Facets Cinémathèque

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November 17–22, 2017

Chicago Premiere


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Film still: Bitch Film still: Bitch Film still: Bitch


"A chilling look at the destruction of the nuclear family with a vivid, snarling vision driven by the propulsive energy of its biting critique"
Critics' Pick "[Filmmaker Marianna] Palka carves a black and biting niche between a man and a woman, a space where chaos and psychological unease demand to be reckoned with"
  —New York Times
4 stars½ "Bitch takes a challenging premise and turns it into the smartest left-of-field take on mental health issues since Frank"
  —Eye for Film
"Bitch is far from the first movie to tackle these issue... but the way that Palka choses to approach it that makes the movie so interesting... Palka's film may be noisy, but it certainly doesn't lack for nuance"
  —Film Inquiry
"Wildly original... Palka is a powerhouse of an artist. Writing, directing, and starring in a movie as energetic and subversive as this one is no easy feat"
  —The Playlist

Jill (writer/director Marianna Palka), a lonely, distraught housewife with four unruly children, paces on her dining room table with a belt around her neck, contemplating a desperate end to her wretchedness. Her husband, Bill (Jason Ritter, Embers), focused on his identity as breadwinner and an affair with a lusty co-worker, is as oblivious to Jill's growing terror that she will do something destructive as he is to the panic at his unraveling company. Meanwhile, dogs bark and howl through the night, as one persistent mutt continually stalks the family's yard. When Jill's psyche finally breaks, she takes on a vicious new canine persona and while Jill howls away, Bill struggles to maintain control of a situation far beyond control.

Marianna Palka (Good Dick) writes, directs, and stars in this provocative film as she balances a deeply unsettling take on the horrors of a crumbling nuclear family with a palpable sensitivity for her character's plight with perfectly timed comedic flourishes. Bitch was inspired by a real-life case study documented by psychologist R.D. Lang, in this absurdist deconstruction of patriarchal family politics about a marriage that quite literally goes to the dogs.

Directed by Marianna Palka, U.S.A., 2016, 93 mins.


  • Fri., Nov. 17 at 6:30 & 8:30 pm
  • Sat., Nov. 18 at 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 & 8:30 pm
  • Sun., Nov. 19 at 2:30 & 4:30 pm
  • Tues.–Wed., Nov. 21–22 at 6:30 & 8:30 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