Film Center from Your Sofa
With our doors closed, you may be missing the Gene Siskel Film Center -- but we don't want you to miss out on the latest art house films! We're partnering with our favorite distributors to present new and noteworthy independent and international cinema on a screen (very!) near you.
Keep checking in for our updated streaming schedule, noting that new films will continue to be added as they're confirmed. Please also note that each film has its own streaming procedures, pricing, and availability--but none cost more than the price of a movie ticket!
A portion of all proceeds--from streaming films through the Film Center or contributing to our ongoing fundraising initiatives--will help keep the Film Center operating during this time and help ensure we will all watch movies together again at our theaters.
To stay connected in the meantime, we invite you to share your thoughts in the Facebook events we’ve created for each film we’re streaming and to tune in to our “Screen to Screen” discussions, where you can enjoy interactive, virtual Q&As with filmmakers, cast, crew, and other special guests all from the comfort of your sofa (and sweatpants).
Thank you for your generous support during this time. Stay well, stay at home--and we hope to "see you" at the movies!
Having trouble viewing?
Please reference our Streaming FAQ page for further direction!
The Gene Siskel Film Center has worked with numerous distributors to provide films for you to stream during our suspended programming. Please note the following:
• These are films we have screened in the past, would have been screening now, or somehow reflect our critically acclaimed programming.
• Due to the many different sources, there is a range of prices and available dates for each film. However, none of the prices are more than what you would pay for a single, non-member movie ticket.
• Because we are connecting you to a variety of platforms, we regret we cannot offer member or any discounts for streaming.
• Please note that you will be required to set up individual accounts through streaming services and distributors in order to stream Film Center From Your Sofa, your Film Center account will not apply.
Thank you so much for your understanding and support! Enjoy!
The health and safety of our guests and staff is our highest priority, and to support efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Gene Siskel Film Center will be closed beginning Monday, March 16. This is a dynamic and unprecedented situation, we will share the most up-to-date information on this page. Additionally, you may call 312-846-2600 or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
2006, Aderrahmane Sissoko, Mali/USA/France
With Aïssa Maïga, Tiécoura Traoré
"Seething, complicated and disarmingly beautiful...a work of cool intelligence and profound anger, a long, dense, argument that is also a haunting visual poem."--A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"A passionate, challenging drama...leavened by the moments of brimming, illogical, intimate neighborly dailiness the filmmaker also captures with warmth and infectious high spirits."--Lisa Schwartzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
This critically acclaimed political drama—filled with a lush mix of warm colors and impassioned music—offers a unique opportunity for audiences to become familiar with contemporary Africa. An extraordinary trial is taking place in a residential courtyard in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. African citizens have taken proceedings against such international financial institutions as the World Bank, blamed for perpetuating so many of the continent's woes. Meanwhile, daily life in the courtyard presses forward. Melé, a lounge singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are on the verge of breaking up; a security guard's gun goes missing; a young man lies ill; a wedding procession passes through; and women keep everything rolling—dyeing fabric, minding children, spinning cotton, and speaking their minds. Co-executive produced by Danny Glover (who also has a cameo in the film). In French, Bambara, English, and Hebrew. (Description courtesy of Icarus Films)
John Lewis: Good Trouble
2020, Dawn Porter, USA, 96 min.
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (TRAPPED, GIDEON’S ARMY), chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia. Using interviews and rare archival footage, the film chronicles John Robert Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life. [closed caption] (Description courtesy of Magnolia Films)
Immediately following the feature, there will be a pre-recorded discussion between Representative Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, filmed last month and being made available exclusively for virtual cinema and in-theater engagements of the film. This is a wide-ranging, informal, 16-minute conversation that’s a perfect follow-up to the documentary, and could not be more relevant.
Additionally, on 7/9 all ticket-buyers are welcome to stream a live panel discussion presented by the Freedom Rides Museum of Montgomery, Alabama, featuring Freedom Riders Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton in conversation with director Dawn Porter. In partnership with the Capri Theater. The live panel begins at 7:30pm EST / 4:30pm PST and will also be archived to watch afterward.
