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Stranger Than Fiction 2019

January 4 - 31

From January 4 through 31, the Gene Siskel Film Center celebrates the art of the documentary in a special way with the series "Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres." Identity in its many meanings and permutations is the theme that weaves through seven features and two shorts, as the subjects of these films explore what it means to be true to themselves, true to their values, and true to their dreams.

In FAMILY IN TRANSITION, the relationship of spouses, children, friends and neighbors shifts when an Israeli father of four comes out as a transgender woman. THE SUNDAY SESSIONS goes inside the heavily discredited process of conversion therapy with a religiously devout young actor who seeks to change his sexual orientation. A filmmaker/artist follows the trail of the family secrets that shaped his childhood in PATERNAL RITES. Men and women who find solace in the live-in companionship of life-size dolls form a little-known subculture in SILICONE SOUL.

A uniquely Chicago story unfolds in F*** YOUR HAIR, when a small Chicago South Side brewery stands up to the president’s slurs against immigrants in the way they know best--with beer. This short documentary will be joined on the program by ’63 BOYCOTT (previously screened in Chicago), the rousing story of a time when thousands of Chicagoans stood up against a series of longstanding wrongs in the public school system. Avant-garde dancer Rocío Molina takes the art of flamenco to radical heights of self-expression as she creates a new piece in IMPULSO. In ON HER SHOULDERS, Nobel Peace Prize-winner and massacre survivor Nadia Murad struggles to overcome her personal trauma in order to become the face of ISIS victims to the world. OWNED, A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS
examines how government policies, racism, and a series of financial debacles have served to deny many minority Americans the validating status of home ownership. Gone but not forgotten, prehistoric DNA may be heading for a comeback as scientists seek to clone a woolly mammoth in GENESIS 2.0.

Filmmaker appearances are expected with PATERNAL RITES, SILICONE SOUL, F*** YOUR HAIR, and ’63 BOYCOTT.

--Barbara Scharres


Family in Transition

Mishpakha BiTrans

2018, Ofir Trainin, Israel, 70 min.


  • Fri, Jan 4th 6:15pm
  • Mon, Jan 7th 8:00pm

Genesis 2.0

2018, Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev, Switzerland/China, 112 min.


  • Sat, Jan 5th 5:00pm
  • Tue, Jan 8th 8:00pm

Allen Irwin in person!

The Sunday Sessions

2018, Richard Yeagley, USA, 89 min.


  • Fri, Jan 11th 8:15pm
  • Wed, Jan 16th 6:00pm


2017, Emilio Belmonte, Spain, 87 min.


  • Sat, Jan 12th 5:15pm
  • Tue, Jan 15th 8:15pm

Owned, A Tale of Two Americas

2018, Giorgio Angelini, USA, 83 min.


  • Fri, Jan 18th 6:15pm
  • Wed, Jan 23rd 8:15pm

Jules Rosskam in person!

Paternal Rites

2018, Jules Rosskam, USA, 82 min.


  • Sat, Jan 19th 5:30pm
  • Mon, Jan 21st 8:00pm

Filmmakers in person!

'63 Boycott

2016, Gordon Quinn, USA, 30 min.


  • Fri, Jan 25th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Jan 26th 5:00pm
  • Sat, Feb 2nd 12:00pm

Filmmakers in person!

F*** Your Hair

Chinga Tu Pelo

2018, Jason Polevoi, USA, 38 min.


  • Fri, Jan 25th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Jan 26th 5:00pm
  • Sat, Feb 2nd 12:00pm

Melody Gilbert in person!

Silicone Soul

2018, Melody Gilbert, USA, 71 min.


  • Sun, Jan 27th 5:00pm
  • Mon, Jan 28th 8:00pm

On Her Shoulders

2018, Alexandria Bombach, USA, 95 min.


  • Fri, Jan 25th 4:00pm
  • Sat, Jan 26th 7:45pm
  • Mon, Jan 28th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jan 31st 8:00pm