WEEK'S WATCH - Margaret Barton-Fumo previews

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 14, 2021: THE PERFECT CANDIDATE

Empathetic and authentic, Haifaa Al-Mansour’s powerful drama The Perfect Candidate offers a compelling look at what life is like for women in modern-day Saudi Arabia — and how difficult it is for even smart, brave, ambitious and highly skilled women to stand up to the country’s institutionalized gender discrimination. Even when it couldn’t be clearer that their only goal is the betterment of their community’s standard of living.Empathetic and authentic, Haifaa Al-Mansour’s powerful drama The Perfect Candidate offers a compelling look at what life is like for women in modern-day Saudi Arabia — and how difficult it is for even smart, brave, ambitious and highly skilled women to stand up to the country’s institutionalized gender discrimination. Even when it couldn’t be clearer that their only goal is the betterment of their community’s standard of living.

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Opening May 11 to 16, 2021 – Margaret Barton-Fumo previews

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera.

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EMILY @ THE EDGE OF CHAOS – Review by Leslie Combemale

Emily Levine, the subject of the quirky 61 minute documentary-of-sorts called Emily @ the Edge of Chaos, was a philosopher, comedian and writer who became fascinated by physics after she was diagnosed with a tumor in her pituitary gland. The tumor had caused a crazy mix of symptoms that led her to question the meaning of reality. Her TED talks about the interconnectedness of everything and making friends with reality have been viewed millions of times. Knowing that background should make you curious to watch producer/director Wendy Apple’s documentary, following Emily’s heady trip through complicated subjects like Chaos Theory, Interactivity, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, but from the practical and often very funny perspective of one woman’s journey.

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NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN – Review by Marietta Steinhart (Guest Post)

There is a spellbinding sense of fairy tale realism to Małgorzata Szumowska’s latest, her first co-directed film with long-time cinematographer Michał Englert. Never Gonna Snow Again is loaded with social commentary – it’s wicked and quietly wonderful.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Gabourey Sidibe to direct PALE HORSE – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award-nominated actor Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will make her feature film directorial debut with the psychological thriller Pale Horse, which is scheduled to lens in autumn. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Pale Horse centers on Naia, a reclusive African-American author who writes celebrated books for young adults but is living with multiple sclerosis. She becomes tangled up a sinister mystery when she provides shelter for the man who escaped captivity with her long-missing brother.

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LOS HERMANOS – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Los Hermanos is a documentary about music and musicians, not about politics and politicians. Musician brothers Ilmar and Aldo Lopez-Gavilan brothers are charismatic, warm subjects, and it’s a joy to get to know them and learn about their unusual circumstances—with Ilmar playing the violin on the international stage while pianist Aldo’s career was based in Cuba , the country of their birth.

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RUSTIC ORACLE – Review by Carol Cling

It’s bad enough not knowing. Even worse than not knowing, however, is not understanding. That’s the haunting lesson learned by the young protagonist of the Canadian drama Rustic Oracle. The movie dramatizes a chilling statistic: Indigenous women represent 4 percent of Canada’s population, but make up a quarter of the country’s missing and murdered cases. (And at least half of all sex-trafficking victims.)

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PERCY V. GOLIATH – Review by Martha K Baker

Percy v. Goliath may not be the finest film every produced, but it is of interest. Clark Johnson’s truth-based drama is about Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser’s legal battle against Monsanto regarding patented seeds. It also gives Christopher Walken a chance to portray a real man, a farmer, rather than another caricature.

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DARK HORSE – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Dark Horse, filmmaker Louise Osmond’s inspiring documentary, is all about triumph and its transience, and the will to pick up the pieces and carry on. Set in a small town in Wales that fell into deep depression and near poverty status when its coal mines tanked, Dark Horse is the cinematic telling of the true tale of Janet Vokes, a local barmaid who decided she’d like to raise and race a thoroughbred. Just like that.

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