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Chicago Latino Film Festival

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The International Latino Cultural Center presents the 22nd Chicago Latino Film Festival with screenings Friday, April 21, through Thursday, May 4, at Chicago State Univ., 9501 S. King Dr.; Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski; Dominican Univ., 7900 W. Division, River Forest; Facets Cinematheque; Gene Siskel Film Center; Landmark's Century Centre; Little Village Lawndale High School, 3120 S. Kostner; Moraine Valley Community College, 10900 S. 88th Ave., Palos Hills; Morton College, 3801 S. Central, Cicero; Northwestern Univ. Block Museum of Art; Pipers Alley; River East 21; St. Xavier Univ., 3700 W. 103rd St.; and Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, 750 S. Halsted. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $9-$10, and a festival pass, good for ten screenings, is $80. Discounts are available for students, seniors, the disabled, and members of Illinois Arts Alliance and ILCC; for more information call 312-409-1757 or visit www.latinoculturalcenter.org. Following are listings through Thursday, April 27; a full festival schedule appears at www.chicagoreader.com. Unless otherwise noted, all screenings are in English or subtitled Spanish.

FRIDAY 21

Dancing the Cha Cha Cha

A Cuban family grapples with the social and political forces of the early 1950s in this 2005 feature by Manuel Herrera, which settles into the overwrought tone of a telenovela. A college student and her two brothers--a soldier and a musician--follow increasingly divergent paths while their mother stoically awaits the return of their father, a former baseball player who abandoned the family years earlier for a better life in the U.S. Herrera uses the cha-cha craze as an excuse for some hot dance numbers but never establishes its thematic significance. 102 min. (JK) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

Detective Prado's Last Case

A retiring detective takes on one last case in this 2005 Puerto Rican thriller by Jose Artemio Torres. 120 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 6 PM

Tattooed

A 2005 Argentinean feature about a man who sets off on a road trip in search of his long-absent mother. Eduardo Raspo directed. 85 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:30 PM

Ana and the Others

A woman leaves Buenos Aires to rethink her life in her hometown of Parana in this 2003 Argentinean feature by Celina Murga. 80 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7 PM

The Old Man & Jesus: Prophets of Rebellion

Two homeless men in Caracas fend off right-wing attacks as Hugo Chavez takes the presidency of Venezuela. Marcelo Andrade Arreaza directed this 2005 feature from the U.S. 100 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 8:30 PM

RWinning the Battle

Produced for Telemundo, this persuasive 2004 Puerto Rican drama focuses on three women fighting breast cancer: a blue-collar free spirit (writer-producer Alba Nydia Diaz), a driven executive (Cordelia Gonzalez), and a wife (Flor Nunez) abandoned by her husband after her mastectomy. The opening sequence cuts fluidly back and forth among the women, connecting them before they've even met, and the rest of the movie stresses that connection as a source of strength and joy. Gonzalez and Nunez give deft, naturalistic performances, and director Sonia Valentin manages to address a dire illness without becoming morbid or saccharine. 93 min. (AG) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Killing Cabos

A janitor's son resolves to kidnap his father's boss, a cruel businessman, in this 2004 Mexican feature by Alejandro Lozano. 94 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Silver Salt

Carlos Gerbase directed this 2005 Brazilian drama about aspiring filmmakers. 96 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

SATURDAY 22

Tainos: The Last Tribe

Archaeology students exploring a Puerto Rican cave discover an indigenous tribe thought to have been killed by the Spaniards 500 years earlier. Benjamin Lopez directed this 2005 feature. 117 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 3 PM

Winning the Battle

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 3 PM

Maroa

A young girl slipping into delinquency in Caracas is sent to an orphanage/detention facility and meets a sympathetic music teacher. Solveig Hoogesteijn directed this 2005 Spanish-Venezuelan coproduction. 110 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 3:30 PM

Spanish Spoken Here

A Latino immigrant to the U.S. tries to become a stand-up comic in this 2005 feature by Gabriel del Rio. 100 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 4 PM

