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Modern Language Film Fest

Modern Language Film Fest

Join Oakton for its 27th 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.

Where DoWe Go Now? (2011)
In a remote Lebanese village, Muslims and Christians have long co-existed, avoiding the interfaith strife and violence rampant in other parts of the country. But as the village’s isolation erodes, conflict escalates—and it’s up to the women to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war. Heartsick over sons, husbands, and fathers lost to previous flare-ups, they unite to distract their men with clever ruses, from faking a miracle to hiring a troop of Ukrainian strippers. (110 minutes)
Monday, March 31, 10 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Thursday, April 3, 9:30 a.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

Shower (1999)
Chinese businessman Daming rushes to Beijing upon learning of his father’s death—only to find Old Liu cheerfully operating his traditional bathhouse with Daming’s mentally-challenged brother Erming and hosting a motley group of regulars from the decaying neighborhood. Uncomfortable in this old-fashioned world—and preferring showers to baths—Daming plans a short stay. But when Erming disappears and the bathhouse is threatened with destruction, Daming draws closer to his father, crossing the divide between traditional Chinese culture and the Western way of life. Veteran Chinese actor Feng Shun makes his final screen appearance as a trainer of fighting crickets. (98 minutes)
Monday, March 31, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152
Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608

Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Audrey Tautou (Amélie, The Da Vinci Code) stars as Coco Chanel in this biopic that traces the early life of the legendary fashion designer. Abandoned by her father to an orphanage, Chanel rises from bar seamstress and singer to successful businesswoman—finding love and overcoming tragedy along the way. Directed by Anne Fontaine and written by Camille Fontaine in collaboration with Christopher Hampton, the film, based on the Chanel biography L’Irrégulière (The Nonconformist) by Edmonde Charles-Roux, features dresses from the Chanel collection. (105 minutes)
Wednesday, April 2, 10 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Wednesday, April 2, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)
Filmmaker Marc Rothemund reconstructs the last six days in the life of renowned German anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl in an Academy Award-nominated film that earned star Julia Jentsch best actress awards in 2005 at the Lolas and the Berlin International Film Festival. In 1943, Hitler’s march across Europe has galvanized Munich University students—including Scholl and her brother Hans—to launch the White Rose resistance movement. When brother and sister distribute anti-Nazi leaflets on campus, both are arrested by the Gestapo and charged with treason. But even in the face of certain death, Scholl stands her ground, refuses to implicate White Rose members, and champions freedom. (120 minutes)
Tuesday, April 1, 12:30 p.m., Skokie, Room P103
Wednesday, April 2, 11 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610

The Human Resources Manager (2010)
When a non-Jewish immigrant is killed in a Jerusalem suicide bombing, her employer, Israel’s largest industrial bakery, neglects to collect the body—standard protocol when the deceased has no local family. To placate a muckraking paper and avoid a public relations disaster, the company’s unnamed human resources manager reluctantly travels to Eastern Europe to return the woman’s body to her family, increasingly determined to do the right thing regardless of the complications that ensue. Israeli director Eran Riklis’ film won five Ophir Awards—for best film, director, screenplay, supporting actress (Rosina Kambus), and soundtrack. (103 minutes)
Tuesday, April 1, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room P103
Wednesday, April 2, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608

The Life of Pi (2008)
Director Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning film adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel chronicles the 227-day odyssey of its teenage hero, adrift on the Pacific with a Bengal tiger. When his ship sinks en route to Canada from India, 16-year-old Pi loses his family and finds himself stranded in a lifeboat with “Richard Parker.” As the months go by, boy and beast must find a way to adapt and accept each other as they battle the elements and fight for survival. (127 minutes)
Tuesday, April 1, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Wednesday, April 2, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room, P104

