Skip to content



Pictures of Ghosts (Retratos fantasmas) (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil, 93 minutes)

About the program


This is a paid ticketed event

Program Location

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Chicago International Film Festival

212 W Van Buren St STE 400, Chicago, IL 60606

In this incisive and whimsical personal essay film about movies, memory, and the places of one’s past, acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho (Bacurau, Neighboring Sounds) explores the changing domestic and urban spaces of his native coastal town of Recife. Split into three sections, the film opens with his family apartment — the site of his early filmmaking endeavors. It then observes the glorious movie houses of Mendonça’s formative years, culminating with a meditation on the transfiguration of theaters into churches and new sites of community. Through the film’s playful mix of wry narration, amateur (and actual) movies, and archival footage, Mendonça imparts a range of engaging personal musings, from the role of dogs, cats, and termites in his neighborhood to fascinating historical details. A nostalgic love letter to cinema and cities, Pictures of Ghosts creates evocative connections between past and present, fiction and reality, and dilapidated and beautiful.

The City is the Site