Reviews: K-M

Father-daughter story ‘Mickey and the Bear’ is enthralling, heart-wrenching

Written and Directed by Annabelle Attanasio, Mickey and the Bear is about a teenage girl who is navigating boys, college, and her future, all while dealing with her difficult father, who relies on her completely. Mickey and the Bear is enthralling, heart-wrenching, and absolutely worth watching (JRL: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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Reviews: N-P

The Portal: How meditation can unify the world

The Portal is an experiential documentary directed and written by Jacqui Fifer, consulting six pioneers on their visions for humanity through mindfulness of meditation. (BV: 3.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri The Portal centers six different subjects, who are philosophers, scientists, and innovators, and even features Sophia the Robot. They speak about their life’s […]

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Reviews: Q-S

SEQUESTRADA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Sequestrada, written and directed by Sabrina McCormick and Soopum Sohn, has an immidiencey to it. Tackling global warming, the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, and the displacement of indigenous people in Brazil, the drama comes close to being a documentary, largely shot in a documentary style. The film centers around a young indigenous woman, “Kamodjara” […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’ tells a relevant woman’s story for our times

From first-time director Swati Bhise, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is a historical period drama following the matriarch who fought the British East India Company and British troops in the mid-1800s. Written and directed by women and following a historical female protagonist with whom common audiences might not be familiar, Bhise’s directorial debut tells a […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Damaged psyche behind bullying and being bullied resonate in ‘Better Days’

Wing-Sum Lam, Yuan Li, and Yimeng Xue team up to write the screenplay for “Better Days”, a movie with a realistic take on how far bullying can go. Set in Anqiao city in 2011, Derek Tsang directs a piece that marries the stresses of China’s rigorous academic system with the traumatic experiences of bullying at school. What starts off as a bullying story with a teenage friendship, quickly becomes a deep dive that inspects the damaged psyche of these teenagers through heartfelt emotion. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: H-J

‘Honey Boy’ is an autobiographical treat

Twelve-year-old Otis (Noah Jupe) is becoming a Hollywood star. His dad is a substance-abusing ex-clown with a mean temper. Twenty-two-year-old Otis (Lucas Hedges) has landed himself in rehab after years of excessive alcoholism and anger management issues. This is the biopic of Shia LaBeouf, the kid star of early 2000’s Even Stevens and Transformers fame. […]

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Reviews: K-M

‘The Kingmaker’: Imelda Marcos, the grandeur-obsessed wife of the Philippines’ infamous dictator

The Kingmaker, written and directed by Lauren Greenfield, is a portrayal of Imelda Marcos — the woman behind infamous dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who declared martial law in the Philippines from 1965-1982. (BV: 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri The Kingmaker starts with Imelda Marcos being driven around urban Philippines. On the ride, kids stop […]

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Reviews: K-M

Well-meaning ‘Last Christmas’ weighed down with predictability

Co-written by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings and directed by Paul Feig, Last Christmas is a hodgepodge of a romantic dramedy with its big twist given away in its marketing campaign. Despite its wildly unnecessary subplots and disjointed tone, the talented and overqualified Emilia Clarke shines brightly as the Christmas lights surrounding her. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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Reviews: K-M

In a world full of cruelty, ‘My Home India’ is a story of kindness

Written by Malgorzata Czausow and Anjali Bhushan and directed by Bhushan, My Home India is a documentary about a settlement for Polish refugees in India. Filled with joyous archival footage and interviews of Polish people who were saved by this settlement, My Home India is a heartwarming account of the kindness that can be extended […]

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Reviews: U-W

WATSON (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Lesley Chilcott’s documentary Watson is not a Sherlock Holmes adventure, but it is just as exciting and mysterious as you’d expect one to be. Instead, Chilcott is focusing on a man named Paul Watson who has spent over four decades fearlessly protecting sea life. This film is as educational as it is entertaining–discussing the morals, […]

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Reviews: Q-S

Janice Engel documents gumption of late Molly Ivins with ‘Raise Hell’

Whether you were an avid viewer of hers during the Bush era or (like me) spent most of the Bush era learning your multiplication tables, Janice Engel delivers an overview of Molly Ivins that will charm, tickle, and at times chill any blue-team resident of the year 2019. However, it seems like Ivins became a […]

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Reviews: E-G

Brian Cox anchors and illuminates ‘The Etruscan Smile’

The Etruscan Smile (directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan, and Sarah Bellwood) is a familial drama that swirls around burly Scotsman Rory (played excellently by Brian Cox) as he travels to San Francisco to visit a doctor. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood The […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

HARRIET (2019): What Twitter and History Have To Say About The Long Awaited Biopic

In the midst of controversy over historical accuracy and the lead actress’s politics, director Kasi Lemmons gives the conductor of the Underground Railroad a long-awaited biopic in Harriet. Her slave master is weirdly humanized while a black bounty hunter is thrown into the story for seemingly no reason; at the same time, acting from luminaries […]

