Opening May 24 to 30, 2021- Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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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 and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of May 24 to 30 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, May 25  

  • The 8th – Black Tabby Films (UK Cinemas, VOD) – USA / Ireland – Female-directed documentary that tells the story of Irish women and their fight to overturn one of the most restrictive laws on abortion in the world. Co-directed by Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy and Maeve O’Boyle.

Wednesday, May 26  

  • Tender – Mubi – France – French documentary short directed, co-written and shot by Isabel Pagliai. On a hot summer day by a small lake, Mia asks Hugo–15 years old and yet already blasé–to tell her about his love story with Chaïnes.

Friday, May 28 

  • Ahead of the Curve – Wolfe Releasing (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary tracking the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ’90s to the present day through the story of Franco’s founding of Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. Co-directed by Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow.

  • American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Historical drama starring Meadow Williams, Al Pacino, Thomas Kretschmann about an American woman named Mildred Gillars who broadcast Nazi propaganda during World War II.

  • Cruella – Disney (Cinemas) – USA – A live-action prequel feature following a young Cruella de Vil, played by Emma Stone. Four out of six of the film’s writers are female.

  • Endangered Species – Lionsgate (Cinemas, VOD) – Kenya – Kenya-set action / thriller co-written and directed by M.J. Bassett. A survival adventure about a wealthy American family who travel to the vast African wilderness of Kenya hoping for a dream vacation filled with excitement, bonding and a chance to fix the growing rifts within their family.

  • Five Years North – (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary following Luis, an undocumented Guatemalan boy who just arrived alone in New York City. He struggles to work, study, and evade Judy–the Cuban-American ICE officer patrolling his neighborhood.

  • Plan B – Hulu – USA – Comedy directed by Natalie Morales following a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend who, after a regrettable first sexual encounter, have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland.

  • Port Authority – Momentum Pictures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA / France – Love story / drama set in New York’s kiki ballroom scene, written and directed by Danielle Lessovitz. The film follows Paul, a 20-year-old midwesterner, who arrives at the central bus station and quickly catches eyes with Wye, a 22-year-old girl voguing on the sidewalk.

  • Swimming Out Til the Sea Turns Blue – Cinema Guild (Cinemas) – China – Latest documentary from Chinese director Jia Zhangke. The final panel in his trilogy about the arts in China, Swimming Out chronicles the local literature festival in Shanxi, China which includes a multi-generational roster of the country’s most esteemed writers.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highighted titles link to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.