2 films today at the Chicago International Film Festival

SHARE 2 films today at the Chicago International Film Festival
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“Styx”

The Chicago International Film Festival continues through Sunday at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois.

‘Styx’ (Germany)

Filmmaker Wolfgang Fischer takes on the tragic northward flow of Africans on treacherous seas. To personalize the ethics, he portrays an emergency physician (Susanne Wolff) from Cologne taking a solo voyage to Ascension Island. She sees a disabled trawler adrift. People drown trying to swim to her 11-meter yacht. By radio, a distant ship advises: “Your presence provokes additional chaos. To them you seem to be their life-saver but you aren’t, you can’t.” Remarkable camera work starts in the very first minute, shot on land in Gibraltar, with startling imagery of human tolerance and terror in the same frame. 3 p.m. Oct. 17; 6:45 p.m. Oct. 20; 1:45 p.m. Oct. 21

‘The Third Wife’ (Vietnam)

Ash Mayfair writes and directs a sexual awakening tale about a 14-year-old in the late 19th century. Mayfair, who left Vietnam at age 13, told a film site: “My great-grandmother was in a polygamous marriage from when she was a teenager until the end of her life.” Bookended by two luminous into-the-lens gazes, this tactile drama is ethnographically detailed with silkworms, thistle seed tea and tranh zither music. Some of the symbolism is off, though. Admirers of “Raise the Red Lantern,” Zhang Yimou’s 1991 take on patriarchy, might like this effort. 6:15 p.m. Oct. 17; 8:15 p.m. Oct. 18; 12:30 p.m. Oct. 20

For more festival details, go to www.chicagofilmfestival.com.

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