Opening January 24 – 29, 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 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 24 to 29 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews.  

Thursday, January 26

  • Waking Karma – XYZ Films (VOD) – USA – Horror film written by Liz Fania Werner, co-directed by Werner and Carlos Montaner. When high school senior Karma’s estranged cult leader father traps her and her mother in a remote forest compound, she must survive a series of psychological trials meant to prepare her for a strange and deadly reincarnation ritual.

Friday, January 27

  • Filmmakers for the Prosecution – Kino Lorber (NY Premiere) – USA / France – Documentary directed by Jean-Christophe Klotz, adapted from the monograph by Sandra Schulberg. The incredible true story of how motion pictures were used to convict the Nazis at Nuremberg.
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  • Free Skate – Indiecan Entertainment (Cinemas; VOD release February 28) – Finland – Thriller written by and starring Veera W. Vilo. A promising figure skater flees from Russia to Finland to escape her inhumane circumstances.
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  • Life Upside Down – AMC+ / IFC Films (Cinemas) – USA – Comedy written and directed by Cecilia Miniucchi. Three couples who know one another are stuck at home during the beginning of lockdown. Jonathan, Clarissa and Paul will see their lives turned upside-down, forced to look at each other and ultimately at themselves.
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  • The Mission – Film Movement – Finland / Germany – Documentary written and directed by Tania Anderson. A revelation of the inner lives of young LDS missionaries, as they leave their homes for the first time and embark upon the most emotionally, physically and psychologically challenging period of their life.
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  • One Fine Morning – Sony Pictures Classics (Cinemas) – France / Germany – Drama written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, starring Léa Seydoux. With a father suffering from neurodegenerative disease, a young woman lives with her eight-year-old daughter. While struggling to secure a decent nursing home, she runs into an unavailable friend with whom she embarks on an affair.
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  • Petit Mal – Dark Star Pictures (Cinemas, VOD) – Colombia – Drama written and directed by Ruth Caudeli. Have you ever met a throuple? We are opening our home’s doors to show you our life; how we, as a women’s throuple, live with the absence of one of us.
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  • The Silent Forest – Blue Fox Entertainment (Cinemas) – Germany – Drama directed by Saralisa Volm. Anja Grimm returns to the remote forest area where her father disappeared without a trace when she was eight years old. Her sudden appearance triggers a brutal murder. Disturbances in the forest floor and pointer plants force her on the trail of deeper layers of guilt and crime and trigger a catastrophe.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Film 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.