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 October 17 to 23 that are of particular interest. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews.
Wednesday, October 19
- The Good Nurse – Netflix – USA – Male-directed drama starring Jessica Chastain, based on a true story.
- Matriarch – Hulu – USA – Horror film starring Jemima Rooper, Kate Dickie and Sarah Paul. Afflicted with a mysterious disease after surviving an overdose, a woman returns to her childhood home to confront her personal demons but instead discovers a real one.
- The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks – Peacock – USA – Documentary directed by Johanna Hamilton and Yoruba Richen, adapted from the novel by Jeanne Theoharis. The unexpected story of Rosa Parks and her life beyond the historic bus boycott, revealing the intent behind her activism, her radical politics and her courage.
Friday, October 21
- Aftersun – A24 (Cinemas) – UK / USA – Drama written and directed by Charlotte Wells. Sophie reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.
- Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power – Kino Lorber (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Nina Menkes investigating the politics of cinematic shot design, and how this meta-level of filmmaking intersects with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse/assault and employment discrimination against women, with over 175 movie clips from 1896 – 2020.
- Descendant – Netflix – USA – Documentary directed by Margaret Brown following descendants of the survivors from the Clotilda, the last ship that carried enslaved Africans to the United States, as they reclaim their story.
- The Fire That Took Her – MTV Documentary Films (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Patricia Gillespie. An exploration of the murder trial for Judy Malinowski.
- The Pez Outlaw – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Documentary co-directed by Amy Brandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel. Steve Glew spent the 1990s smuggling rare pez dispensers into the USA from Eastern Europe, making millions of dollars. It was all magical until his arch-nemesis, The Pezident decided to destroy him.
- Slash/Back – RLJE Entertainment / Shudder (Cinemas, Shudder) – Canada – Sci-Fi / adventure film co-written and directed by Nyla Innuksuk. When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don’t mess with girls from Pang.
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.