COYOTE LAKE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

The thriller Coyote Lake takes the conceptual frame of vigilante justice and places it over a mother-daughter story about familial control and abuse, a combination that nudges at themes of religious obsession and misandry. The result is a tense experiment that considers the extremes of revenge but that overall doesn’t stray too much from a recognizable depiction of maternal manipulation.

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THE CHAMBERMAID – Review by Roxana Hadadi

High above Mexico City, more than 20 floors above the ground, Eve (Gabriela Cartol) works with her whole body. She dashes across hotel rooms, leaning over to pick up trash. She perches in the bathroom, scrubbing away. She smooths sheets and blankets with her entire upper half, making a 90-degree angle with the bed. Her responsibilities are highly regimented and take an immense physical toll, but you wouldn’t know that from her polite small talk or her demure “Excuse me” when she leaves a room. Eve has been trained to serve and to be ignored.

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WILD ROSE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

At what point do you give up on a dream? Films about aspiring musicians almost universally consider this question, mostly from a male point of view. Movies about the female experience either skew juvenile or are thoroughly mocked, and it’s arguable whether the latest extremely successful version of A Star is Born provided enough autonomy to the character played by Lady Gaga. Into this landscape arrives Wild Rose, a movie that follows a recognizable narrative flow but features a strong performance from Jessie Buckley as a Scottish woman struggling to break into a musical genre that isn’t her country’s own.

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THE THIRD WIFE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

Filmmaker Ash Mayfair’s full-length directorial debut The Third Wife plays out like a tone poem, a portrait of female identity, sexuality, and responsibility in 19th century rural Vietnam. The bamboo groves and floating lotus flowers are lush, the familial relationships between husbands, wives, and children are multifaceted, and there is a simultaneous sense of sensuality and tragedy throughout The Third Wife. A moment of happiness could easily transform into a moment of despair.

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LITTLE WOODS – Review by Roxana Hadadi

The Western genre has experienced a modern resurgence over the past few years with narratives that pull focus away from the genre’s hypermasculine origins and toward stories that are more individualistic, more character-driven. in Little Woods, Nia DaCosta, Tessa Thompson, and Lily James have created something tense, timely and empathetic, expanding the Western genre and adding another slice of American life to it.

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Didar Domehri Talks GIRLS OF THE SUN and Women’s Resilience – Roxana Hadadi interviews

Before the release of Girls of the Sun, Roxana Hadadi spoke to producer Didar Domehri (who in 2009 created her own production company Maneki Films, which produced the film) about her and Husson’s vision, how Iranian-French actress Golshifteh Farahani became attached to the project, and the film’s portrait of female resilience and unity in the face of overwhelming cruelty and hardship.

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SXSW 2019: Stories of Women’s Resilience and Independence – Roxanne Hadadi reports

This year, South by Southwest Film Festival felt like a declarative celebration of women’s stories and female filmmakers. From its diverse slate of narrative, documentary, and short films to its Grand Jury and Audience Awards, at the core of its programming were films made by and about women.

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3 FACES – Review by Roxana Hadadi

3 Faces is another example of deeply empathetic cinema from the filmmaker, an exploration of the frictions between generations inside Iran while offering sympathy to all parties: the young and the old, the traditional and the cosmopolitan, and in particular the women caught in a transitioning society that too often refuses to grant them the respect they deserve.

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