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January 1–7, 2016

Chicago Encore

The Wonders
Le meraviglie

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Film still: The Wonders Film still: The Wonders Film still: The Wonders Film still: The Wonders


Grand Prix
Palme d'Or
"Wise beyond its years, like the teenage protag Gelsomina, Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) is a wistful but no-tears swan song recounting the disappearance of traditional rural lifestyle in Italy"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"Quietly charming"
  —New York Times
"[Director Alice] Rohrwacher previously demonstrated her sensitivity to this stage in a girl's life, and here, too, she handles it with compassion and complexity"
"Grounded in direct experience but alive to the unexpected, to transformative moments of revelation and unchecked (if often unspoken) emotion, The Wonders signals the maturation of a significant cinematic talent"
4 stars "Terrific performances from the ensemble cast bring warmth and insight to this Cannes Grand Prix winner"
  —The Guardian
4 stars "Rohrwacher draws us into this unusual world with the ease of someone who knows exactly what they're talking about, neither judging nor celebrating and, at her best, just looking with tenderness and a winning sense of humour"
  —TimeOut London
"A patient argument for, and quiet toast to, a rapidly disappearing way of life.... The Wonders expresses the array of feelings that come at the cusp of adolescence, more often than not wordlessly conveyed through Hélène Louvart's beautiful cinematography"
  —British Film Institute
"[Featuring] a precise, loving, intensely detailed eye for a world Rohrwacher knows intimately and loves without illusion. She grew up in a family not unlike this one and it shows both in her exquisite sense of place and her finely tuned sensitivity to the intricate political economy of life in a family perpetually under siege"

Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, young Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher's (Corpo Celeste) entrancing, richly textured drama centers on a family of beekeepers living in stark isolation in the Tuscan countryside. Led by their obstinate, German patriarch, Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck, The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears), the dynamic of their overcrowded household, supervised by his wife (the filmmaker's sister Alba Rohrwacher), is disrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a troubled teenaged boy Martin (Luis Huilca, in a touching, nearly wordless performance) taken in as a farmhand and a reality TV show that celebrates ancient Etruscan culture—featuring a mysterious host played by Monica Bellucci—intent on showcasing the family. Both intrusions are of particular interest to the pensive eldest daughter, Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu), who is struggling to find her footing in the world.

Combining a documentary attention to daily ritual with an evocative atmosphere of mystery, The Wonders conjures a richly concrete world that is nonetheless subject to the magical thinking of adolescence. Rohrwacher's patient pacing gives The Wonders an observational, graceful naturalism which accentuates the beauty and simplicity of this rapidly fading way of life.

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 2014, 110 mins. In Italian, French and German with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Jan. 1 at 4:45, 7 & 9:15 pm
  • Sat., Jan. 2 at 2:30, 4:45, 7 & 9:15 pm
  • Sun., Jan. 3 at 1, 3:15, 5:30 & 7:45 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jan. 4–7 at 7 & 9:15 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