The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
Chicago Theatrical Premiere
CHILDREN OF INVENTION
with producer Mynette Louie
"Quietly effective... a fine feature debut" -New York Times
"Performances are realistic and unpretentious, and the backbone of this observant movie by a director-writer with a promising future" -New York Post
"A rueful homage to American dreams both wonderful and warped" -Village Voice
"Urgent, artful and even austerely poetic" -Variety
"Wonderful... Chen and Chiu's genuine, rarely cloying performances along with Cheung's urgent sincerity add immeasurably to this timely film's many modest pleasures" -Los Angeles Times
"A real insight into the lives of children buffeted by the economic strains of today's world" -Filmmaker Magazine
"The film is small in scale but deeply moving" -Film Threat
"Chun does get memorable, admirable performances from the two [child actors]" -Film Journal
"Wonderful" -Chicago Tribune
Recommended! "The film's quiet intelligence makes one anxious for Chun's next films" -NewCity Chicago
"Heartrending, bleakly humorous and beautifully observed" -TimeOut Chicago
Recommended! "Impressive... Children of Invention shows enormous love and respect for those clutching at the short end of the American Dream -Chicago Reader
In this gripping examination of immigrant pursuit of the American Dream, single mother Elaine Cheng (Cindy Cheung) struggles to support her two young children, Raymond (Michael Chen) and Tina (Crystal Chiu), by juggling various sales jobs to make ends meet in a harsh, unforgiving economy. When her family is finally evicted from their suburban Boston home and forced to seek refuge in an unfinished apartment building, Elaine's desperation leads her to become involved in a Ponzi scheme which, when discovered, separates her from what she cares about most, her children. Left alone, Raymond and Tina are forced to fend for themselves, showing great resilience in their battle for survival.
Children of Invention emphatically establishes first-time feature director (and Chicago-born) Tze Chun on the forefront of American independent film and he was also selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Marvelously shot, edited, and written, it boasts wonderfully natural performances from its cast, especially Chen and Chiu, who demonstrate subtlety rarely seen from child actors. Attacking timely issues such as the exploitation of immigrants, child neglect, the current global economic meltdown, and get-rich-quick machinations, Children of Invention explores these issues with the levity provided by truly delicate moments of humor, yielding a remarkably entertaining film with universal appeal to all audiences.
Directed by Tze Chun, U.S.A., 2008, 86 mins. In English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Producer Mynette Louie will be here for Q&A after the screenings on Sat., May 15 at 7 & 9 pm.