Opening June 10 – 16, 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 June 10 – 16 that are of particular interest. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews: 

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Tuesday, June 11

  • Queen Tut – Cinephobia Media – Canada – Drama directed by Reem Morsi. A young Egyptian man moves to Toronto and becomes a part of the LBGTQ2S+ community.

Friday, June 14

  • 20,000 Species of Bees – Film Movement (Cinemas) – Spain – Drama written and directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren. During a summer in a village house linked to beekeeping, an eight-year-old and her mother experience revelations that will change their lives forever.
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  • Bad Behaviour – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – New Zealand – Dramedy written and directed by Alice Englert. A former child actress seeking enlightenment at a retreat led by a spiritual leader navigates the close but turbulent relationship with her daughter.
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  • Cora Bora – Brainstorm Media (Cinemas) – USA – Comedy directed by Hannah Pearl Utt. Follows Cora, who feels that her relationship is not going well. She goes back home to win her girlfriend back but she will realize that it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.
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  • Firebrand – Roadside Attractions / Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas) – UK / USA – Historical drama starring Alicia Vikander. Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, is named regent while the tyrant battles abroad. When the king returns, increasingly ill and paranoid, Katherine finds herself fighting for her own survival.
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  • Fresh Kills – Quiver Distribution (Cinemas) – USA – Crime film written and directed by Jennifer Esposito. Follows the story of the loyal women of an organized crime family that dominated some of the boroughs of New York City in the late 20th century.
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  • Ghostlight – IFC Films (Cinemas) – USA – Dramedy written by Kelly O’Sullivan, co-directed by O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson. When a construction worker unexpectedly joins a local theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet, the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life.
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  • The Grab – Magnolia Pictures / Participant (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. An investigative journalist uncovers the money, influence, and alarming rationale behind covert efforts to control the most vital resource on the planet.
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  • Just the Two of Us – Music Box Films (Cinemas) – France – Thriller co-written and directed by Valérie Donzelli. Follows Blanche Renard, who meets Greg Lamoureux and believes he is the one. However, she soon finds herself caught up in a toxic relationship with a possessive and dangerous man.
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  • Queendom – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA / France – Documentary directed by Agniia Galdanova. In defiance of Russia’s anti-LGTBQ laws, a queer, 21-year-old artist risks her life performing in surreal costumes throughout Moscow. Jenna Marvin’s radical public performances blend artistry and activism in this SXSW documentary.
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  • Naked Acts (restoration) – Kino Lorber (Cinemas) – USA – Restoration of 1996 film written and directed by Bridgett M. Davis. Aspiring actress Cicely has lost 57 pounds and landed her first movie role. The director didn’t tell her about a nude scene. Reluctant to do it, she embarks on a personal journey that unveils secrets once hid under her excessive weight.
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  • Tiger Stripes – Darkstar Pictures (Cinemas, VOD) – international co-production – Horror film co-written and directed by Amanda Nell Eu. An 11-year-old girl who is carefree until she starts to experience horrifying physical changes to her body.
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  • Treasure – Bleecker Street Media (Cinemas) – Germany / France – Dramedy co-written and directed by Julia von Heinz. An american journalist Ruth who travels to Poland with her father Edek to visit his childhood places. But Edek, a Holocaust survivor, resists reliving his trauma and sabotages the trip creating unintentionally funny situations.
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  • Tuesday – A24 (Cinemas) – UK / USA – Fantasy drama written and directed by Daina Oniunas-Pusic. A mother and her teenage daughter must confront Death when it arrives in the form of an astonishing talking bird.

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.