The Evangelist

Just when you thought the Tarantino knockoffs had subsided, along comes this Chicago-based tale (2005) about a Bible-quoting hit man (J. Salome Martinez Jr.) and his smart-ass sidekick (Nicolas Guzman), who engage in long bouts of "witty" banter between assignments for a drug kingpin. The amoral duo relish their work, but the hit man loses his nerve when he's ordered to bump off a minister whose community outreach is curtailing the neighborhood drug trade. Writer-director Juan D. Zavaleta fails to find an effective blend of action and broad comedy, but if you're tickled by the idea of hired killers suffering from gas and diarrhea during a job, then this is for you. 90 min. (Reece Pendleton) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 5:30 PM

Short works, program one

Two U.S. shorts from 2005, Ed Italo's Following Paula and Suzan Pitt's The Doctor. 71 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 5:45 PM

Thieves and Liars

A Puerto Rican Traffic, this busy 2005 feature by Ricardo Mendez Matta surveys the island's drug economy through several loosely intertwined stories. Not all of the characters are thieves or liars, but most of them are corruptible: a teenager whose artist father is too busy to keep an eye on him, a young man who takes his brother's place in a drug operation after the brother's killed in prison, an official at the San Juan airport who looks the other way while smugglers operate with impunity. This is smart and serious-minded drama, though ultimately limited by its brisk, Sopranos-style pacing: almost every scene is designed to make a rhetorical point in 30 seconds or less, barely leaving the characters time to breathe. 114 min. (JJ) a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

Bloom

Julio D. De Los Santos directed this sentimental tale about a young woman struggling to win back custody of her two children after DCFS places them with her mother--an angry, controlling woman who disapproves of the daughter's lifestyle. The young woman is contrasted with her court-appointed therapist, an affluent white woman who's struggling to conceive a child of her own, and by the time a third story line pops up (this one involving a Holocaust survivor), there's enough melodrama to fuel an entire telenovela. The decent performances and the good intentions of screenwriter Rosie Vargas aren't enough to make this convincing. 97 min. (Reece Pendleton) a Facets Cinematheque, 6:30 PM

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

Grand Illusion in South America, this 2005 antiwar drama is set during the brief period when Chile and Argentina's dispute over the Beagle Channel threatened to erupt into open warfare. A squad of six Chilean soldiers is ordered to establish a military outpost north of Punta Arenas, and in the middle of the plains they encounter an Argentinean squad with an identical mission; both sides dig in, but eventually boredom gets the better of everyone, and they become friendly. The characters never progress beyond the usual war-movie archetypes, but writer-director Alex Bowen makes the most of their ludicrous standoff in the middle of nowhere and their growing sense of brotherhood. 104 min. (JJ) a Landmark's Century Centre, 7:45 PM

The Wandering Shadows

In Bogota, a man with one leg strikes up a friendship with a man who earns his living carrying people on his back. Ciro Guerra directed this 2004 Colombian feature. 89 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

The Old Man & Jesus: Prophets of Rebellion

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

A Dios Momo

Pretentious and dull, this Uruguayan exercise in magical realism takes place during the annual carnival in Montevideo. An illiterate urchin (Matthias Acuna) works hard peddling newspapers to help support his two sisters and his grandmother, a professional psychic; after he's robbed by street punks, a mime materializes to console him and leads him to some sad-sack performers and a mysterious night watchman (Jorge Esmoris). Characters pass in and out of this 2005 feature, adding to the sense of dislocation as director Leonardo Ricagni (29 Palms) moves toward a baffling denouement. 108 min. (AG) a Landmark's Century Centre, 9:15 PM

Killing Cabos

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10:15 PM

SUNDAY 23

A Dios Momo

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Landmark's Century Centre, 2 PM

The Evangelist

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 3 PM

Short works, program one

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Landmark's Century Centre, 3 PM

Short works, program two

Works from Portugal and the Dominican Republic. 85 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 4 PM

Heroin

Mothers of drug-addicted children rally for police action against dealers in this 2005 Spanish feature by Gerardo Herrero. 110 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 4:45 PM

Tattooed

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Landmark's Century Centre, 5 PM

News From Afar

Ricardo Benet directed this 2005 Mexican feature about a young man from the salt flats who seeks a new life in Mexico City. 120 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 5:30 PM

Detective Prado's Last Case

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Facets Cinematheque, 6:30 PM

Noise

A man gets a new job as part of a two-man "noise control squad" in this 2005 Spanish-Uruguayan feature by Marcelo Bertalmio. 100 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7 PM

