LIZ WHITTEMORE helms ReelNewsDaily.com, hosts Girls On Film Podcast, blogs horror at I SCREAM YOU SCREAM, serves as a member of Team #MOTW and as an AWFJ Board Member.

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts

FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY (OXFF2020) – Review by Diane Carson

Documentary director Erin Palmquist’s From Baghdad to the Bay takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride, following Ghazwan Alsharif from Baghdad to San Francisco, as the title accurately announces. With apologies to Charles Dickens, this modern-day tale of two cities does encompass the best of times and the worst of times for Alsharif.

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AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (SXSW2020) – Review by Marina Antunes

Katrine Philp’s An Elephant in the Room follows children in mourning for deceases parents. The film comes at a difficult time when conversations about death and grief may be central to the lives of many families. It’s reassuring to see that regardless of how deep the grief may be, we can get through it — but it’s easier if you don’ t go at it alone.

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THE PERFECT CANDIDATE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

A few years ago, Haifaa Al-Mansour made history with her Wadjda, a delightful tale of a little girl in Riyadh who really just desperately wants a bicycle. After a few detours into English-language, Western-set films, Al-Mansour returns home with The Perfect Candidate, about a young doctor who runs for her local Riyadh municipal council.

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THE WRETCHED – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Make no mistake, The Wretched is a strikingly polished feature debut that’s a thoroughly fun way to kill an hour and a half. A film that succeeds in its exploration of child abuse but is less accomplished in its broader gender politics, The Wretched is clearly driven by a spirit of nostalgia for older horror adventure films, it’s just a shame it let some pretty outdated clichés come along for the ride.

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SPOTLIGHT April 2020: Ruth Carter, Costume Designer, Style Setter, Mentor

Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth Carter has carved a monumental career for herself in an industry that rarely had people of color working in her profession. Women of color, rarer still. Carter has been breaking barriers and building her reputation in the film industry for over 30 years. She’s reached the height of her aspirational dreams, turning what she’s most passionate about into her life’s work. She’s changed society through the films she’s chosen and cleared the way for acceptance of women of color in collaborative artistic positions of power in Hollywood.

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THE RABBI GOES WEST (OXFF2020) – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Did you hear the one about the Brooklyn rabbi who moves to Montana and celebrates his daughter’s birthday at a shooting range? There’s no punchline to this. It’s a real scene from The Rabbi Goes West, a fascinating and surprising documentary about the Jewish community in Big Sky Country.

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QuARTSantine: OXFF and other FFs and the PandemONIUMic – Melanie Lynn Addington (Guest Post)

It feels like March 12 was years ago now. That was the day the Governor of Mississippi limited any events that assembled 250 people or more. It was 6 days before our 2020 Oxford Film Festival was supposed to happen. And then it wasn’t happening anymore. That felt like the end of the world at the time. But since then, the film festival community has worked nonstop to rally as more than 170 film festivals scheduled for the spring and summer have had to cancel, postpone or go online. On March 27, eighty-one film festivals joined the Film Festival Alliance conference call to talk best practices and strategy moving forward.

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