PANORAMA LATINX is an initiative of the Gene Siskel Film Center dedicated to year-round Latin American film programming. We engage the dynamic Latinx community of greater Chicago through showcasing the work of emerging and established Latinx filmmakers, educational screenings, and community partnerships.
Tito and the Birds
Tito e os Pássaros
2018, Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, and Gustavo Steinberg, Brazil, 73 min.
“Audiences of all ages will benefit from its beautiful images and sharply scripted story…surreal and hypnotizing.”--Barry Hertz, Toronto Globe and Mail
“Powerful…a little science fiction, a lot of fantasy, and a surprisingly potent allegory.”--Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage
This timely and fast-paced animated adventure story takes a flight of fancy through a world in the grip of an epidemic of fear. Ruled by an evil media-mogul despot who spreads lies and threats, the population cowers in the safety of a domed community. A lone scientist believes that the birds are trying to give mankind a message, and he begins to build a machine to translate their songs into human speech. An accident destroys the machine and its inventor disappears, but his wide-eyed ten-year-old son Tito understands the urgency of his dad’s mission. Guided in a dream by a bird drawing that takes flight from an ancient cave painting, Tito recruits his friends Sarah and Buiú to join him in following the bird’s clues in order to rebuild his dad’s machine and avert a global crisis. Colorful and lusciously textured oil-painted imagery combines with digital drawings and computer animation for a haunting allegory suitable for all ages. In Portuguese with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)
F*** Your Hair
Chinga Tu Pelo
2018, Jason Polevoi, USA, 38 min.
The triumphant story of how a little Chicago microbrewery succeeded in flipping off the president and mobilizing a community got its start after the 5 Rabbit Cervecería received a major order with a downside. Married brewery owners Andres Araya and Mila Ramirez, Latin American immigrants, rejoiced when they were selected to brew the house brand for the new Trump Tower, a coup for such a small business. Joy turned to horror with Trump’s shocking public characterizations of Hispanic immigrants. They pulled their beer out of the tower, but what to do with all that product? The answer lay in imaginative relabeling of the golden ale as Chinga Tu Pelo, or F••• Your Hair. Thirsty Chicago beer drinkers, bar owners and restaurateurs rose to the protest challenge with glee, and set 5 Rabbit on a new path to social action. DCP digital.
Preceded by ’63 BOYCOTT (previously screened in Chicago). This then-and-now look at the historic 1963 boycott against the Chicago Public Schools focuses on a massive protest that brought 200,000 students to the streets and ultimately brought down schools superintendent Benjamin Willis for promoting discriminatory practices and de facto segregation in South Side schools. Director Quinn updates the fight for equality in the schools to the present day, with a contrasting look at the same issues in new guises under the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. DCP digital. (BS)
2018, Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay, 98 min.
"Immaculately observed, immersively evocative...It is rare to encounter a film that is so attuned to the power of props, costumes, and set design yet manages to feel so effortlessly naturalistic."--Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"A superb first feature, this entirely female-driven story is full of gentle wit and playful observations."--Wendy Ide, The Guardian
In a country shakily recovering from decades of dictatorship, a sheltered Paraguayan
woman tentatively begins to emerge from her shell in this rich character study with
undertones of social satire and political allegory. Approaching the far side of middle age,
the demure, deferential Chela (Brun) has been living a life of declining gentility in a
discreet lesbian relationship with her assertive and protective partner Chiquita (Irun).
When their mounting debts result in a prison term for Chiquita, Chela finds her horizons
almost imperceptibly widening, first when she is nudged into using her ancient Mercedes
to provide an unofficial taxi service for a coterie of bridge-playing acquaintances, and
then when she encounters a younger woman whose uninhibited sensuality and messy love
life exert a strange fascination. The day will come when Chiquita returns from prison,
but can things go back to the way they were? Ana Brun won the best actress award at the
Berlin Film Festival for her subtle and hauntingly expressive performance as the
accidental adventuress Chela. In Spanish with English subtitles. (MR)