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Reviews: Q-S

QUEEN OF HEARTS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Written by Maren Louise Kaehne and May el-Toukhy and directed by el-Toukhy, Queen of Hearts is a chilling drama about a powerful and successful lawyer and mother whose life runs the risk of crumbling when she becomes involved with her stepson. This film is a masterfully crafted testament to the dark secrets lurking below what […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

‘Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound’ is something you haven’t heard before

‘Making Waves’ is a dynamic and informative documentary that covers the history of film sound from the invention of the phonograph to the advent of surround sound. (JRL: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: N-P

PARADISE HILLS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

  Alice Waddington displays the core evils of a capitalistic society through her direction and cowriting of the mesmerizing world shown in Paradise Hills–everything has a price, even loyalty. “Uma” (Emma Roberts) grew up wealthy, so her family requires her to marry a rich man (whom Uma despises). After putting up a fight about it, […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘The Elephant Queen’ leads her majestic family across the African savannah for survival

Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble direct The Elephant Queen—a documentary that closely observes an elephant herd and the delicate ecosystem they live in. As the dry season begins, the family has no choice but to journey across the African savannah and seek refuge. Academy award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates this touching portrayal of the friendly majestic creatures. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

‘#Female Pleasure’ should screen in classrooms worldwide

Featuring five remarkable women activists across four continents, #Female Pleasure continues the global conversations regarding women and sexuality. Director Barbara Miller’s documentary gives an informative update on the contemporary view of female bodies and reminds a progressive and feminist audience that though we have come a long way, there is still a long way to […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

Old-time music is uncovered in ‘Fiddlin”

In Julie Simone’s new documentary Fiddlin’, the history of a hidden genre of music, Old Time music, is discovered. From fiddles to banjos, to flat-foot dancing, the community of Old Time music comes alive when enjoying the tunes of the past. (SYJ: ⅗)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   The […]

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Reviews: E-G

GIFT (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Chronicling gift-based cultures around the world and challenging the logic of global capitalism, the film inspires the question: is life about getting or giving? Gift opens 10/18. FF2 review coming soon!

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Reviews: E-G

In ‘Greener Grass,’ it isn’t always better on the other side

Created by and starring Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, Greener Grass might be described mostly simply as an absurdist satire of upper middle class suburban parenthood, but it really defies categorization, displaying by turns sitcom playfulness, body horror, and kitschy nostalgia. The film is set in a neighborhood so colorful it’s almost dystopian, and it […]

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Reviews: H-J

‘Immortal Hero’ advocates to spread love — but ends up very insensitve

Immortal Hero, screenplay by Sayaka Okawa, is a film about a man determined to spread his gospel of love. Makoto Mioya is a successful author who owns a publishing company, and seemingly has a perfect life — but soon, faces a life-threatening, near death experience that causes him to reevaluate his priorities.  (BV: 2.0/5.0) Review […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ is your perfect Halloween watch

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (directed by Joachim Rønning and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, and Linda Woolverton) is the wonderful sequel to the Sleeping Beauty spin-off Maleficent. Despite a standard fairytale plot and expected tropes, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil contains beautiful animation, costume design, and wholesome characters that are sure to leave you satisfied. […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

‘Serendipity’ doc fully immerses viewer into a life with cancer

Serendipity documents life from Prune Nourry’s point of view; the French artist directed the film as she was coming to terms with her breast cancer diagnosis. Nourry films in a personal, first person perspective, letting us see her private spaces and the inside of her mind. She uses the film as a way to fully […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

‘Stuffed’: The art of taxidermy

Stuffed is a documentary about taxidermy. It sounds grim, and it definitely is. But it’s also quirky and beautiful, and the people who do it are incredibly refined in their craft. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: U-W

UNLIKELY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

In Unlikely, co-director Jaye Fenderson and her partner Adam Fenderson deftly analyze how the systems of student debt and rising unemployment are propping up an unsustainable system that limits access to the highest tier colleges to the elite. The solutions it proposes have been working in their limited environments, though a viewer can’t help but […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

A frenetic and sweet new ‘Addams Family’

The animated revival of The Addams Family is perfect for celebrating the fun and light side of Halloween spook (any time of year). (AEL: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: H-J

‘High Strung Free Dance’: High Stakes only with its dance

High Strung Free Dance, directed by Michael Damian and written with Janeen Damian, is centered on two struggling artists, a dancer and a pianist, who are casted in a highly-anticipated Broadway show by a zealous, perfectionist choreographer. (BV: 3.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri High Strung Free Dance is all about the hustle and […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

THE SKY IS PINK (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Director Shonali Bose delves into a subject personal to her as well as to the real-life subjects of her film with The Sky Is Pink. However, the issues of class and of reproductive rights rear their heads in the background of this brightly colored and upbeat film, making the experience a bit less enjoyable for […]

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zJan's News

19September27: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Three films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: Abominable  Anthropocene – The Human Epoch Sister Aimee Of these three, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert films] –is a narrative feature. My Top Pick for September 27th (drumroll please!) is […]

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