DAUGHTER OF MINE – Review by Cate Marquis

Laura Bispuri’s strikingly honest Daughter of Mine, an Italian-language drama that explores the meaning of motherhood through the tense struggle between two women who both have claims on a 9-year-old girl. Set in the wind-swept, sandy island of Sardinia off Italy’s coast, the drama is both specific to this location and these people, and universal.

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WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY – Review by Cate Marquis

There has been concern that public awareness of the Holocaust is declining, particularly among younger people, which makes the documentary Who Will Write Our History timely now. Director Roberta Grossman’s moving documentary is especially well-suited to the task, as it focuses on a secret group in the Warsaw Ghetto, led by a Polish Jewish historian, who set out to create a history and record of Jewish culture, to counteract the version of Jewish life they saw Nazi propaganda creating.

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RUST CREEK – Review by Cate Marquis

Rust Creek is a genre film, aiming just to entertain, and there is no reason women directors can’t make those kinds of films too rather than ones with social commentary. And there is enough there in Rust Creek, largely thanks to the cast, to give the promise of an intriguing crime story – enough to make you frustrated when the film takes wrongs turns.

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ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Cate Marquis

In a nice companion piece to the excellent documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG, released earlier this year, On the Basis of Sex presents an inspiring biopic of the young RBG. Felicity Jones plays Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Mimi Leder’s drama, in which the future Supreme Court Justice battles sexism in an era when discrimination on the basis of sex was perfectly legal.

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CAPERNAUM – Review by Cate Marquis

There are striking parallels to both Slumdog Millionaire and Charles Dickens in this grim drama, from the focus on innocent children whose lives are appalling, to indifferent parents, a cast of nefarious characters, harsh officials, and unexpected moments of kindness from strangers. Director Nadine Labaki chose to cast mostly non-actors whose lives were close to these characters.

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PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS – Review by Cate Marquis

Women filmmakers are getting a lot of attention now but many don’t know that women directors were among cinema’s first, and the best. Now we get a chance to explore that forgotten history, as Kino Lorber is offering Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers, a six-disc box set of some of the best films by women directors in cinema’s early decades.

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WHAT THEY HAD – Review by Cate Marquis

What They Had draws a moving and remarkably accurate picture of the challenges grown children face when a parent has Alzheimers. It is a crisis increasing number of families will face with a disease that only ever gets worse. Writer/director Elizabeth Chomko drew on her own family’s experience for this family drama that is boldly truthful as well as engrossing.

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