SEASONS OF CHANGE ON HENRY'S FARM
2019, Ines Sommer, USA, 83 min.
Henry Brockman is both an anachronism and a visionary. Surrounded by GMO-heavy industrial farms in Central Illinois, he has for a quarter-century successfully operated a small family vegetable farm based on principles of organic cultivation and biodiversity. Feeling the effects of age and a lifetime of hard work, Henry decides to take a sabbatical with his wife Hiroko in her native Japan. Left in the hands of a former intern, the farm is devastated by unusually heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, Henry's recently graduated daughter Aozora, a stalwart worker on the farm, is planning to leave for New York to pursue a writing career, and Henry's sojourn in Japan has caused him to rethink the future of farming. Director Sommer (BENEATH THE BLINDFOLD) effectively integrates an absorbing inside look at the nuts-and-bolts of sustainable farming with a lyrical feeling for nature and a stirring portrait of a down-to-earth idealist. (MR)
Click here to view a Facebook Live Q&A with director Ines Sommer, film subject Henry Brockman, and co-producer Terra Brockman, moderated by filmmaker and Northwestern University film professor Kyle Henry (ROGERS PARK)!
OUR TIME MACHINE
2019, S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun, China/USA, 86 min.
"Sensitivity and insight...Maleonn's wondrous creations are enough of an attraction on their own, but the film has many more layers to reveal."--Scott Tobias, Variety
"Not only a powerful staged spectacle but a lovely meditative movie...a thoughtful exploration of memory and growing up."--Christopher Reed, Hammer to Nail
"Uplifting...an elegant, focused piece of storytelling."--Allan Hunter, Screen International
Shaken by the news of his father’s dementia, Shanghai conceptual artist Maleonn creates “Papa’s Time Machine,” a wondrous time-travel adventure performed on stage with life-size mechanical puppets. Through the play's production, he confronts his own mortality. Maleonn finds grace and unexpected joy in this moving meditation on art, the agonies of love and loss, and the circle of life. Facing his father’s painful decline, the artist becomes more aware of life’s complexities. There are no effortless masterpieces or simple solutions. And there’s no traveling back in time to retrieve what has been lost. There is however, the relationship that has developed with co-director Tianyi. He proposes to her, ready to become a partner and a father, and to carry on forward with a new outlook on his art and life. (Description courtesy of Walking Iris Media)
Click here to view a Live Q&A and studio tour, with THE TIME MACHINE filmmakers and film subject Maleonn, moderated by MSNBC's Richard Lui.
A CHEF'S VOYAGE
2020, Rémy Anfosso and Jason Matzner, USA, 90 min.
A CHEF'S VOYAGE follows the celebrated American Chef David Kinch and his team from Manresa, their 3 Star Michelin restaurant in California, for a one-of-a-kind collaboration with three legendary French chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. This intriguing documentary takes us behind the scenes as the Manresa crew attempts to stage nine major meals over 10 days in the world’s most cinematic venues, alongside culinary superstars, with the world watching (and tasting) - all to celebrate 15 years of Manresa excellence by doing what Chef Kinch and his team do best: creating meals and experiences worthy of those three stars. In English and French with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of First Run Features)
2019, Roger Michell, USA/UK, 97 min.
With Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska
"Bridges humor and heartbreak...Michell's nimble direction keeps the ship right even through the stormiest of sequences."--Kate Erbland, Indiewire
"A class act...this is a quality enterprise with numerous rewards for adult audiences."--Dennis Harvey, Variety
An all-star cast anchors this crowd-pleasing drama from director Roger Michell (NOTTING HILL, TEA WITH THE DAMES), a remake of the acclaimed Danish film SILENT HEART. Lily (Sarandon) and Paul (Neil) summon their loved ones to their beach house for one final gathering after Lily decides to end her long battle with ALS on her own terms. The couple is planning a loving weekend complete with holiday traditions, but the mood becomes strained when unresolved issues surface between Lily and her daughters Jennifer (Winslet) and Anna (Wasikowska). Joining the collective farewell are Lily’s son in law (Rainn Wilson), her lifelong friend (Lindsay Duncan), daughter’s partner (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and grandson (Anson Boon). Her story is ultimately one of hope, love and a celebration of life. (Description courtesy of Variance Films)
THE ARTIST'S WIFE
2019, Tom Dolby, USA, 94 min.
