MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 7, 2021: KNOTS: A FORCED MARRIAGE STORY

Ultra-conservative religious sects. Girls prevented from getting an education and learning practical skills. Forced marriage between teen girls and abusive men far older than their reluctant brides. No, this isn’t The Handmaid’s Tale; it’s daily life in the United States right now for thousands of underage girls forced into marriages they aren’t ready for and don’t want. And as Kate Brewer’s Knots: A Forced Marriage Story makes abundantly clear, it needs to stop now.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 9, 2021: SLALOM

As challenging — and stark — as the mountains its main character hurtles down in the pursuit of athletic glory and personal validation, French filmmaker Charlène Favier’s debut feature Slalom is an unflinching look at the impact of what happens to a vulnerable teenage girl when an authority figure abuses his authority and position of power.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 12, 2021: COWBOYS

The consequences of denying your loved ones the right to live authentically plays out in dramatic fashion in Cowboys, writer/director Anna Kerrigan’s moving film about a family in crisis. Starring the talented Steve Zahn and Jillian Bell as Troy and Sally, the divorced parents of 10-year-old transgender boy Jo (Sasha Knight), the film ultimately shows the power of unconditional love and acceptance.

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MANGROVE – Review by Diane Carson

British director Steve McQueen’s truth-based Mangrove, set in west London’s Notting Hill area beginning in 1968, imaintains disconcerting relevance today with racism on full display. Prevalent, brutal police prejudice sparks repeated, illegal and destructive raids and appalling harassment of restaurant-owner Frank Crichlow.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 27, 2020: TAPE

At times almost painfully voyeuristic — which is the entire point — Deborah Kampmeier’s Tape tells the powerful #MeToo story of two aspiring actresses whose ambitions put them in the crosshairs of a manipulative filmmaker. One is out for revenge, while the other is still hoping that she’s getting her big break. As their stories collide, truths are revealed.

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EVERYONE TOGETHER (SXSW2020) – Review by Sarah Knight Adamson

From the outset, Everyone Together’s preliminary scene draws you in—the outlandish costuming, the unique setting, and the deliberate overacting by its main stars—all establish an off-balanced tone, in this pilot for a proposed episodic series, centering on a dysfunctional family’s search for love.

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THE PHOTOGRAPH – Review by Leslie Combemale

From its first moments, The Photograph, with its underlying romantic jazz score and winning co-leads, is calling the viewers into an intimate slow dance, maybe with Luther Vandross playing, that feels safe, sexy, and so satisfying you won’t want it to end. It’s the sort of movie that’s rarely made anymore, yet here it is.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New CELLULOID CEILING Report shows Uptick – Brandy McDonnell reports

In its 22nd year, the annual San Diego State University Celluloid Ceiling study found that women comprised 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 domestic grossing films released last year. That was up from 16% in 2018.

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