Chicago International Film Festival screens best from Vietnam, Dominican Republic


In part two of FF2 Media’s “Best of the Fest” coverage for the 54th Annual Chicago International Film Festival, we covered more films directed by women. The CIFF runs through October 21 at AMC River East Theater. Continue to support more female filmmakers by attending Ash Mayfair’s The Third Wife (Vietnam), Natalia Cabral’s film Miriam Lies (Dominican Republic, Spain), Laura Bispuri’s film Daughter of Mine (Italy) and Sudabeh Mortezai’s film Joy (Austria). For more information on the CIFF, please visit their site.

Miriam Lies

Miriam (Dulce Rodríguez) is a biracial girl who may be forced to conform to the societal white standard of beauty by her overbearing mother. Miriam has a short and curly afro and is darker than her mother’s side of the family. She has an online relationship with a boy, and is apprehensive about meeting him face-to-face. Her mother’s assumptions of the boy are different from Miriam’s reality. Her Quinceañera is soon and she hopes he attends. Heartbreak is afoot, but for who?

Cabrai’s view on race and the pressure on women to conform to society is prevalent—particularly to women of color. This is a very sad, yet prominent truth that is executed perfectly. (SAT: 5/5)

Buy tickets to a screening Friday, October 19 @ 2 p.m.



Daughter of Mine

Tina (Valeria Golino) and her husband Umberto (Michele Carboni) raise 10-year-old Vittoria (Sara Casu) as their own. Tina is threatened with the close bond between her neighbor and friend Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) and Vittoria. Relationships become tense in this drama as new friendships form and as others may be damaged.

The close mother-daughter relationship between Tina and Vittoria is very touching and nurturing. While the relationship between Angelica and Vittoria is more of an unsheltered love. The actors become the characters in this film; there is never a moment where you feel like you’re watching actors playing roles. The emotions are very realistic and there is never a dull moment in any scene. (SAT: 4.5/5)



The Third Wife

May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) is a 14-year-old girl who becomes the third wife of a well-off landowner. Soon after, she’s pregnant and hopes she is carrying a male heir. May seems confused about her sexuality after stumbling across a covert love affair. Dark events happen in this beautifully heartbreaking film.

Mayfair creates a film that’s sensual and intense. It brings to life the forbidden love, sexual oppression and objectification of women. It’s raw, it’s real and you will be glued to the screen. (SAT: 4/5)

Buy tickets to a screening Thursday, October 18 @ 8:15pm

Buy tickets to a screening Saturday, October 20 @ 12:30pm



Joy (Anwulika Alphonsus) is a victim of sex trafficking. She’s been involved for years and has almost cleared her debt to Madame (Angela Ekeleme). After showing a teenage girl, Precious (Mariam Sanusi), the ropes she sees sex trafficking for what it really is.

The characters, Joy and Precious, have three dimensional qualities.You can see the anguish on their faces, as they go through the motions of survival. This is a brutally honest film about a horrible injustice. (SAT: 4/5)

Buy tickets to a screening Friday, October 19 @ 2 p.m.

© Stephanie A. Taylor (10/18/18) FF2 Media

Featured photo: The Third Wife

Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

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Stephanie A. Taylor is a multi-award-winning journalist whose accolades span three publications including FF2. Some of her favorite articles she's written are Emma Cooper’s ‘The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Lost Tapes, FACETS Honors Chaz Ebert F2F at Screen Gems 2022 Benefit, and Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Merrily We Go to Hell’ Discusses Modern Day Problems. She currently lives in Chicago. Reading, writing, and watching old films are some of her many passions.
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