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Set on the Uruguayan coast, Lucía Puenzo’s XXY (2007) tells the story of a 15-year-old intersex person, “Alex” (Inés Efron), who has been living as female and suppressing the development of masculine features with medication. At the start of the film, she has stopped taking this medication and begins to explore her sexual identity while trying to cope with the difficulties that come with living outside of the classifications that society assigns us.
For me, Márta Mészáros’ Adoption (1975) crashed over me in a wave. In this Hungarian black and white film, 43-year-old factory worker “Kata” (Katalin Berek) desperately wants a baby. When her married lover “Jóska” (László Szabó) rejects the idea of having one together, Kata looks into adoption. During this time, she grows close to the orphaned teen “Anna” (Gyöngyvér Vigh), who wants to leave the orphanage and marry her love “Sanyi” (Péter Fried).
Fourteen years prior to Bigelow’s win, another female director of a feature film was also awarded the golden statuette. In 1996, writer and director Marleen Gorris won the Best Foreign Film category for her feature Antonia’s Line. If we’re talking about firsts, then this is absolutely another one to permanently inscribe upon our memory.
Claire Denis masterfully uses discomfort and disturbance to create tension in all her movies, producing her own brand of horror.
With a sparse plot, Davaa’s allows the audience to hone in on the details of a nomadic family’s everyday life in the Mongolian steppes. Through their story, we also learn about Mongolian culture, folklore, religion, as well as the way in which the modern world encroaches upon these elements of nomadic life. Furthermore, through a film such as this, we can learn implicitly; Davaa does not merely tell us about the Mongolian lifestyle, but invites us into the family’s actions while weaving their culture into their speech and thinking.
When looking at Sofia Coppola’s filmography during quarantine, it’s evident how the theme of isolation and its effects on young women is prevalent in several of her movies.