CINDERELLA – Review by Lois Alter Mark

I feel like the mean stepmother saying this but I think it’s time for the clock to strike midnight on Cinderella movie adaptations. There’s no doubt Kay Cannon’s new version for Amazon Prime is well-intentioned. I’m sure there are plenty of young girls who will love seeing pop princess, Camila Cabello, in the title role and I’m all for the modern, female empowerment messages.

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THE BIG SCARY “S” WORD – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The problem with many must-see documentaries is that the people who really must see them probably won’t. So I’m hoping that “those people” (I’m talking to you, Fox News viewers) will head to the theater to see The Big Scary “S” Word, thinking the “S” stands for “sex” or something, and they’ll end up getting a lesson in – of all things – socialism.

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THE CONSERVATION GAME – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The Conservation Game is heartbreaking but riveting, thanks to Michael Webber’s superb direction that keeps you on the edge of your seat as the heroic animal advocates persist despite death threats from the villains they’re chasing. The documentary is sobering and eye-opening and, once you see and understand what big cats and other wild animals go through in captivity, you can never pretend you don’t know.

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CONFETTI – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Every once in a while you see a movie that you just know is going to change someone’s life. It’s usually a small, indie film that tells one person’s story so beautifully, it becomes universal and is impossible to get out of your mind. It’s a film you want to champion because you know that, with a large enough audience, it has a better chance of reaching that someone who needs to see it. Confetti is that kind of movie.

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BARBARA LEE: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER – Review by Lois Alter Mark

This documentary about Barbara Lee, the highest ranking Black woman in Congress, is so inspiring, I -expect a future President of the US to one day say she was motivated to run for office after watching it. Directed by Abby Ginzberg, the film features an eclectic group of celebrities, including Danny Glover, Van Jones, Alice Walker, and politicians from the late John Lewis to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cory Booker, all singing the praises of the California Congresswoman who has been fighting for racial and economic justice for more than two decades.

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FIRST DATE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

First Date is the directorial feature debut from Darren Knapp and Manuel Crosby. The dark comedy revolves around a shy teen who finally gets up the nerve to call the girl he has a crush on. They make a plan to go out that night but Mike doesn’t have a car so he buys a beat up old ’65 Chrysler from a sleazy guy and ends up with way more problems than he bargained for, including a lot of gun-toting criminals.

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I CARRY YOU WITH ME – Review by Lois Alter Mark

You’d have to be heartless not to be touched by this moving film about a gay couple who emigrate from Mexico to the United States not just in pursuit of the American Dream but simply to be together without fear of being killed. Director Heidi Ewing, renowned for her documentaries, adds a twist to her narrative feature debut by including the actual couple in the movie.

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A CRIME ON THE BAYOU – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Nancy Buirski’s must-see documentary focuses on an incident that happened in 1966 but is, infuriatingly, still timely and relevant and makes it clear that rallying together and acting as advocates for each other is the only way change will happen. It also makes it clear that the system is not broken; it’s working exactly the way it was intended to – and that’s the problem.

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TRUMAN AND TENNESSEE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

I admit that my first reaction to this documentary was, “Do I really want to listen to two white men prove they’re the alpha male for an hour and a half?” But when those two men are Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams and the director is Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the answer is yes.

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