(NOTE: This article was originally published here.)
As a big-city festival that’s nevertheless much less prestigious than other festivals in America (think Sundance and Telluride), Chicago’s annual International Film Festival has always been in a sweet spot. The festival regularly screens the biggest hits from well-known international festivals, like Cannes and Berlin. But it also plays host to smaller projects that’d otherwise get completely overlooked.
This year’s festival, which took place from October 16 to 27, was no exception to this rule. The newest works of big-name directors – François Ozon, Céline Sciamma, Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, and others – shared space alongside lesser-known films from 137 countries. What follows are takes on seven films that screened at the festival.