Stranger Than Fiction:

Documentary Premieres

January 6 - February 2

From January 6 through February 2, the Gene Siskel Film Center celebrates the art of the documentary in a special way. This selection of ten Chicago premieres includes films made from a highly personal point of view, as well as those that delve into issues, personalities, or evolving communities through personal interaction.

In the wry BEST WORST THING THAT EVER COULD HAVE HAPPENED…, Broadway director Lonny Price fondly reconstructs the brief glory days of the original production of Sondheim’s ill-fated musical "Merrily We Roll Along," when he and a handful of other young hopefuls believed they were headed for stardom. In THEO WHO LIVED, journalist Theo Padnos uniquely reenacts his imprisonment in Syria by Al-Qaeda, with gallows humor and deep insight into the psychology of his captors. Austrian film essayist extraordinaire Nikolaus Geyrhalter explores the aura of abandoned places in his haunting HOMO SAPIENS. Felines rule in a sneak preview of KEDI, an irresistible profile of the unusually privileged street cats of Istanbul.

Native American teens on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation speak to their challenges, their connection to the land, and their passion for their heritage in Chicago filmmaker Seth McClellan’s LITTLE WOUND’S WARRIORS. The interconnectedness of all life forms and the multiple ways in which cruelty to animals and disrespect for the environment serve to degrade human life is at the heart of Kevin Mukherji’s WE ARE ONE.

Susan Morgan Cooper connects an adoptive family’s tragedy to the Russian ban on U.S. adoptions in her powerfully emotional TO THE MOON AND BACK. Survivors of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting find a new source of healing as performers in a pop musical in MIDSUMMER IN NEWTOWN. Director Benjamin Lear goes behind prison walls to encounter boys facing life sentences for adult crimes including murder in THEY CALL US MONSTERS.

Director appearances include Seth McClellan with LITTLE WOUND’S WARRIORS; Kevin Mukherji with WE ARE ONE; and Susan Morgan Cooper with TO THE MOON AND BACK.

MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI, Steven Okazaki’s portrait of the legendary Japanese star Toshiro Mifune, inspired us to mount a retrospective of his best-known films this month. "Click here" for all the details.

— Barbara Scharres, Director of Programming

PREVIOUSLY

Chicago premiere!

Homo Sapiens

2016, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria, 94 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 6th 7:45pm
  • Tue, Jan 10th 8:15pm

Chicago premiere!

Kedi

2016, Ceyda Torun, USA/Turkey, 80 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sun, Jan 8th 3:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened...

2016, Lonny Price, USA, 95 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 13th 6:00pm
  • Sun, Jan 15th 3:00pm
  • Thu, Jan 19th 8:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Theo Who Lived

2016, David Schisgall, USA/Israel, 86 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 14th 5:15pm
  • Tue, Jan 17th 8:00pm

Chicago premiere!

They Call Us Monsters

2016, Benjamin Lear, USA, 82 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 20th 6:00pm
  • Wed, Jan 25th 7:45pm

Chicago premiere! Director Seth McClellan in person!

Little Wound's Warriors

2016, Seth McClellan, USA, 57 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 21st 7:45pm

Chicago premiere! Filmmakers in person!

To The Moon and Back

2016, Susan Morgan Cooper, USA/Russia, 85 min. Narrated by Jessica Long.

Showtimes:

  • Sun, Jan 22nd 5:00pm
  • Mon, Jan 23rd 7:45pm

World premiere! Filmmakers in person!

We Are One

I Am You

2016, Kevin Mukherji, USA, 86 min. Narrated by Forest Whitaker.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 27th 7:45pm
  • Wed, Feb 1st 7:45pm

Chicago premiere!

Midsummer in Newtown

2016, Lloyd Kramer, USA, 81 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sun, Jan 29th 4:45pm
  • Thu, Feb 2nd 7:45pm