Opening February 20 – 26, 2023 – 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 February 20 to 26 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews:
Tuesday, February 21
- Lamya’s Poem – Freestyle Digital Media (VOD) – USA / Canada – Animated film. A young refugee girl fleeing violence and war finds a book of poetry by the celebrated 13th century poet, Rumi. The book becomes a magical gateway where she meets the young Rumi when he was a refugee, escaping the terrible wars of his time.
- Seeking Asylum – Giant Pictures – USA / Mexico – Documentary directed by Rae Ceretto that bears witness to the endless deterrents migrants face when petitioning for asylum in the United States. In a dismantled system that has been designed for failure, we follow one woman’s journey as she searches for protection for her and kids.
Friday, February 24
- Cocaine Bear – Universal Pictures (Cinemas) – USA – Thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks. An oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converge in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine.
- Give Me Pity! – Utopia (Cinemas) – USA – Musical comedy written and directed by Amanda Kramer. Sissy St. Claire graces the small screen for her first ever television special, an evening full of music and laughter, glamour and entertainment. But Sissy’s live event quickly begins to curdle into a psychedelic nightmare.
- Juniper – Greenwich Entertainment – New Zealand – Drama starring Charlotte Rampling. When a self-destructive teenager is suspended from school and asked to look after his feisty alcoholic grandmother as a punishment, the crazy time they spend together turns his life around.
- My Happy Ending – Roadside Attractions (Cinemas) – UK / Israel / USA – Dramedy directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon following a famous star who finds herself in a British hospital room with three other women who help her. Starring Andie MacDowell.
- The Quiet Girl – Super (Cinemas) – Ireland – Drama based on a story by Claire Keegan. Rural Ireland 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one.
Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.