The First Beautiful Thing (2011)
Middle-aged, peevish Bruno spends his life brooding over childhood grievances—especially against his mother, the beautiful, free-spirited Anna, a woman who faces the considerable trials of her life with unending optimism. Summoned by his sister to his hometown, where Anna now lies dying of cancer, Bruno recalls his chaotic childhood and the summer of 1971. When Anna is unexpectedly crowned “Most Beautiful Mother” during a local beauty pageant, her husband becomes violently jealous—setting in motion a chain of events that stretches over 30 years.
Monday, March 31, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Tuesday, April 1, 12:30 p.m., Skokie, Room C140

Always: Sunset on Third Street -3 (2012)
Return to Third Street with the latest installment of the blockbuster Always series. In 1964, the street’s inhabitants are swept up by Olympic fever when the games come to Tokyo. Business is booming at Suzuki’s auto mechanic shop while his son Ippei falls for American rock-n-roll and his loyal employee Mutsuko falls for a young doctor. Across the street, happily married novelist Chagawa and bar owner Hiromi raise adopted son Junnosuke. But change is coming and modernization is right around the corner. One of the most successful film franchises in Japanese cinema, Always hits the right nostalgic chord. (142 minutes)
Tuesday, April 1, 11 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Wednesday, April 2, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1604
Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Skokie, Room P103

As One (2012)
The true story of the first post-war united Korean sports team.When North and South Korea hastily create a unified table tennis team to diffuse tension created by the 1987 North Korean bombing of a Korean Air flight, athletes from both countries form an uneasy alliance to compete at the 1991World Table Tennis Championships. South Korea’s Hyun Jung-hwa and North Korea’s Li Bun-hui—world-class players and die-hard opponents—slowly become partners and friends. But as finals loom, word comes that the team will be disbanded. These two players must prove to their people that teamwork can overcome a painful history. (127 minutes)
Monday, March 31, 5 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610
Thursday, April 3, 4:30 p.m., Skokie, Room C140

When a psychotherapy patient at an exclusive resort is found dead, prosecutor Agata, working her first criminal case, arrives on the scene—only to find that her ex-boyfriend Slawomir is the investigating police officer. Now a happily married mother, Agata struggles to stay focused on the case as the two seek to solve the crime, which links the dead man to his role as a secret agent in communist Poland and to an unsolved murder from the past. Director Jacek Bromski’s film will keep you guessing until the very end. (128 minutes)
Monday, March 31, 6 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1608
Tuesday, April 1, 4:30 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

The Island (2007)
Father Anatoli (Russian rock musician Pyotr Mamonov) lives a hermitlike existence in a remote Orthodox monastery. A prophet, he is revered for his ability to exercise demons, heal the sick, and forecast the future. But Anatoli’s odd behavior and frequent disappearances to a nearby island confuse his fellow monks, who are unaware that he’s tortured by the memory of a terrible sin he committed during the war. Pavel Lungin directed this poignant parable. (112 minutes)
Wednesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152

Even the Rain (2011)
Two instances of social injustice—set 500 years apart— intertwine and mirror each other in this “film within a film.” Mexican director Sebastian (Gael García Bernal) and producer Costa (Luis Tosar) choose to film their revisionist movie about Columbus’ voyage to the New World in Bolivia, the poorest country in Latin America—saving thousands of dollars by paying the impoverished locals a buck or two to play extras. But the two men get more than they bargain for when they hire Daniel (Carlos Aduviri), a political protester, to play a 15th-century native. (104 minutes)
Monday, March 31, 9:30 a.m., Des Plaines, Room 1610
Monday, March 31, 11 a.m., Skokie, Room P103
Wednesday, April 2, 4:30 p.m., Des Plaines, Room 1606
Thursday, April 3, 12:30 p.m., Skokie, Room A145-152
Thursday, April 3, 12:30 p.m. Des Plaines, Room 1608

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

Alumni Profile

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Paul Johnson developed a passion for psychology at Oakton. Now he wears two hats - Professor of student development and Professor of psychology.



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January 16
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