish film teases a lot of intrigue from the family's involvement in some sort of business corruption, and the mutual enmity and nastiness between family members is as thick as anything in middle-period Claude Chabrol, though not nearly as interesting. On the other hand, director Antonio Hernandez's 'Scope compositions are so inventive and engaging that this action thriller held my attention long after I ceased caring about any of the characters. (JR) (Water Tower, 9:10)

MONDAY, APRIL 10

Eating Me Alive

A Colombian youth tries to survive Hell's Kitchen and his own self-destructive impulses in this 1997 U.S.-Colombian film by Juan Fischer. A U.S. premiere. On the same program, Seeds (1999), a short Colombian film by Andres Navia. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Garage Olimpo

Italian-Argentinean director Marco Bechis reopens an ignoble chapter in Argentina's recent history with this fictional 1999 story of a young woman kidnapped and tortured during the military dictatorship of the late 70s. Maria (Antonella Costa), a university student who teaches in a ghetto school, lives in the boardinghouse run by her mother (Dominique Sanda of The Conformist). The young woman's only crime seems to be compassion for the poor, yet a band of armed men claiming to be from the military take her to a secret prison (the garage of the title), where she's repeatedly stripped and interrogated. Her only hopes of escape are her mother, who learns that other citizens have disappeared as well, and one of her captors, who's fallen in love with his victim. Bechis probes the psychological scars of the era, noting the cruelty and caprice of the clandestine goons who served the dictatorship, and cinematographer Ramiro Civita creates a harrowing vision divided between dark, claustrophobic prison cells and overhead shots of Buenos Aires, an urban grid under constant surveillance. (TS) (Water Tower, 6:00)

The Filmmaker of the Amazon

Aurelio Michiles directed this 1997 Brazilian portrait of pioneering filmmaker Silvino Santos, who made nine documentaries about the rain forest and its inhabitants. (Water Tower, 6:20)

The Revenge

An orphaned girl, left to the care of a rich couple, is taken advantage of by the husband and becomes pregnant. Andres Wood directed this 1999 Chilean film. (Water Tower, 6:40)

Short videos, program one

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Loyola Univ. Crown Center, 7:30)

The Bait

Marianne Eyde's 1999 Peruvian film concerns a young woman who grows up in a fishing village, learns the town's craft, and finds herself torn when her husband signs on with an industrial fishing crew. (Water Tower, 8:30)

I Will Survive

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Time Out

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 8:50)

Ecstasy

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 9:10)

TUESDAY, APRIL 11

Heroes Without a Cause

See listing for Sunday, April 9. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Hidden River

Mercedes Garcia Guevara's 1999 Argentinean drama about a woman searching desperately for emotional connection is bleak, yet compassionate and ultimately liberating. Ana (Paola Krum) is a bored, cloistered housewife in Buenos Aires whose husband is often away on business. After finding a letter that suggests he's fathered a son in the remote village of Rio Escondido, she discovers that her husband was born there and that the boy's actual father is her husband's imprisoned brother, with whom she strikes up a deep friendship. Garcia Guevara's cold, chiaroscuro interiors underscore Ana's desolation, and even the gnarly, tree-lined landscape weighs on her as she wrestles with her romantic feelings for the brother. (TS) (Water Tower, 6:00)

The Triangle of the Lake

See listing for Sunday, April 9. (Water Tower, 6:20)

At Midnight and a Half

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 6:40)

Short videos, program five

See listing for Friday, April 7. (UIC Lecture Center B2, 7:00)

The Face of the Angel

See listing for Sunday, April 9. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Juan, I Forgot I Don't Remember

See listing for Sunday, April 9. (Water Tower, 8:30)

On the River of the Amazons

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 8:50)

Park Bench

See listing for Saturday, April 8. Regular admission applies to this repeat screening. (Water Tower, 9:10)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12

The Bait

See listing for Monday, April 10. (Water Tower, 6:00)

The Scalper

See listing for Saturday, April 8. (Water Tower, 6:00)

Garage Olimpo

See listing for Monday, April 10. (Water Tower, 6:20)

Fading Memories

Federico Luppi (Men With Guns) is an aging poet who ends more than two decades of self-exile in Buenos Aires to revisit his hometown in a Catalonian valley that civil engineers are about to turn into a reservoir. He arrives just as the townspeople are reluctantly evacuating; the older generation tries to preserve the past by rescuing furniture made of ancient wood while most of the young are materialistic and uncaring. Enrique Gabriel, who directed this 1999 Spanish-Argentinean coproduction, unfolds the story in a muted, deliberate fashion, and cinematographer Raul Perez Cubero saturates the misty valley's winding roads and stone houses with an autumnal glow. The film celebrates an insular but gracious way of life that's about to vanish, yet it's counterbalanced by Luppi's riveting performance as a wise, weary man who refuses to wallow in nostalgia and bravely acknowledges the passage of time. (TS) Buffet, cocktails, and music will follow this program; tickets are $50, $40 for ILCC members. (Bank One Center Theater, 6:30)

The Filmmaker of the Amazon

See listing for Monday, April 10. (Water Tower, 6:40)

Black Tears

See listing for Sunday, April 9. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Hidden River

See listing for Tuesday, April 11. (Water Tower, 8:30)

Eating Me Alive

See listing for Monday, April 10. (Water Tower, 8:50)

The Revenge

See listing for Monday, April 10. (Water Tower, 9:10)

THURSDAY, APRIL 13

The festival concludes with encore screenings of audience favorites; schedule information will be available Monday, April 10, on the festival hotline, 312-409-1757.

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