Opening Jan 30 – Feb 6, 2022 – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports
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 January 31 to February 6 that are of particular interest:
- There Will Be No More Light – UFO / Mubi (Mubi) – France – Documentary directed by Éléonore Weber. Centering aerial videos shot by fighter pilots in conflict zones, There Will Be No More Light erases the supposed neutrality of the camera, now militarized as a weapon of fear. Placing viewers at an unnerving vantage point, the film is a chillingly close encounter with the reality of war.
- Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror – Severin / Sudder (Shudder) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Kier-La Janisse exploring the folk horror phenomenon from its beginnings in a trilogy of films through its proliferation on British television in the 1970s and its culturally specific manifestations in American, Asian, Australian and European horror, to the genre’s revival over the last decade.
Tuesday, February 1
- Hive – Kino Lorber / Zeitgeist (Streaming, VOD Premiere) – Kosovo – Drama written and directed by Blerta Basholli. Based on the true story of Fahrije (Yllka Gashi), who, like many of the other women in her patriarchal village, has lived with fading hope and burgeoning grief since her husband went missing during the war in Kosovo.
Wednesday, February 2
- Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché – Utopia (Cinemas; VOD release February 4) – UK – Documentary co-written and directed by Celeste Bell and Paul Sng. The death of punk icon and X-Ray Spex front-woman Poly Styrene sends her daughter on a journey through her mother’s archives in this intimate documentary.
- The Tinder Swindler – Netflix – UK – Documentary directed by Felicity Morris. A fraud man who attracts women using the popular dating app and tricked them out of millions of dollars.
Friday, February 4
- Alone With You – Dark Star Pictures (Cinemas; VOD release February 8) – USA – Horror / thriller co-written and directed by Emily Bennett and Justin Brooks, co-starring scream queen Barbara Crampton. As a young woman painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend, their apartment begins to feel more like a tomb when voices, shadows, and hallucinations reveal a truth she has been unwilling to face.
- Book of Love – XYZ Films / Amazon Prime – Mexico / UK – Romantic comedy co-written and directed by Analeine Cal y Mayor. Two writers are thrown together on a book tour in Mexico. Starring Verónica Echegui and Sam Claflin.
- Breaking Bread – Cohen Media Group (Cinemas in LA & NY) – USA / Israel – Documentary written and directed by Beth Elise Hawk. Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel – the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef – is on a quest to make social change through food. And so, she founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on exotic dishes.
- Lingui, The Sacred Bonds – Mubi (Cinemas: Film Forum in NYC) – France / Germany / Belgium / Chad – Amina, a practicing Muslim, lives with her daughter, 15-year-old Maria. When Amina learns Maria is pregnant and wants to abort the child, they face an impossible situation in a country where abortion is legally and morally condemned.
- The Wolf and the Lion – Blue Fox Entertainment (Cinemas) – France / Canada – Family film co-written by the husband-and-wife team of Gilles and Prune de Maistre. A wolf pup and a lost lion cub are rescued by a girl in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Their friendship will change their lives forever. Starring Molly Kunz and Graham Greene.
- The Worst Person in the World – Neon (Cinemas in NY & LA; expanding February 11) – Norway / France / Sweden / Denmark – Drama directed by Joachim Trier, starring Renate Reinsve. The chronicle of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.
Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.