AWFJ has highlighted the following films, listed in order of release dates during the first half of 2007, as of particular interest to women because theyre made by or are about women, and/or reflect womens perspectives:
Comedy of Power – Claude Chabrols film about a female judge
Freedom Writers – Richard LaGraveneses film about teacher Erin Gruwell and her students, starring Hilary Swank
Miss Potter – Chris Noonans film about Beatrix Potter, starring Renee Zellwegger
Ever Since the World Ended – A mockumentary set 12 years after a virus has killed off almost the entire human race, with interviews survivors in the San Francisco Bay area about what life is like. Strong womens roles, and an effective story thread about a young widow whos part of an ad hoc community and desperately wants a child but doesnt have a partner.
Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story – In this documentary feature, Sakie Yokota, Megumis mother, shows extraordinary determination, fortitude and dignity in her 30-year struggle to find her daughter, who was abducted by North Korean spies in 1977. Co-directed by Patti Kim.
Tears of the Black Tiger – This stunning twist on vintage Hollywood westerns/melodramas by way of Thailand presents an interesting take on the role of the female love interest.
Alone With Her – about a stalking.
Blood and Chocolate – Katja Von Garners romantic, mythic twist on the werewolf genre presents a young American loup garoux (Agnes Bruckner) torn between loyalty to her pack and true love. Adapted from Annette Curtis Klauses novel.
Catch and Release – Susannah Grants dark comedy about a women (Jennifer Garner) coping with her fiances death and the secrets hed been keeping from her.
Breaking and Entering – Anthonly Minghella directs Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Vera Farmiga as a trio of interesting, strong women whos lives are entangled with one misguided man played by Jude Law.
Because I Said So – co-written by Karen Leigh Hopkins
The Situation – Philip Haas fiction feature about a woman journalist (Connie Neilsen) in Iraq to cover the war
Screamers – Carla Garapedian follows the rock band System of a Down as they tour Europe and the US pointing out the horrors of modern genocide that began in Armenia in 1915 up though Darfur today.
The Decomposition of the Soul – Co-directed by Nina Toussaint
Notes on Marie Menken – directed by Martina Kudlacek, about the painter-turned avant garde filmmaker
Unconscious – co-written by Teresa Pelegri
Four-Eyed Monsters – co-directed by Susan Bruice and Arin Crumley
Avenue Montaigne – Directed and co-written by Daniele Thompson
Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams – Written and Directed by Jasmila Zbanic, about the results of a woman’s rape by occupying soldiers.
Gray Matters – written and directed by Sue Kramer
The Cats of Mirikitani – documentary directed by Linda Hattendorf
Believe in Me – revolves around a girls basketball team
The Namesake – directed by Mira Nair, based on Jhumpa Lahiris novel
The Ultimate Gift – co-written by Cheryl McKay
Air Guitar Nation – documentary directed by Alexandra Lipsitz
Offside – Young Iranian women are arrested for sneaking in to a stadium to watch a soccer game.
The Page Turner – A young women takes revenge against the female pianist who ruined her chances of entering the Conservatory.
The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair – Co-directed by Petra Epperlein
U-Carmen – distinctive portrayal of Bizet and Merimees fiery femme fatale as a willful, ferociously independent woman living in a South African township
After the Wedding – directed by Susanne Bier
Dreaming of Lhasa – co-written and co-directed by Ritu Sarin
Red Road – directed and co-written by Andrea Arnold, about a woman seeking revenger for her sons death.
Alice Neel – A documentary about the late painter, Alice Neel (1900-1984), directed by her son.
Stephanie Daley – Directed by Hilary Brougher, about a teenager (Amber Tamblyn) who kills her newborn.
The Collector – written and directed by Olympia Stone
Diggers – directed by Katherine Dieckmann
The Invisible – Co-written by Christine Roum
Poison Friends (Les Amitiés maléfiques) – Co-written by Marcia Romano
Snow Cake – written Angela Pell
Something to Cheer About – written and directed by Betsy Blankenbaker
Missing Victor Pellerin – Directed by Sephie DeRaspe
Waitress – Written and directed by Adrienne Shelly
Away from Her – Written and directed by Sarah Polley
Lucky You – Produced by Denise Di Novi and Carol Fenelon
LIceberg – Co-written and co-directed by Fiona Gordon
Paris, je tamie – including the segments Quais de Seine (directed and co-written Gurinder Chadha), Bastille (written and directed by Isabel Coixet), Loin du 16ieme (co-written and co-directed by Daniela Thomas), Quartier Latin (written by Gena Rowlands) and Porte de Choisy (written by Gabrielle Keng and Kathy Li)
Day Night Day Night – Directed by Julia Loktev
Casting About – Barry Hersheys documentary about the audition process is a deeply sympathetic insiders depiction of the audition process and features dozens of actresses competing for three roles in a WWII-era drama
Georgia Rule – Three-generations of women in dramatic conflict
Provoked – Co-written by journalist Rahila Gupta and dealing with the real-life UK case of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, an Indian woman who murdered her abusive husband.
Show Business: The Road to Broadway – Directed by Dori Berinstein
The Salon – Based on Shelley Garretts play Beauty Shop
Fay Grim – Hal Hartleys woman-centric sequel to Henry Fool
Amu – written and directed by Shonali Bose Angel
Crazy Love – Documentary portrait of a very complicated and deeply dysfunctional relationship in which Linda Riss eventually marries the man who threw acid in her face and disfigured her.
Gracie – Written by Lisa Marie Petersen and Karen Janszen, based on true events in the life of actress Elisabeth Shue who, as a teenage girl during the 1970s, played on the boys soccer team in middle-school and high school.
The Trial of Darryl Hunt – Documentary co-written and co-directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg
Miriam – WWII-era drama based on the true story of Miriam Shafer, a Jewish woman who survived the war by assuming another womans identity
La Vie en Rose – Based on the turbulent life of French singer Edith Piaf, co-written by Isabelle Sobelman and featuring an extraordinary performance by Marion Cotillard
Nancy Drew – Of special interest because so many women came of age reading Nancy Drew novels
Strike – A loosely fictionalized version of the life of Gdansk shipyard worker Anna Walentynowicz, dubbed the Mother of Modern Poland, whose lifelong struggle for the rights of workers laid the foundation for the Solidarity Movement, but whos been largely overshadowed by men like Lech Walesa.
Unborn in the USA: Inside the War on Abortion
When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan – directed by Jasmine Dellal
Manufactured Landscapes – Documentary directed by Jennifer Baichwal
Black Sheep – Produced by Philippa Campbell
Broken English – Written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes
Lady Chatterley – Its Lady Chatterley, for heavens sake – love it or hate it, its about perceptions of female sexuality!
A Mighty Heart – Based on the memoir of Mariane Pearl, widow of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl
In Between Days – Directed and co-written by Korean-American filmmaker So Yong Kim
Dr. Bronners Magic Soapbox – Documentary directed by Sara Lamm
Evening – Co-written by Susan Minot, adapted from her novel, starring two mother and daughter pairs: Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson, and Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer
Falling – Wtitten and directed by Austrian filmmaker Barbara Albert
Flying: Confessions of a Free Women – Filmmaker Jennifer Fox explores conflicts between career, romance and social expectations of women both in the US and countries around the world in this six-hour documentary
Introducing the Dwights – Directed by Cherie Nowlan
Joshua – Ambivalence about motherhood lies at the heart of this psychological thriller
Miracle on 1st Street – a woman boxer fights mobsters to protect her neighborhood.
You’ll find reviews of many of these films, as well as interviews with many of the directors, in the archives at www.awfj.org.
Any omissions you can think of? Please let us know.