Maroa

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30 PM

Spanish Spoken Here

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9:20 PM

Silver Salt

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10 PM

MONDAY 24

Your Own Blood

Julian Larrea Arias's 2005 documentary focuses on a beautiful region of Ecuador between the rain forest and the Andes, where the Shuar Indians, the majority of the population, believe the mestizos in power haven't been acting in their best interests. Arias follows an election that pits a Shuar against a mestizo, letting the candidates and other Shuar do most of the talking. Individual concerns are clear, but the paucity of objective facts and broader perspectives makes it hard to comprehend the larger issues or the intricacies of local politics, and the nature interludes offer little more than atmosphere. 71 min. (FC) a Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, noon

Words of Truth

Ricardo Casas directed this 2004 profile of Uruguayan poet and novelist Mario Benedetti. 54 min. a St. Xavier Univ., 3 PM

Ana and the Others

See listing for Fri 4/21. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

Juana Had Hair of Gold

A young woman whose hair is strands of gold is coveted by the mayor, the church, and the people of her town in this 2005 Colombian feature by Luis Fernando "Pacho" Bottia. 75 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

The Longest Penalty Shot in the World Comedy fans will get little--and soccer fans even less--from this slack 2005 Spanish feature about some working-class footballers who unexpectedly find themselves one penalty shot away from a division championship. (The title refers to duration, not distance, because the game is interrupted for a week before the final play.) Fernando Tejero stars as a beer-and-pot-addled loser whose status as a perpetual benchwarmer changes when the star goalie is injured and there's no one else left to replace him. A soccer comedy should have some bounce, but the movie's romantic pairings are tedious and the gags are either listless or tasteless (the current vogue for vomit humor seems to have made it across the Atlantic). Roberto Santiago directed. 102 min. (AG) Screening as part of the festival's "Night of Spain"; tickets are $40 and include a reception with live music. a Pipers Alley, 6 PM

News From Afar

See listing for Sun 4/23. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

Your Own Blood

See listing this date above. a Facets Cinematheque, 6:30 PM

Noise

See listing for Sun 4/23. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:30 PM

The Wandering Shadows

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Pinatas, the Movie

From Spain, this 2005 feature-length animation takes place in a land of pinatas lorded over by a despot. Henrique Vera-Villanueva, Alan Best, and Manuel J. Garcia directed. 83 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:45 PM

Short works, program three

Works from Spain, Guatemala, and the U.S. 120 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

TUESDAY 25

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, noon

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

Leggy blond Julieta (Luana Piovani) grew up attending soccer games with her father, who can recount decades' worth of plays by his beloved Palmeiras team; when she meets Romeu (Marco Ricca), a handsome widower, he tries to conceal his pedigree as a die-hard Corinthians fan. His deception spans almost the entire length of this 2005 Brazilian comedy, which culminates in a Tokyo match--as if the rival camps' bombastic silliness will be funnier taken to an international level. Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) directed. In Portuguese with subtitles. 92 min. (AG) a St. Xavier Univ., 2:30 PM, and Chicago State Univ., 5 PM

A Dios Momo

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Moraine Valley Community College,6 PM

News From Afar

See listing for Sun 4/23. a Morton College, 6 PM

Thieves and Liars

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

Heroin

See listing for Sun 4/23. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Dominican Univ., 7 PM

Short works, program four

Two U.S. shorts from 2005: Luis Valenzuela's Radio Increible and Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater's Rosita. 82 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Juana Had Hair of Gold

See listing for Mon 4/24. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

See listing this date above. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Short works, program two

See listing for Sun 4/23. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

WEDNESDAY 26

Alice in the Underground

A 2004 look at the counterculture in Mexico City, directed by Alejandro Ramirez Corona. 38 min. a St. Xavier Univ., noon

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

See listing for Tue 4/25. a Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, noon

Short works, program five

Two works: Alice in the Underground (see listing this date above) and Words of Truth (see listing for Mon 4/24). 92 min. a Moraine Valley Community College, 1 PM

A Dios Momo

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Morton College, 6 PM

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Moraine Valley Community College, 6 PM

Unanswered Questions

A 2004 Mexican documentary about the epidemic of unsolved murders of women in Ciudad Juarez. Rafael Montero directed. 120 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

