Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Swedish director Mai Zetterling takes us into the lives and societal roles of three pregnant women in Loving Couples (1964)

Mai Zetterling directed and co-wrote her debut feature Loving Couples (1964)—a Swedish drama based on one of Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s seven-part Swedish feminism literary series, The Misses von Pahlen. Zetterling focuses on three women and their romantic relationships, their connection to motherhood, and the solidarity of their gender. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

Strangers in Good Company is a uniquely-female docufiction experience

It’s remarkable to have a film with no men present that is entirely focused on women simply existing together. But more importantly, the way that it deals with aging and mortality is unique.

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

Mineworkers and their families fight joyfully in Harlan County, USA

Full of conversations from the center of action at organizers’ meetings and on picket lines, the documentary gives a vivid picture of the mineworkers’ lives and dreams. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Director Nicole Holofcener looks beyond the lovely and amazing parts of life

TCM will feature films from 12 decades—and representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles all created by women. Read more about this here!  Director and writer Nicole Holofcener’s movie Lovely and Amazing (2001) explores essential topics circulating in the media today––the never-ending fight for equality. From racial stereotypes to gender expectations, this film poignantly expresses […]

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Reviews: E-G

El Camino tells the story of village life under Franco

TCM will feature films from 12 decades—and representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles all created by women. Read more about this here!  Ana Mariscal’s El Camino is a historical document for anyone who wishes to study Franco era Spain, though the production values are admittedly not amazing. The film’s significance both to history and […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

Cheryl Dunye’s ‘The Watermelon Woman’ sparks conversation on subtle racism perpetuated in assigned symbols

The Watermelon Woman focuses on a queer black novice filmmaker’s quest for clarity on the life of a fictitious Black actress of the 30s and 40s who was known for her roles as the archetypical “mammy”. Director Cheryl Dunye deftly yet subtly comments on racism in its stealthiest forms in this funny and conversation-sparking film. (RMM: 4/5)

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Uncategorized

Barbara Loden is a Triple Threat for Acting, Writing and Directing in Wanda

Written and directed by and starring Barbara Loden, Wanda is a thoughtful, empathetic, and harshly realistic character study. It follows Wanda, a mid-thirties divorcee trying to find her way without a home or a job and alone in the middle of Pennsylvania. (JRL: 4.5/5)

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Reviews: H-J

Maria João Ganga’s Hollow City takes us into the midst of life during Angola’s civil war

Maria João Ganga directs Hollow City (2002), a narrative feature set in Luanda during the Angolan civil war in 1991. Originally titled Na Cidade Vazia, (translated as In the Empty City), this film portrays the effects of a civil war on its people through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. KIZJ (3.5/5)

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Reviews: A

Director Lotte Reiniger’s animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, takes us on an inspiring silhouetted fairytale ride

In 1926, German director Lotte Reiniger completed her 65-minute long silhouette animation feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The film was influenced by author Hanna Diyab’s tales “The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Perī-Bānū” and “Aladdin” from the collection of literature in One Thousand and One Nights first published in 1775. After three years of work with a small team of animators, Reiniger brought these ancient stories back to life for new audiences to see the magical journey of Prince Achmed on the theatrical screen. KIZJ (4.5/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Leontine Sagan’s German cult classic Mädchen in Uniform hails a ground-breaking all-female cast—filmed in 1931

In 1931, Leontine Sagan directed the feature-length German film Mädchen in Uniform (Maidens in Uniform). The German-language cult classic follows “Manuela von Meinhardis” (Hertha Thiele), a young girl who is enrolled at a boarding school for girls, as she adjusts to life in a strict, all-female environment. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

Breaking from the status quo in Entre Nous

Directed by Diane Kuris, Entre Nous (Between Us) serves as a wonderful example of the complexities that arise when choosing to stray from the status quo imposed by your loved ones and your community. (FEA 5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Farah Elattar The film stars Isabelle Huppert as “Lena Weber,” a Jewish refugee who marries […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

The monotony of modern life in Je Tu Il Elle

A modern classic, Chantal Ackerman’s debut Je Tu Il Elle is both an ambiguous and precise film that deals with the cycles of desire, deprivation, and gratification that come with living in the modern world. (FEA: 5/5).

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Reviews: Q-S

Lina Wertmüller’s Seven Beauties is a poignant portrait of the worst of humanity

Expertly directed by Lina Wertmüller, the film is full of stunning visuals, even if it’s a difficult watch for a modern audience.