With Lena Olin, Bruce Dern
Claire (Olin) lives a domestic life in the Hamptons as the wife of celebrated artist Richard Smythson (Dern). Once a promising painter herself, Claire now lives in the shadow of her husband’s illustrious career. While preparing work for his final show, Richard’s moods become increasingly erratic, and he is diagnosed with dementia. As his memory and behavior deteriorate, she shields his condition from the art community while trying to reconnect him with his estranged daughter and grandson from a previous marriage. Challenged by the loss of her world as she knew it, Claire must now decide whether to stand with Richard on the sidelines or step into the spotlight herself.--(Description courtesy of Strand Releasing)
Click here to view a live Q&A with star Lena Olin and director Tom Dolby, moderated by filmmaker and Northwestern University film professor Kyle Henry (ROGERS PARK)!!
SAUL & RUBY'S HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR BAND
2020, Tod Lending, USA, 81 min.
This unique and compelling story is about having the courage to live one’s dreams, finding purpose and meaning in life at any age, the transcendent power of music, and the importance of speaking out against anti-Semitism and bigotry.
After World War II, Holocaust survivors Saul and Ruby moved to America, started families and careers, grew old, and retired to South Florida. Retirement could have been the last chapter in their story, but they decided to start a klezmer band, named the Holocaust Survivor Band. In this utterly heart-affecting and enthralling film, Oscar-nominated director Lending (LEGACY) follows their musical journey, which includes a performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and an emotionally significant plan to return to Poland to perform triumphantly in honor of their dead loved ones. (Description courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films)
GOD OF THE PIANO
2019, Itay Tal, Israel, 80 min.
With Naama Preis, Andy Levi
"Quietly chilling...prepare to be shaken and stirred."--Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia
"As enigmatic as it is compelling...the use of music throughout is superb."--Wendy Ide, Screen International
Anat (Preis, winner of the Jerusalem Film Festival award for Best Actress) has never been able to reach her father’s exacting musical standards, and now her family's hope of producing a musical prodigy rests on her unborn son. When the baby is born deaf, she cannot accept it and resorts to extreme measures to ensure that her child will be the composer that her father always wanted. But when the boy grows up indifferent to his destiny as a great pianist, Anat will have to stand up to her father - and her own actions. In Hebrew with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Film Movement)
MYTH OF A COLORBLIND FRANCE
2020, Alan Govenar, USA, 86 min.
This in-depth documentary explores the extraordinary and sometimes difficult lives of Blacks in Paris from the 19th century to the present. For more than a century, African American artists, authors, musicians and others have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of the United States. What made these African Americans choose France? Why were the French fascinated by African Americans? And to what extent was and is France truly colorblind? The film explores the lives and careers of renowned African Americans who emigrated to Paris, including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Lois Mailou Jones, and includes rare home movie footage of Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris. In English and French with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of First Run Features)
Black Harvest Film Festival 2020
2020, Sarah Colt and Josh Gleason, USA, 91 min.
What do a farmer in Kansas, a laid-off factory worker in Ohio, and an Uber driver in Florida have in common? All three are resourceful, positive thinkers who strive to adapt and thrive despite dehumanizing forces at play in the American economy. As the film’s heroes face these roadblocks with courage, certain ideals remain sacred: family, love, and staying strong in the face of adversity. Lush cinematography galvanizes a sense of place, and, as the narrative unfolds, the intimacy with the characters results in an emotionally rich observational drama. Ultimately, THE DISRUPTED reveals a collective American experience of financial challenge, family resilience, and the quest for the purpose and dignity of work. [CC] (Description courtesy of Sarah Colt Productions)
SAN XIA HAO LAN ZHOU
2006, Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong, 108 min.
