MISS JUNETEENTH – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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One way to send an FU to Donald Trump and his supporters would be to make the lovely new drama Miss Juneteenth as big a hit as possible on all the on-demand services. This should not be seen as a chore performed out of a sense of SJW duty — still, if I can guilt you into paying a few bucks to support a Black woman filmmaker telling a Black woman’s story, I’m okay with that too. But writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’s feature debut is a beautiful cinematic experience, bursting with a gorgeous sense of place and character the likes of which are rarer onscreen than they should be. (Miss Juneteenth is set in and was produced in Peoples’s hometown of Fort Worth, Texas; it won the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, for best film shot in Texas or made by a Texan, at this year’s virtual SXSW festival.)

Nicole Beharie brings a strength and a weariness to Turquoise Jones, a former beauty queen and single mom trying to make a better life for her teen daughter, Kai (newcomer Alexis Chikaeze). Her strength is that of a woman with limited opportunities who knows the deck is stacked against her but who is determined to push through; her weariness is, frankly, of the same root. Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Miss Juneteenth is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for June 19, 2020

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).