Opening January 9 – 15, 2023 – 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 January 9 to 15, 2023 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. 

Tuesday, January 10

  • The Exiles – Gravitas Ventures (VOD) – China / France / Taiwan / USA – Documentary directed by Violet Columbus and Ben Klein. Documentarian Christine Choy tracks down three exiled dissidents from the Tiananmen Square massacre, in order to find closure on an abandoned film she began shooting in 1989.

  • The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker – Netflix – USA – Documentary directed by Colette Camden. This shocking documentary chronicles a happy-go-lucky nomad’s ascent to viral stardom and the steep downward spiral that resulted in his imprisonment.

Wednesday, January 11

  • Noise – Netflix – Argentina / Mexico – Drama co-written and directed by Natalia Beristain about a mother desperately searching for her daughter who’s been missing for two years.

Friday, January 13

  • Come Find Me – DeskPop Entertainment – USA – Drama starring Victoria Cartagena, Sol Miranda and Tovah Feldshuh. A mother and daughter facing major life changes and how their love challenges and sustains them.

  • The Drop – Hulu – USA – Comedy co-written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith. In this cringe comedy, a married couple face a marriage test when one of them drops a baby during a tropical island wedding.

  • Kitchen Brigade – Samuel Goldwyn Films (Cinemas, VOD) – France – French dramedy. Cathy is a sous-chef wanting to open a restaurant. With financial difficulties, Cathy accepts a job at a shelter for young migrants. At first she hates the job, then her passion for cuisine starts to change children’s lives.

  • On Sacred Ground – Big Picture Ranch / Shout! Studios (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama co-written and directed by Josh Tickell, Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell. A journalist and oil company executive find themselves on opposite sides of the fight during the construction of the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline that runs through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

  • Saint Omer – Super LTD (Cinemas) – France – Drama directed by Alice Diop. Follows Rama, a novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court to use her story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected.

  • The Seven Faces of Jane – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama co-directed by Gillian Jacobs, Gia Coppola, Boma Iluma, Ryan Heffington, Xan Cassavetes, Julian J. Acosta, Ken Jeong, and Alex Takacs. Its protagonist is Jane (Jacobs), who finds herself tumbling through a gauntlet of surreal, beautiful and heartbreaking adventures.

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.