With Zhao Tao, Lan Zhou
"A human triumph... sublime, soulful art."--Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"Four stars! Exhilarating... a movie to change one's view of both cinema and life.” --John Anderson, Newsday
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, STILL LIFE by Jia Zhang-ke (ASH IS PUREST WHITE), is a unique hybrid of documentary and fiction, an empathetic portrait of those left behind by a modernizing society. Great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the construction of the Three Gorges dam. Fengjie’s old town, which has a 2000-year history, has been torn down and submerged forever. Life-changing choices face Sanming, a miner traveling to Fengjie in search of his ex-wife of sixteen years, and Shen Hong, a nurse who has come to Fengjie to look for her husband who she hasn’t seen in two years. Both will have to decide what is worth salvaging in their lives and what they need to let go. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (Description courtesy of Big World Pictures)
F11 AND BE THERE
2020, Jethro Waters, USA, 84 min.
"Never shying away from hard issues like racial and social justice...should be required viewing for aspiring artists everywhere."--Rod Machen, Cinapse
"As beautifully composed as Uzzle's pictures...a subtle feast of light and color."--Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
For 65 years and counting, Burk Uzzle has created some of the most iconic photographs in American history. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Woodstock to America's small towns and back roads, Uzzle's photographs have provided a breathtaking commentary on American civil rights, race, social justice, and art. Initially grounded in documentary photography when he was the youngest photographer hired by LIFE magazine at age 23, his work grew into a combination of split-second impressions reflecting the human condition during his tenure as a member of the international Magnum cooperative founded by one of his mentors, Henri Cartier-Bresson. An electrifying fusion of music, image, and dialogue, F11 AND BE THERE captures the life and artistry of Uzzle, including his current portrait work with the African American community in Eastern North Carolina. [CC] Description courtesy of First Run Features.
2020, Frederick Wiseman, USA, 275 min.
START STREAMING 11/6!
City government touches upon almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us take for granted necessary services like sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing bureaus, recordkeeping, as well a myriad of other activities that support the citizenry. In CITY HALL, through a series of his trademark masterfully edited vignettes, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (EX LIBRIS, NATIONAL GALLERY) explores the inner-workings of the government of his native Boston.
FIRE WILL COME
O QUE ARDE
2019, Oliver Laxe, Spain/France/Luxembourg, 85 min.
Amador Arias, Benedicta Sánchez
START STREAMING 11/6!
Convicted arsonist Amador Coro has been serving time for having set a devastating forest fire. When he gets out, nobody is waiting for him. He returns to his hometown, a small village hidden in the rural Galician mountains, where neighbors and former friends eye him with suspicion. Living a socially isolated life with his mother Benedicta and their three cows, he settles into the rhythm of the seasons, until one night a horrific, fast-spreading fire rips across the heavily-wooded mountain-sides of the region. In Galician and Spanish with English subtitles.
1981, Manoel de Oliveira, 166 min.
With Mário Barroso, Teresa Menezes, Diogo Dória
STREAM STARTING 11/13!
Based on Agustina Bessa-Luís’ acclaimed novel, itself inspired by a true story that occurred in the 19th century, Manoel de Oliveira’s FRANCISCA recounts the life of a young man, a son of an English officer, who lets himself become a prisoner of love resulting in fatalism and disgrace. With its gorgeous cinematography, gloomy interiors, and show-stopping gala set-pieces, FRANCISCA is one of the legendary director’s crowning achievements. The film premiered in 1981 as an official selection in Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.
YALDA, A NIGHT FOR FORGIVENESS
2019, Massoud Bakhshi, Iran/France, 89 min.
With Sadaf Asgari, Behnaz Jafari, Babak Karimi
STREAM STARTING 12/11!
On the night of a festive Iranian holiday, a young woman sentenced to death for the murder of her 65-year-old husband appears on a popular TV reality show to plead for her life with the adult daughter of the dead man, and simultaneously with the larger TV audience, which will vote on her fate. Unexpected complications and late-breaking revelations create a churning moral labyrinth in which the veracity of all the principal players is called into question. Based on a true story and an actual Iranian reality show, YALDA is an edge-of-your seat viewing experience.