MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 27, 2022: SINCE I BEEN DOWN

Both infuriating and inspiring, Gilda Sheppard’s documentary Since I Been Down lays bare the fear and institutional racism that drive so much of the United States’ criminal justice system — but also shows how education and understanding can open minds and turn lives around. Focusing on the story of Kimonti Carter, a Black Tacoma, Wash., man who’s been incarcerated for murder since he was 18, it demands that viewers think critically about race, power, rehabilitation, and justice.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 20, 2022 – FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK

If you heard that David Bowie told Rolling Stone in 1999 that a group popular in the 1970s was “one of the finest f–ing rock bands of their time,” who would you guess he was talking about? Led Zepplin? The Who? Deep Purple? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. He was heaping praise on Fanny, the groundbreaking all-female band formed by Filipina sisters Jean and June Millington, whose story is told in Bobbi Jo Hart’s rousing documentary Fanny: The Right to Rock.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 13, 2022: TO WHICH WE BELONG

An optimistic documentary about climate change? Yes, such a thing exists (even in 2022), and it’s called To Which We Belong. As they explore the seemingly vast potential upside of holistic land management — speaking to farmers, ranchers, and even seaweed harvesters around the world — filmmakers Pamela Tanner Boll and Lindsay Richardson present a picture of hopeful, attainable change for a planet in dire need of exactly that.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 6, 2020: INBETWEEN GIRL

Relatable and honest, with a healthy dash of artistic quirk, InBetween Girl feels like the adaptation of a cool YA graphic novel — but it’s all direct from the brain of writer/director Mei Makino, making her feature debut alongside star Emma Galbraith. Together, these two talented women tell the coming-of-age story of Galveston high schooler Angie (Galbraith) as she navigates love, sex, friendship, high school, and her parents’ divorce.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 29, 2022: ANAIS IN LOVE

Like a French Greta Gerwig character, the charming but often-flighty Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier) discovers the truth behind Shakespeare’s old adage that the course of true love never did run smooth in Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s beguiling French romantic comedy Anaïs in Love. As she negotiates family, work, and romance, Anaïs begins to realize that her ultra-carefree approach to life may not always be the best option now that she’s entering her 30s. But does that mean she has to change her ways?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 22, 2022: PETITE MAMAN

Quietly emotional and tenderly sincere, Petite Maman is a poignant tale about loss, connection, and growing up. Blending gentle fantasy elements with grounded, naturalistic performances, writer-director Céline Sciamma tells the story of 8-year-old Nelly, whose parents take her with them to clear out her mother’s childhood home after the death of her beloved grandmother. To her surprise, she finds much more waiting for her there than her mother’s old books and playthings.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 11, 2022: WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR

Eerie and melancholy, Jane Schoenbrun’s horror-tinged drama We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is both a coming-of-age story and an examination of teens’ use of media and technology. It’s not always easy to watch, but it’s also very hard to look away as main character Casey (Anna Cobb) gets caught up in a creepy online role-playing game whose boundaries and impact are problematic at best and extremely dangerous at worst.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 8, 2022: COW

It’s easy to look at a black-and-white dairy cow and imagine rolling green pastures, picturesque farmhouses, and buckets of frothy fresh milk. In other words, the picture book version of bovine life. The reality is quite different. A fly-on-the-wall (or fly-on-the-haunch, actually) look at the day-to-day life of a cow on a dairy farm in Kent, England, director Andrea Arnold’s unflinching documentary Cow captures that reality in a way that’s both moving and meditative.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 1, 2022: THE ROSE MAKER

This is a movie about renewal, the power of gentle cultivation, and finding strength in unexpected places. The cast is appealing, with Catherine Frot and Manel Omerta outstanding as Eve and Fred, who find in one another something that each has been missing — she, someone who appreciates her work and legacy, and he a parental figure who cares about him and his future. Nothing gets too thorny in this world of sun-kissed blooms, but if you’re looking for something sweet to brighten your day, The Rose Maker is a lovely “pick.”

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 25, 2022: MOTHERING SUNDAY

Based on the same-named novel by Graham Swift, director Eva Husson’s lush, languid drama Mothering Sunday feels in some ways like the cinematic equivalent of reading another English writer’s work. Introspective, melancholy, and finely observed, it’s reminiscent of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse in the way it hones its focus on a very specific set of events and the way those events affect the people at the center of them.

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