Opening June 15 to 18, 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 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. 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 June 14 to 20 that are of particular interest:  

Tuesday, June 15  

  • No Ordinary Love – 1091 Pictures (VOD) – USA – Romantic thriller written and directed by Chyna Robinson. A resilient woman finds herself in a dangerous situation with her police officer husband. When she exposes his secret to her pastor’s wife, the two women’s lives intersect with shocking results.

Wednesday, June 16  

  • The Night House – Walt Disney / Searchlight (Cinemas) – USA / UK – Horror / thriller starring Rebecca Hall, Stacy Martin, Sarah Goldberg. A widow begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets.

Friday, June 18 

  • A Crime on the Bayou – Shout! Studios (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Nancy Buirski. A Black teenager (Gary Duncan) bravely challenges the most powerful white supremacist in 1960s Louisiana with the help of a young Jewish attorney.
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  • The American Sector – Grasshopper Film (Cinemas, Projectr.tv) – USA – Documentary co-written and directed by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez about panels of the Berlin Wall that are scattered across the United States. The film captures how monuments to our country’s past resonate into the present.
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  • Censor – Magnet Releasing (Cinemas, VOD) – UK – British horror co-written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond. After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
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  • In the Heights – Warner Brothers (Cinemas, HBO Max) – USA – Lin-Manuel Miranda musical with a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Shot by Alice Brooks.
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  • Les Notres (On Our Own) – Oscilloscope (Cinemas, VOD) – Canada – French-Canadian drama co-written and directed by Jeanne Leblanc. Magalie (Émilie Bierre) appears to be a normal suburban high school sophomore surrounded by friends but she is in fact harboring a shocking secret: she’s pregnant.
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  • Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer – National Geographic (TV) – USA – Documentary directed by Dawn Porter. One hundred years after the two-day Tulsa Massacre, this documentary explores the role of the media at the time of the tragedy and now, amid a revived call for justice and anti-racism.
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  • Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It – Roadside Attractions (Cinemas) – USA – A documentary look at the life and work of actress Rita Moreno, from her humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to her success on Broadway and in Hollywood. Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera.
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  • The Serpent – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA – Action film written by, directed by and starring Gia Skova as a special agent working for the CIA.
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  • Sweat – Mubi (Cinemas) – Poland / Sweden – Swedish drama. Three days in the life of fitness influencer Sylwia Zajac, a social media celebrity surrounded by loyal employees and admirers, who is really looking for true intimacy.
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  • Truman and Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation – Kino Lorber (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland. The work, lives and personal journeys of two iconic American artists coalesce with creative combustion in this innovative dual-portrait documentary.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highlighted titles have links 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.