Facets Cinémathèque

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February 26–March 3, 2016

Chicago Theatrical

Magical Girl

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Film still: Magical Girl Film still: Magical Girl Film still: Magical Girl
Best Actress
Feroz Awards,
Goya Awards
Best Film
Best Director
San Sebastián Intl
Film Fest
"A skillfully-plotted web of intrigue with a trio of assured, dynamic central performances"
"Slow-moving but entirely accessible, richly atmospheric but taut"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"Jarring, compelling... dark, silky and pleasingly unpredictable"
  —Screen International
3 stars "An elaborately contrived, imagination-dependent dark comedy that operates through sleight of hand, misleading audiences into following a preteen leukemia patient's dying wish while it assembles another, far more sinister secondary narrative deep in its viewers' collective subconscious"
  —Chicago Tribune
"Always compelling, this Spanish suspense film...takes so many psychological left turns that after a while it begins to feel like a vortex"
  —Chicago Reader

Luis (Luis Bermejo) is desperate to fulfill his terminally ill daughter's last wish: to own the very expensive "Magical Girl Yukiko" dress from her favorite Japanese cartoon. Unemployed and stricken with grief, Luis turns to extortion when he crosses paths with Bárbara (Bárbara Lennie), a pretty young girl with psychological issues. Her marriage threatened by the blackmail, Bárbara reluctantly complies with his scheme, even as it sends her spiraling into a world of danger and degradation. Seeking revenge on Luis, she turns for help to the only person who truly knows how damaged she is: retired math teacher Damián (José Sacristán), who has dark secrets of his own. This trio descends into an infernal cycle of deception and double-crosses, as the struggle between reason and instinct plays out to harrowing effect, in this deliriously stylized noir thriller. Magical Girl employs a classic noir premise, exploring the darkest side of human nature and taking it to exhilarating new extremes.

Directed by Carlos Vermut, Spain/France, 2014, 127 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Feb. 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Sat., Feb. 27 at 5:15, 7:30 & 9:45 pm
  • Sun., Feb. 28 at 5:15 & 7:30 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Feb. 29–Mar. 3 at 7:30 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation