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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Roxana Hadadi comments

I define feminism as advocacy and support for gender equality, in particular the dismantling of a patriarchal system is that can often be sexist, racist, and classist. How that applies to film criticism is approaching cinema as an institution that reflects the politics and viewpoints of a film’s creators, and then analyzing how women and men are represented in the film, how they are compared and contrasted, how their needs are demonstrated or met, how they interact.

Read more

WIDOWS – Review by Roxana Hadadi

Widows is about revenge and crime, yes, but primarily, it’s about power—who has it, who gets to wield it, who is protected by it, who is kept away from it. This was a concept that director Steve McQueen explored with 12 Years a Slave and that writer Gillian Flynn mines constantly in her novels (what is Gone Girl about if not a struggle for dominance in a modern marriage?), and together they create a portrait of complex power struggles, of lines of dominance criss crossing each other, of a fragile web that can unravel if even one strand is snapped.

Read more

THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

The Hate U Give is an important film and a weighty film, one that raises questions about what we as a society will accept — from our community members, from our leaders, from the politicians who are supposed to represent us, from the police who are supposed to protect us. The movie, based on the novel by Angie Thomas, considers a tragedy that feels simultaneously ripped from the headlines and quite commonplace: the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Read more