Opening March 20 to 26, 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 March 20 to 26 that are of particular interest. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews on  

Tuesday, March 21

  • The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu – Gift Productions Inc. – USA – Drama co-written and directed by Anna Chi. The story of how shy teen Emma breaks her irascible grandmother Lily out of an L.A. nursing home for a wild road trip up the California coast, a journey that unleashes long-hidden family secrets.

Thursday, March 23

  • Furies – Netflix – Vietnam – Action film co-written, directed by and starring Veronica Ngo. A mysterious woman trains a trio of girls to take revenge on a criminal gang that abuses females. The three lady warriors risk everything to challenge this corrupt empire.

Friday, March 24

  • Chantilly Bridge – Quiver Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Twenty-five years later, the same brilliant actresses from Chantilly Lace, Linda Yellen’s groundbreaking Sundance hit, return to bring their characters to life in Chantilly Bridge. In a rare cinematic experience that travels back and forth between films, the characters’ memories implode on the present.

  • The Five Devils – Mubi (Cinemas) – France – Drama co-written and directed by Léa Mysius. Vicky lives with her mother Joanne and father Jimmie, a man struggling to find his place. When Vicky’s aunt Julia arrives after being released from prison, her presence brings back the past in a violent, magical way.

  • The Lost King – IFC Films (Cinemas) – UK – Dramedy directed by Stephen Frears, adapted from the source novel by Philippa Langley. Starring Sally Hawkins. An amateur historian defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years.

  • Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Amanda Kim. The journey of Nam June Paik, famous Asian artist of the 20th century, who revolutionized the use of technology as an artistic canvas and prophesied both fascist tendencies and intercultural understanding of the interconnected metaverse.

  • Refuge – Shout! Factory – USA – Documentary co-directed by Erin Levin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship. Chris Buckley is a father, veteran, and a former leader of the KKK living in rural Georgia. Chris’ long-held beliefs are challenged when Dr. Heval Kelli, a cardiologist and Kurdish refugee living in the resettlement community of Clarkston, Georgia, reaches out to him.

  • Sadness and Joy in the Life of Giraffes – Indiepix (VOD) – Portugal – Drama. This is the story of a tall 10-year-old girl. She is working on a school project that aims to explain how the world works to her class. She is faced with difficult social and political questions that even adults struggle to answer.

  • The Worst Ones – Kino Lorber (NY Premiere) – France – Dramedy directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret. A group of teenagers from the same neighborhood are selected to act in a feature film during the summer.

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.