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Modern Language Film Fest

Modern Language Film Fest

Join Oakton for its 28th Modern Language Film Festival. Travel the globe without leaving your seat through a dozen fascinating, highly rated films that showcase the wide range of languages offered by the College! All screenings are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and the Office of Access, Equity, and Diversity.

Films are presented in their original languages with English subtitles. Most foreign movies aren’t rated by the Motion Picture Association of America and may be appropriate for mature audiences only.

Wadjda (2012)
Female Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour’s groundbreaking feature film Wadjda offers a moving, rarely seen picture of everyday life in Riyadh. Wadjda, an enterprising ten-year-old Saudi girl, signs up for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise money for a bike, even though bicycles are considered dangerous to a girl’s virtue. With a central character unique to the screen, Al-Mansour has crafted a subtle counterpoint to the images of females we’re accustomed to seeing—a character who holds hope for the future. (98 Minutes)
Monday, April 6, 9:30 a.m., Skokie, Room P103
Tuesday, April 7, 11:30 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604

The Grandmaster (2013)
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Kar Wai Wong The Grandmaster spans the tumultuous Republican era following the fall of China’s last dynasty—and the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, this epic action movie chronicles the life of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man from the 1930s in Foshan, his flight to Hong Kong after the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the events leading to his death. (130 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P103
Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604

Look at Me (2004)
Lolita, a talented woman, struggles to get out from under the shadow of her father, a wealthy and well-known editor and writer, in this award-winning drama directed by Agnès Jaoui. From her voice coach, Sylvia, to her possible new romantic interest, Sébastien, everyone seems to be using her as an introduction to her father—and Lolita is ready to put a stop to it. (110 minutes)
Tuesday, April 7, 12:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P103

A Coffee in Berlin
Jan Ole Gerster’s wry and vibrant feature debut, which swept the 2013 German Oscar Awards, paints a day in the life of Niko, a 20-something college dropout going nowhere fast. Niko lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider—until everything changes in a series of absurdly amusing encounters, and he is forced to engage with life. Shot in timeless black and white, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience. (83 Minutes)
Tuesday, April 7, 11 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610
Thursday, April 9, 4 p.m., Skokie, Room P104

A man comes face to face with his failings as a father and businessman as he struggles to make things right in this Israeli drama and winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Screenwriting Award. After his long-time business partner passes away, 70-year-old Yaakov Fidelman hires Anton, a young apprentice, to help him run his antique restoration workshop, rejecting his son Noah’s idea to close the business and build an apartment complex on the site. When Anton falls in love with Hava, Noah’s pregnant wife, the young men compete not only over a father, but also over a woman and the baby she carries. (105 minutes).
Tuesday, April 7, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P103
Wednesday, April 8, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1560

Tahaan, an 8-year-old mountain boy, often hears distant gunfire. But it is not until he goes on a quest to reclaim his beloved donkey, which has been confiscated as payment for his poor family’s debts, that he is drawn toward a violence he has no capacity to understand. Set against the rugged landscape of Kashmir, so long a flash point for the territorial claims of neighboring India and Pakistan, director Santosh Sivan’s tender fable about childhood innocence amid the realities of war is told with warmth and humor. (105 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604
Wednesday, April 8, 4 p.m., Skokie, Room, P104

Not of this World
Caterina, a young nun about to take her final vows, is given an abandoned baby while taking a walk in the park. After turning the child over to the authorities, she feels compelled to find out more about the infant and its parents. A middle-aged laundromat owner, who may be the baby’s father, joins Caterina in what becomes a journey of spiritual and self-discovery for them both. Meanwhile, the child’s mother is forced to deal with her own guilt, confusion, and need to build a better life in director Giuseppe Piccioni’s seductively warm and passionate film. (100 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Wednesday, April 8, 4:30 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

Tokyo Sonata
Ryuhei Sasaki is keeping his recent job loss a secret from his wife, Megumi, and his two teenage sons, Takashi and Kenji, pretending to head to work each day but going to the employment office instead. But when Megumi accidentally spots him at a kitchen for the indigent, her trust in him, and their marriage, suffers. Kenji suspects that his father is out of work, and begins spending his lunch money on music lessons in hopes of helping to support the family in a few years. (120 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610
Tuesday, April 7, 11 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P104

Seventeen-year-old high school student Wan Deuk lives with his hunchbacked cabaret-performing father and his mentally challenged uncle in a rundown apartment. Doing badly at school and an outsider amongst his classmates, Wan Deuk is constantly fighting and running into trouble with teachers. To make matters worse, his gruff-mannered homeroom teacher, Dong Joo, lives next door and seems to have a special interest in badgering him into training as a kick boxer and reconciling with his mother. (110 Minutes)
Wednesday, April 8, 5 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610
Thursday, April 9, 4:30 p.m., Skokie, Room A151

Chopin: Desire for Love
The composer Frédéric Chopin moves to Paris in hopes of finding further inspiration. But when he arrives in the city, he is met with general indifference—in no small part due to an outbreak of cholera. Chopin’s fortunes change for the better when he encounters Amantine Dupin, who writes novels under the pseudonym George Sand, but their affair is constantly undercut by ego and artistic ambition in this historical drama directed by award-winning Polish filmmaker Jerzy Antczak. (134 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P103

How I Ended This Summer
Two men work at a small meteorological station on a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. Sergei, a gruff professional in his 50s, takes his job very seriously. His new partner, bright-eyed college graduate Pavel, retreats to his MP3 player and video games to avoid Sergei’s imposing presence. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei but can’t bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea. (124 minutes)
Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son, Natan, before the boy leaves to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching the youngster about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman’s life. As the bond between the two grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea. (73 minutes)
Monday, April 6, 11 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604
Monday, April 6, 11 a.m., Skokie, Room P104
Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Thursday, April 9, 11 a.m., Skokie, Room A145-152
Thursday, April 9, 12:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604

For information, contact Modern Languages Department Chair Marguerite Solari, Ph.D., at 847.376.7012 or

Alumni Profile

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In spite of having a bachelor’s degree, Anita Taylor ’86 wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. She found her niche at Oakton.



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