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‘Antonia’s Line’ is a feminist fairy tale that takes on heavy topics

Antonia’s Line is a female-focused fairytale from the mid-1990s that transports viewers to a quaint Dutch village where Antonia builds a multi-generational eclectic family.

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Márta Mészáros’s ‘Adoption’ from 1975 defies society’s expectations at the time of the when—and why—a woman should want to be a mother

Hungarian director and screenwriter Márta Mészáros’s best-known film from 1975, Adoption, stars Katalin Berek as a middle-aged single woman who has realized that she wants a child. Through her own observations and friendships with neglected children, she becomes more and more convinced that it is the right choice for her at this point in her life. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Wasp depicts a family strained by circumstance yet bonded in love

A single mother in Dartford, England struggles emotionally and financially to support three young girls and a baby boy as she reconnects with an old flame from high school. Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning short film Wasp (2003) is an at-times charming and all-around painfully honest portrayal of a family strained by circumstance yet strongly bonded in love. (RMM: 5/5)

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Mira Nair has us experience life on the streets through the eyes of children in ‘Salaam! Bombay’ 

Director Mira Nair directed and co-wrote the feature film Salaam! Bombay in 1988. Starring Shafiq Syed, Nair creates a documentary-like fiction piece that is a heart-wrenching depiction of the lives of children in the slums of Bombay. KIZJ: (4/5)

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Elaine May’s feature Mikey and Nicky is a telling portrait of a friendship between two men tainted by society’s expectations

Mikey and Nicky is Oscar-nominee Elaine May’s third feature from 1976. The film is a dark mystery laced with comedy and social commentary—all dressed up in a gangster setting. Starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, May’s piece is an intimate observation of a wavering friendship between two men over a long, long night in Philadelphia. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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Kathleen Collins makes us hold up a mirror to ourselves and question the role of art in life with 1982 film Losing Ground

Kathleen Collins wrote and directed Losing Ground (1982)—a film about a middle-class Black couple whose marriage is shaken by the lovers’ diverging paths towards self-discovery. This refreshing film explores the human condition of what makes us feel ecstasy in life. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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Space Dogs is a disturbing new perspective on space exploration

Director Elsa Kremser forces us to rethink our relationships to the animals around us by putting us in their perspective. Following street dogs around Moscow and following space dogs through their Soviet training, Space Dogs is an unforgiving movie about how we treat our so-called best friends. (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto […]

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Sophie Jones will be uncomfortably familiar for many of us

An incredibly relatable coming of age story, Sophie Jones puts director and actress Jessie Barr on the map. As a debut and simply as a film, Sophie Jones brings many elements of adolescence into a complex narrative of exploration and loss. (GPG: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Anyone who was a theater kid […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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‘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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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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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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GO BACK TO CHINA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through most of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Go Back to China opens 3/6. FF2 review coming soon!

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“A Fine Line” explores the difficulties female chefs face in a male-dominated industry

In her first documentary and film, director Joanna James explores the struggles of top female chefs and restaurant owners to gain recognition in an industry ruled by men. At the same time, she tells the story of her own mother, chef and restaurant owner Valerie James, and her life of hard work and perseverance. (RMM: […]

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Our beloved ‘Emma.’–the witty, and self-indulging matchmaker–is back in town

Autumn de Wilde directs her debut feature film Emma., in collaboration with writer Eleanor Catton. Anna Taylor-Joy stars as the playful, witty young heroine in this adaptation of the well-known Jane Austen classic of the same name. Believing she has a talent for matchmaking, Emma takes on the responsibility of navigating the complex relationships of the town. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ lost in adaptation from book to screen

Anne Hathaway stars in the complicated, cluttered Netflix Original The Last Thing He Wanted from writer/director Dee Rees. Despite its aesthetically artistic lens, this adaptation from Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same name doesn’t quite translate to the screen. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky With a talented […]

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