Opening Feb 28 – Mar 6, 2022 – 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 February 28 to March 6 that are of particular interest:  

Thursday, March 3 

  • Surviving Paradise – Netflix – UK – Documentary co-directed by Renée Godfrey and Matt Meech. As the Kalahari Desert faces a worsening dry season, packs and herds of all kinds must rely on the power of family to survive.
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  • The Weekend Away – Netflix – USA – Thriller directed by Kim Farrant and written by Sarah Alderson, starring Leighton Meester. A weekend getaway to Croatia goes awry when a woman is accused of killing her best friend. As she attempts to clear her name and uncover the truth, her efforts unearth a painful secret.

Friday, March 4 

  • Asking For It – Saban Films / Paramount (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Thriller. After a small town waitress is sexually assaulted after a date with her old friend she befriends a mysterious stranger who introducers her to an all femme gang.
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  • Fresh – Fox Searchlight / Hulu (Hulu) – USA – Thriller directed by Mimi Cave, written by Lauryn Kahn. The horrors of modern dating are seen through one young woman’s defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend’s unusual appetites.
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  • Great Freedom – Mubi (Theatrical Premiere at Film Forum in NYC) – Austria / Germany – Oscar-shortlisted gay prison drama starring Franz Rogowski, shot by cinematographer Crystel Fournier. In post-war Germany, liberation by the Allies does not mean freedom for everyone. Hans is repeatedly imprisoned under Paragraph 175, which criminalizes homosexuality.
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  • Huda’s Salon – IFC Films (Cinemas) – Egypt / Netherlands / Palestine – Thriller. Nadia, a young mother married to a jealous man, goes to Huda’s salon in Bethlehem. But this ordinary visit turns sour when Huda, after having put Nadia in a shameful situation, blackmails her to have her work for the secret service of the occupiers, and thus betray her people.
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  • Lucy and Desi – Amazon Studios (Amazon Prime) – USA – Documentary directed by Amy Poehler exploring the rise of comedian icon Lucille Ball, her relationship with Desi Arnaz, and how their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy forever changed Hollywood.
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  • Take Back the Night – Dark Sky Films (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Horror directed by Gia Elliot, co-written by Elliot with lead actress Emma Fitzpatrick. Finding herself the victim of a violent monster attack, Jane launches a vigilante campaign to hunt the beast that tried to kill her.

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.

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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.