Film Festival +++ Cancelled +++ Chicago European Union Film Festival

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft © UFA Fiction

Fri, 03/06/2020 -
Thu, 04/02/2020

Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

164 N. State Street
60601 Chicago

German Films at the Chicago EU Film Festival

Celebrating a milestone of 23 years, the Film Center’s most popular and ambitious annual festival will once again feature more than 60 premieres of movies from the nations of the volatile European Union. Experience some of the most provocative European movies by acclaimed and award-winning directors. 

Friday, March 6, 2:00 pm
Saturday, March 7, 2:30 pm

Ballon (c) studiocanal BALLOON (Ballon)
Director: Michael "Bully" Herbig, Germany, color,125 min., 2018,

In the summer of 1979 two families decide to flee the GDR. But the daring escape attempt fails when their home-made hot-air balloon crashes shortly before they cross the inner-German border. While the families are working feverishly on a new balloon the Stasi is closing in on them. A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins…

Friday, March 13, 2:00 pm
Sunday, March 15, 3:00 pm

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft © UFA Fiction ALL ABOUT ME (Der Junge muss an die frische Luft)
Director: Caroline Link, Germany, color, 100 min., 2017/18
Based on the memoirs of the comedian Hape Kerkeling, whose childhood in the Ruhr Valley was shaped by coal dust and the carnival season, the story told in All About Me is funny, sad, and warm all in one. The young Hans-Peter (later nicknamed Hape) realizes early that he has the gift of being able to make others laugh: his grandparents, the customers at his grandmother's general store, his fun-loving relatives, the parents of his classmates – the only person whose spirits he can't lift, try as he might, is his depressive mother, who kills herself when he is nine years old.

Sunday, March 22, 5:00 pm
Monday, March 23, 7:45 pm

Gundermann (c) Pandora Film GUNDERMANN
Director: Andreas Dresen, Germany, color, 127 min., 2017-18

During the day, Gerhard Gundermann was an excavator operator at a lignite strip mine in Lausatia; at night, he would get up on the stage and move people with his music. In the 1980s, above all his personal songs reflective of everyday life brought him a growing fan-base in East Germany, one that continued to grow after German reunification. And even when it came out that Gundermann, who in the GDR had always had conflicts with the state powers, had worked for the Ministry for State Security, his success didn't stop. And, likewise, success didn't stop him from continuing to work as an excavator operator in a lignite strip mine. In 1998, he died at the age of only 43.

Saturday, March 28, 5:00 pm
Tuesday, March 31, 7:45 pm

Systemsprenger ©Yunus Roy Imer/Port au Prince Pictures SYSTEM CRASHER (Systemsprenger)
Director: Nora Fingscheidt, Germany, color, 125 min., 2017-19
Foster home, group home, special needs school – no matter where Benni ends up, she is always immediately kicked out. The uncontrollable nine-year-old is what the child protection services refer to as a "system crasher". Thereby, all that Benni really wants is love, security, and to once again live with her mother! But her mother is afraid of her volatile daughter. Finally, when no solution is in sight and there is apparently no place left to send Benni, the anger-management trainer Micha tries to free her from her spiral of anger and aggression.


Sunday, March 8, 3:00 pm
Monday, March 9, 7:30 pm

THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET (Der Boden unter den Füssen)
2019, Marie Kreutzer, Austria, 108 min.

Friday, March 13, 4:00 pm
Monday, March 16, 6:00 pm

2018, Claire Pijman, Netherlands/Germany, 86 min.

Friday, March 20, 4:00 pm
Thursday, March 26, 6:00 pm

EARTH (Erde)
2019, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria, 115 min.

Saturday, March 28, 3:00 pm
Wednesday, April 1, 6:00 pm

2019, Werner Herzog, UK, 90 min.