Opening August 30 to September 5, 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 August 30 to September 5 that are of particular interest:  

Thursday, September 2  

  • Afterlife of the Party – Netflix – USA – Comedy written by Carrie Freedle, starring Victoria Justice. A social butterfly who dies during her birthday week is given a second chance to right her wrongs on Earth.

Friday, September 3  

  • Anne at 13,000 Ft. – Cinema Guild (NY Premiere) – Canada – Canadian drama starring Deragh Campbell as a volatile young woman challenged by everyday social and professional encounters. While skydiving for her best friend’s bachelorette party, the 27-year-old felt focused, free, above it all. Back on the ground, the pressures of her daily life threaten to overwhelm her. Directed by Kazik Radwanski.

  • The Big Scary ‘S’ Word – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Documentary directed by Yael Bridge exploring the rich history of the American socialist movement.

  • Cinderella – Sony Pictures (Amazon Prime) – UK / USA – Live-action remake of Disney children’s musical written and directed by Kay Cannon, starring Camila Cabello, Billy Porter and Idina Menzel.

  • Faya Dayi – Janus Films / Mubi (NY Premiere) – Ethiopia / USA / Qatar – Documentary written, directed and filmed by Jessica Beshir. A spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar, immersed in the rituals of khat, a leaf Sufi Muslims chewed for centuries for religious meditations and Ethiopia’s most lucrative cash crop.

  • Karen – BET / Quiver Distribution (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Thriller written and directed by Coke Daniels, starring Taryn Manning. A racist woman takes it as a personal mission to displace the new Black family that just moved into the neighborhood, but they won’t back down without a fight.

  • We Need to Do Something – IFC Midnight (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Horror. After Melissa and her family seek shelter from a storm, they become trapped. With no sign of rescue, hours turn to days and Melissa comes to realize that she and her girlfriend Amy might have something to do with the horrors that threaten both her family and the entire world.

  • Who You Think I Am – Cohen Media Group (Cinemas; NY + LA) – France / Belgium – Drama starring Juliette Binoche as Claire, a 50-year-old divorced teacher who creates a fake Facebook profile of a 24-year-old woman. She has created an entirely fictional character, but why?

  • Yakuza Princess – Magnet Releasing (Cinemas, VOD) – Brazil – Thriller set in the expansive Japanese community of Sao Paulo in Brazil, the film follows Akemi, an orphan who discovers she is the heiress to half of the Yakuza crime syndicate.

  • The Year of the Everlasting Storm – Neon (NY Premiere) – USA – Anthology film featuring seven stories from seven auteurs from around the world. Includes segments directed by Laura Poitras and Dominga Sotomayor.

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.