BLEEDING HEART, GIRL IN THE BOOK and TAINTED VEIL Open Dec 11 — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

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bleeding heart posterBleeding Heart is a tension-filled drama about the relationship between half-sisters who find each other after having been raised by different parents in different circumstances. Yoga instructor Meg (Jessica Biel) connects with her sister Shiva (Zosia Mamet), a sex worker with an abusive and violent pimp. Writer/director Diane Bell delivers a gripping character-driven femme-centric thriller. The Girl in the Book, writer/director Marya Cohn’s first feature, is a tale of child abuse and its impact. As a teenager, Alice (Emily VanCamp) was sexually preyed upon by author Milan Daneker (Michael Nyqvist), who used the incident as fodder for his novel. Fifteen years later, Alice, still struggling to overcome her humiliation, is assigned to edit her molester’s new book. Performances are strong and the plot leads to personal transformation. The Tainted Veil, a documentary co-directed by Nahla Al Fahad, Mazen al Khayrat and Ovidio Salazar, covers the custom and history of women covering their heads with the hijab, the scarf or veil worn by many Muslim women and girls. Read the reviews…

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).