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Whistler Film Festival 2022: Female Filmmaker Wrap – Rachel West reports

“Addressing the imbalance of representation in the screen industry has been a mandate of the Whistler Film Festival for many years,” Festival Director Angela Heck says. “Our advocacy for gender parity has expanded to reflect our overall commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. There is much work to do as we continue to cultivate and champion underrepresented communities in our programs, our stories and in the Canadian media industry at large.”

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SPOILER ALERT – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Considering its title, I’m not giving anything away by saying that the hero dies in Spoiler Alert. In fact, the movie makes that clear in the opening scene. But – spoiler alert – I still cried. The romantic comedy/tearjerker is based on Michael Ausiello’s memoir about his real-life relationship with Kit Cowan, who was, ultimately, diagnosed with terminal cancer. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s real. Spoiler Alert may not have a happy ending but it’s still a crowd pleaser. It’s also a gentle reminder that the vow couples make to have and to hold “in sickness and in health” is no joke.

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SHE SAID – Review by Jennifer Green

Is She Said the portrayal of female journalists we’ve been waiting for? A lot has been written about the depiction of female journalists in She Said, director Maria Schrader and scriptwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s adaptation of New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s book about their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Reviewers have praised the film for offering what other investigative journalism movies have not — the female perspective, especially outside the newsroom.

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TURN EVERY PAGE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

You probably wouldn’t expect a book about an urban planner to become a classic. And you definitely wouldn’t expect a movie to be filmed about the making of that book. Yet, almost half a century after its release, Robert Caro’s biography, The Power Broker, remains a bestseller and Turn Every Page, the new documentary about its author and editor, is absolutely riveting.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 9, 2022: HIDDEN LETTERS

A secret written language shared among Chinese women, empowering a centuries-long legacy of covert sisterhood, is at the heart of Violet Feng’s thought-provoking, insightful documentary Hidden Letters. Known as Nushu, this language is an incredibly important part of China’s cultural history — but now that it’s no longer secret, can it retain its purpose and power? And are Chinese women really free of the circumstances that led to its creation in the first place?

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Opening December 5 – 11, 2022 – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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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AWFJ Presents ONLY WHEN I DANCE – Review by Jennifer Green

It is only when he’s dancing that Brazilian teen Irlan Santos da Silva says he feels like himself. Born and raised in one of Rio de Janeiro’s impoverished favelas, ballet has offered Irlan an escape from the chaos of the city streets. He confides this to director Beadie Finzi’s omnipresent camera in the 2009 documentary Only When I Dance, an intimate character portrait of two young dancers following their passion to overcome the odds of their upbringing in the Brazilian metropolis.

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WHITE NOISE – Review by Diane Carson

In White Noise, Noah Baumbach again, and comically, proves he knows exactly how to excavate the dynamic inner workings of a family and the dysfunctional society which empowers its members. At face value, the ironically named Gladney family offers a spectrum of amusing individuals. Central is J.A.K. i.e., Jack, Professor of Hitler Studies at the College-on-the-Hill, proudly lectures in the classroom.

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BANTU MAMA – Review by Jennifer Green

Bantú Mama, the Dominican Republic’s nominee to the International Oscar category this year, is about a French-Camaroonian woman who gets caught attempting to transport drugs out of Santo Domingo but escapes police custody and has to hide out in the slums until she can leave the country. It’s a slow-moving story full of evocative detail, and it stars an impressive and largely unknown (at least to international audiences) cast led by Clarisse Albrecht, also the film’s co-writer with director Ivan Herrera, and Scarlet Reyes.

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BUFFY SAINT-MARIE: CARRY IT ON (Whistler Film Fest 2022) – Review by Marina Antunes

While much of the material covered by Madison Thomas is not new to Buffy Saint-Marie fans, the documentary offers a wealth of insight for fans and non-fans alike; fans will appreciate the artist speaking about her life and career in her own voice, while others will learn a little more about Saint-Marie and hopefully understand why she is such an essential part of cultural history.

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