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Uncategorized

Sleepwalking Land is a timely story of human connection amidst devastation and loss

Based on the novel by Mia Couto and written and directed by Teresa Prata, Sleepwalking Land is about a young boy, lost amidst a war-torn Mozambique, looking for his family and his home. It is a timeless story of strength, perseverance, and the power of family love—both genetic and chosen. (JRL: 3.5/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S Reviews: T

The importance of the female gaze in Radioactive and The Dancer

A much-needed phenomenon occurs in films made by women that feature strong female leads, and that is the faithful portrayal of issues that women often have to face when breaking away from traditional roles. By FF2 Associate Farah Elattar This concept is brilliantly portrayed in Radioactive (Dir. Marjane Satrapi, 2019), and The Dancer (Dir. Stephanie […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

“Judy & Punch” a comedy, horror, and satire in one

In a town ruled by ignorance and public stonings, a married couple works to bring their locally successful puppet show to the big stage. When the husband’s blinding ambition leads to tragedy, the wife seeks vengeance. Horror, comedy, and satire prove an interesting and entertaining – though not always compelling – mix in Mirrah Foulkes’ […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

Radioactive: a celebration of Marie Curie’s life and discoveries

A film by Marjane Satrapi, Radioactive presents itself as a biopic with a twist. On top of capturing the complicated life of Marie Curie, it successfully examines the hardships that come with being a female scientist in early 1900s France. (FEA 4/5) Review by FF2 associate Farah Elattar Satrapi sets the scene by portraying “Maria […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

Mothers and daughters of “The Joy Luck Club” share their immigrant stories

Based on a novel written by Amy Tan, the 1993 film The Joy Luck Club follows women of four Chinese immigrant families who share their stories about life and hardship. Things don’t come easily to them. (SYJ: 4/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

‘Banana Split’ is slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt

The slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt Banana Split is a stellar follow-up to writer, director, and actress Hannah Marks’s first feature After Everything. It has a lot to say about love, friendship, and coming of age, and comes in a snarky but bubblegum-pop package. (GPG: 5/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto The summer before […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

The story of the ‘Lost Girls’ is unveiled in an investigative mystery drama

Liz Garbus directs mystery drama Lost Girls based on real life stories surrounding the Long Island Serial Killer case. The Netflix production is a dark story of loss and biased investigations of multiple unsolved disappearances and murders. Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan stars as a determined mother whose mind is set on finding her mysteriously missing daughter. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

A community of ‘Military Wives’ sing in unity and support

Writers Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard work together with director Peter Cattaneo on British comedy feature Military Wives, available on VOD today. When war takes their partners away, a group of women find themselves searching for something to occupy their minds. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, this is a film about the birth of a strong friendship between women of different backgrounds brought together by the act of singing. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: Q-S Uncategorized

‘The Roads Not Taken’ is a marriage of intellect and emotion

In The Roads Not Taken, a daughter tries to find her father amid his dementia, while her father tries to find his own reality amid the many possible paths his life could have taken. The film is an Odyssey narrative playing out over multiple timelines, and from the perspective of the women in this Odysseus’s […]

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Reviews: B-D

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache (2018): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Move over, Hugo! Pamela B. Greene’s new documentary on Alice Guy-Blache will give another parent of cinema the spotlight, after cimematic history has been dominated by the Lumiere brothers and Georges Melies for too long. Watch this film to see not only Guy-Blache but also the many Hollywood luminaries Green interviews about her. (GPG: 5/5) […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

Refreshingly honest ‘Hooking Up’ is an atypical road trip rom-com

Brittany Snow and Sam Richardson star in the refreshing and unique romantic comedy Hooking Up, on digital and on demand March 20.  Darla (Snow) is a sex-crazed columnist for a fading magazine who has one last chance to prove her worth to her boss. When she meets Bailey (Richardson), a testicular cancer patient who has […]

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zJan's News

20March13: The FF2 Week in Review

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Three films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened this week (though none were released in Manhattan theaters): Hooking Up Never Rarely Sometimes Always The Roads Not Taken Of these three, so far I’ve seen one. All three are narrative features. My Top Pick for March […]

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zJan's News

20March06: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Four films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: The Banker Extra Ordinary First Cow Go Back to China Of these four, so far I’ve seen two. All four are narrative features. My Top Pick for March 6th (drumroll please!) is First […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: N-P

Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder give breakout performances in ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Eliza Hittman’s intimate, raw Never Rarely Sometimes Always follows 17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as she ventures to New York City to get an abortion at 18 weeks pregnant. With the help of her trusted cousin (Talia Ryder), the two encounter physical and emotional obstacles in a city far from home. (4/5) Review by Vice President […]

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Reviews: B-D

THE BANKER (2020): Review by FF2 Media

Co-writer Niceole R. Levy brings an intersectional femininst perspective to an already progressive story. The Banker brings up uncomfortable realities of race, gender, and class, by telling the story of two men who acted as Robin Hoods for many black Americans during the Jim Crow era. (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto If […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

EXTRA ORDINARY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Extra Ordinary, written by a team of writers including Maeve Higgins, is a story of exorcism and satanism with a comedic twist. The film is a parody on the typical ghost buster movie. (SYJ: ⅘)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin Extra Ordinary opens with a piece of old documentary footage from […]

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Reviews: E-G

Kelly Reichardt’s lovely story of friendship in “First Cow”

This movie is about friendship, but also xenophobia, class warfare, and the necessity of cooperation for survival. And this complexity makes the movie feel expansive, and leaves me thinking about it days after seeing it. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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