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Fall international film series kicks off Sept. 13

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Aug 20, 2019

Four highly acclaimed international films will be presented for free at 7 p.m. on three Fridays and one Thursday by the College of Lake County Center for International Education. The Fall Semester films are: “Zama” Sept. 13, “Burning” Oct. 4, “Rififi” Nov. 21 and “Shoplifters” Dec. 6.

Friday, Sept. 13: “Zama” (Argentina 2018). In the late 17th century, Don Diego de Zama, a buffoonish, middle-aged bureaucrat, oversees a remote Argentine colony for Spain. He enjoys the perks of Imperial power, misses his family and burns for excitement. So, escaping the laughter and disdain of his idle constituents, he impulsively joins a disorganized bandit hunt, into territory that is uncharted at best. “Zama’s” blend of adventure, romance, satire and surrealism has been called one of the best films of the century so far. “Highly original … the dramatic fusion of physical and administrative power captures nothing less than the bloody forging of modernity,” wrote The New Yorker.

Friday, Oct. 4: “Burning” (South Korea, 2018). An aimless young man chances to meet a forgotten childhood classmate, and their reconnection soon leads to her bed, if not her heart. After an extended trip abroad, she returns with a new friend, “Ben” (Steven Yeun), whose easy privilege and Western ways establish an imposing rivalry. But how does Ben maintain his lifestyle? What are his intentions with the woman? And why does he relax by burning down greenhouses? Director and producer Lee Chang-dong (“Poetry”) patiently depicts a love triangle that descends into a mystery worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. The AV Club called it the best film of 2018: “’Burning’ comes together harshly, beautifully, unforgettably.”

Thursday, Nov. 21: “Rififi” (France, 1955) A few hardened criminals plan a difficult robbery, execute it and then fumble the getaway. This formula has been used in any number of crime films; in the case of “Rififi”, it was perfected, leading to imitations and homages by Kubrick, Tarantino, De Palma and more. Luminous black-and-white photography reliably conjures a vivid atmosphere of smoky nightclubs and crooked alleys, and the film’s international success grew as word spread of its near-silent, 30-minute heist sequence. The film was also legendary behind-the-scenes: It was Jules Dassin’s first work as a director after being blacklisted at home, and its cynical depiction of “Honor among Thieves” is surely no accident.

Friday, Dec. 6: “Shoplifters” (Japan, 2018) Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, foreign language Oscar-nominee, and a box office hit across Asia, “Shoplifters” is an irresistible blend of tear-jerking family melodrama and journalistic social commentary. A day laborer, his wife, her sister, a grandmother and a young boy survive together below the poverty line in Tokyo, often through petty crime. When they take in a terrified girl, abandoned by abusive parents, unwanted scrutiny soon reveals painful truths about their ‘family’. “A work of such emotional delicacy … that you're barely prepared when the full force of what it's doing suddenly knocks you sideways,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.

The films will be shown at the Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St. in Room C105. Films have subtitles when necessary and include mature content.

For more information, contact Chris Cooling, CLC film instructor, at (847) 543-2623 or Or visit the series’ Facebook page at


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County. For more information, visit