RLife in Color

Set in a small Spanish town as Franco is dying, this 2005 feature by Santiago Tabernero focuses on a moody 13-year-old (nicely played by Junio Valverde) who's ostracized by his male peers because his mother sends him to Catholic rather than public school. Other memorable characters include the boy's almost girlfriend, her mentally unbalanced father, and the hero's older sister, who's glumly resigned to marrying a pompous twit. Taberno takes his time establishing a rhythm from scene to scene, but eventually the assorted subplots gain traction, and the film becomes a nostalgic and melancholy look at the awkwardness of youth. 97 min. (JK) a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

Horcon, South of Nowhere

Rodrigo Goncalves directed this 2005 Chilean drama about a woman born in Switzerland to a Chilean exile; after the father dies, the daughter journeys to his native land to scatter his ashes and hears stories about the military coup against Salvador Allende. 90 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:30 PM

My Grandfather, My Father and I

Three generations of men have trouble with women in this 2005 Colombian feature by Dario Armando Garcia. 90 min. a Dominican Univ., 7 PM

Short works, program six

Works from Spain and Guatemala. 107 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

RBilliards

This raw, clever Mexican feature (2005) begins as an instructional video for pool players, but after several minutes one realizes that it's setting up a dramatic story. Daniel Martinez stars as a world-weary hustler with a bad back and gastrointestinal problems who wins the deed to a shabby billiards hall. Torn between preserving the status quo and heeding the advice of his punkish young assistant to convert it into something trendier, the new owner quickly tires of his responsibilities. Director Kurt Hollander combines grainy video and 16-millimeter film, the sallow hues and smeary definition accentuating the seediness of the characters and setting. With Jesus Ochoa (Man on Fire). 85 min. (JK) Hollander and Martinez will attend the screening, which is part of the festival's "Noche Mexicana." Tickets are $75 and include a reception at 6 PM. a River East 21, 8:30 PM

RTo the Other Side

Natalia Almada's 2005 documentary about Mexican illegals bristles with attitude, much like the edgy contemporary folk tunes it showcases. Reflecting the realities of poverty, the drug trade, and the immigrant experience, these corridos are popular on both sides of the border: in a depressed region of Sinaloa, an aspiring composer hopes his lyrics will be his ticket north, while in LA, English-speaking Angelenos reinforce their Mexican identity in the corridos club scene. Many of the songs extol bravery and determination in the face of death; the mythos may have found its apotheosis in Chalino Sanchez, a narco-corridos singer whose 1992 murder has never been solved. 66 min. (AG) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Unfaithful Women

An ensemble drama about adulterous women in Chile. Rodrigo Ortuzar directed this 2004 feature. 100 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:30 PM

The Visitor

A Chilean horror movie (2005) about a maternity ward terrorized by a genetic experiment gone awry. Coke Hidalgo directed. 74 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:45 PM

Short works, program four

See listing for Tue 4/25. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

THURSDAY 27

Short works, program five

See listing for Wed 4/26. a Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, noon

Your Own Blood

See listing for Mon 4/24. a Richard J. Daley College, 12:30 PM

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

See listing for Tue 4/25. a Northwestern Univ. Block Museum of Art, 5:30 PM

Short works, program five

See listing for Wed 4/26. a Moraine Valley Community College, 6 PM

A King in La Havana

Romantic comedy about an arranged marriage between a Spanish man and a young Cuban woman. Alexis Valdes directed this 2005 feature. 110 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

See listing for Tue 4/25. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

Short Works, program five

See listing for Wed 4/26. a Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lecture Center B2, 7 PM

A Day Without Sex

An ensemble story about four Peruvian couples. Frank Perez-Garland directed this 2005 feature. 90 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

A Dios Momo

See listing for Sat 4/22. a Richard J. Daley College, 7 PM

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

See listing for Tue 4/25. a Little Village Lawndale High School, 7:30 PM

Unanwered Questions

See listing for Wed 4/26. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

The Committee

Mateo Herrera's 2005 documentary chronicles a prison riot in Ecuador. 93 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

Hard Times

Manuel Martin Cuenca directed this 2005 Spanish feature about a single mother and a Cuban immigrant. 115 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Horcon, South of Nowhere

See listing for Wed 4/26. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

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