Opening May 27 – June 2, 2024 – 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 May 27 – June 2 that are of particular interest. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews:  

Wednesday, May 29

  • The Commandant’s Shadow – Fathom Events / Warner Bros. (Cinemas) – Documentary written and directed by Daniela Volker. Follows Hans Jürgen Höss, the son of Rudolf Höss, the Camp Commandant of Auschwitz when he confronts his father’s involvement in the murder of over a million Jews during the Holocaust.

Friday, May 31

  • Backspot – XYZ Films (Cinemas) – Canada / USA – Drama co-written and directed by D.W. Waterson. Riley is given the chance to cheer with the all-star squad, Thunderhawks. With a competition looming, Riley must navigate her crippling anxiety, her relationship with her girlfriend, and her desperate need for approval from her new coach.
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  • Handling the Undead – Neon (Cinemas) – Sweden / Norway / Greece – Drama co-written and directed by Thea Hvistendahl. On a hot summer day in Oslo, the dead mysteriously awaken, and three families are thrown into chaos when their deceased loved ones come back to them. Who are they, and what do they want?
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  • Invisible Nation – Abramorama (Cinemas) – USA / Taiwan – Documentary directed by Vanessa Hope. With unprecedented access to Taiwan’s sitting head of state, director Vanessa Hope investigates the election and tenure of Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan.
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  • Re:Uniting – Flat Head Films – Canada – Drama written and directed by Laura Adkin. Follows six best friends from college, now in their 40s, who reconnect for their 25 year reunion weekend. As secrets are revealed, one will force them all to reevaluate their lives.
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  • Rowdy Girl – Argot Pictures (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary. Determined to make the planet a better place, former Texas cattle rancher Renee King-Sonnen transforms her husband’s beef operation into a farm animal sanctuary, encouraging other farmers to transition from animal agriculture to plant-based food production.
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  • Silent Land – Abramorama – Poland / Czech Republic / Italy – Drama co-written and directed by Aga Woszczynska. A young couple rents a holiday home on a sunny Italian island. What they find, however, does not meet their expectations.
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  • Summer Camp – Roadside Attractions (Cinemas) – USA – Comedy written and directed by Castille Landon. Follows Nora, Ginny, and Mary, three childhood best friends who used to spend every summer at a sleep away camp together. After years, when the opportunity to get back together for a summer camp reunion presents itself, they all seize it.
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  • The Young Wife – (Cinemas) – USA – Dramedy written and directed by Tayarisha Poe. It follows a young woman grappling with the meaning of love and commitment, following her over her non wedding day.
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  • Young Woman and the Sea – Walt Disney (Cinemas) – USA – Biographical drama starring Daisy Ridley. The story of competitive swimmer Trudy Ederle, who, in 1926, was the first woman to ever swim across the English Channel.

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.