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Festival of Cinema for the Deaf

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Presented by the Chicago Institute for the Moving Image, the second annual Festival of Cinema for the Deaf runs Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, at the Esquire and at Century 12 and CineArts 6. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $5; a $50 pass covers all screenings at Century 12 and CineArts 6. For more information call 847-322-2464.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28

The Jungle Book 2

A captioned screening of the current theatrical release; see regular listings for capsule review. Also on the program: Pierre Louis Levacher's French short Key to the Stars. Admission is free. (Esquire, 10:00 am)

Short documentaries

An uneven program of documentary shorts about profoundly deaf people adjusting to their disability. In Metronome (2000, 4 min.) by Vita Gottlieb, a young Londoner describes how he learned to play the piano by feeling its vibrations with his feet (the same technique has also allowed deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie to perform with orchestras). Andy Jones's Your Place or Mine (2002, 14 min.) is a compilation of segments from the Lonely Planet TV series offering etiquette pointers for those traveling in non-Western countries. The video is captioned for the deaf. Fed Up (2002, 59 min.), a video by students and faculty of the Texas School for the Deaf, is about deaf teens coping with intolerance and abuse. Although well-intentioned, it feels like an extended public service announcement. Also on the program: Protect Yourself (2002), an HIV-awareness video made by deaf Ghanaians, and Golden Rays (2002) by Nepal's Krishna Prashad Shrestha. (TS) (Esquire, 6:00)

Evanston Opening Program

French filmmaker Pierre Louis Levacher will introduce his short Key to the Stars. Also on the program: Amanda Mundin's Hear No Evil and Adnan Tarabshi's God Kill Her. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 6:00)

Daredevil

A captioned screening of the current theatrical release; see regular listings for capsule review. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 8:00)

Short films

A program of shorts about the lives of deaf people. Silence Remains (2002) by Brazilian filmmaker Paul Halm is a hip, lyrical story about a student who falls in love with a newcomer at a school for the deaf. The cinematography is exuberant, in tune with the exhilaration of first love. In the treacly Escape (2002) by Ireland's Steven Benedict, a deaf girl leaves the safe haven of her well-to-do neighborhood to take food to some homeless people. Also on the program: Blue Gush, Patched-up, and Chance for Love, three clever vignettes from the 1990s featuring deaf couples in comic predicaments. They were written and directed by Robert Hoskin, working with a troupe of deaf Japanese actors. 80 min. (TS) (Esquire, 8:00)

After Dark

Six short videos: Scarecrow, Waterfront, 666, Snaps, Not the Usual Victim, and Betrayed. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 10:00)

England and Down Under

Dramatic short videos about the deaf, from England and Australia. In Sofya Gollan's Chlorine Dreams (1997), a girl imagines that there's a boy in her family's backyard pool who wants to have tea with her underwater. To her chagrin, her parents don't believe her. The film effectively evokes the girl's largely soundless world by comparing it to what the hearing experience underwater. However, the seemingly tragic ending is confusing. Gollan's Swallowing (1996), which concerns a girl who's afraid to take a pill, is enlivened by interesting sound effects. Amanda Mundin's Hear No Evil (2002), about an electrician, his deaf girlfriend, and the suicidal old woman next door, is amateurish but includes some funny and macabre bits involving deafness. Also on the program: Jenni Meredith's Shifting Shadows (2002) and Skye (2002) by Tony Barlow, Patrick Wright, and Gene Fillery. 39 min. (TS) (Esquire, 10:00)

SATURDAY, MARCH 1

A Family Affair

Three short videos: Swallowing, Little Deaf Spies, and Spaces Sewers & Beyond. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 1:00)

The Jungle Book 2

A captioned screening of the current theatrical release; see regular listings for capsule review. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 3:30)

Key to the Stars

French filmmaker Pierre Louis Levacher will introduce his short film. (Esquire, 4:00)

Daredevil

A captioned screening of the current theatrical release; see regular listings for capsule review. (Esquire, 6:00)

Short documentaries

See listing for Friday, February 28. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 6:00)

Israeli Night

Three informative if occasionally preachy video documentaries from Israel dealing with prejudice against the deaf. Adnan Tarabshi's God Kill Her (2002, 20 min.) profiles an Arab family with three deaf daughters. Stigmatized by their fellow villagers, the women have been unable to marry and face an uncertain future, to the distress of their parents. Inbal's Father (2002, 13 min.), a joint production of two Jerusalem centers for the deaf, concerns a deaf professor with cerebral palsy who's written a book about his young daughter's feelings about his disability and those who make fun of them. Though weighed down by its talking-head format, Brigitte Lemaine's Deaf Witnesses, Silent Witnesses (2000, 52 min.) communicates the horror of Nazi Germany's program to exterminate the genetically "unfit," including the deaf. (TS) (Esquire, 8:00)

Short films

See listing for Friday, February 28. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 8:00)

England and Down Under

See listing for Friday, February 28. (Century 12 and CineArts 6, 10:00)

After Dark

See listing for Friday, February 28. (Esquire, 10:00)

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