MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 9, 2022: HIDDEN LETTERS

A secret written language shared among Chinese women, empowering a centuries-long legacy of covert sisterhood, is at the heart of Violet Feng’s thought-provoking, insightful documentary Hidden Letters. Known as Nushu, this language is an incredibly important part of China’s cultural history — but now that it’s no longer secret, can it retain its purpose and power? And are Chinese women really free of the circumstances that led to its creation in the first place?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 2, 2022: SCRAP

In a world overrun with stuff, it’s all too easy to turn a blind eye to what happens to that stuff when we’re done using it. In Scrap, Stacey Tenenbaum takes a deliberate, thoughtful look at the afterlife of everything from cars to cell phone components, introducing us to people around the world whose interest in old, worn-out things gives them a chance at rebirth — and gives us a glimpse at the potential hiding within even the rustiest piece of “junk.”

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Fest 2022: Nominees and Jurors – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists and Whistler Film Festival are proud to announce the nominees for two AWFJ EDA Awards to be presented at the 2022 festival. This is the tenth consecutive year of the partnership between Whistler Film Festival and AWFJ to honor films directed by women. Whistler Film Festival nominates films for consideration. Juries are comprised of AWFJ members. The winners will be announced at this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

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Whistler Film Festival: Women in the Director’s Chair 2022 – Jennifer Merin reports

Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) is a Canadian nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women filmmakers and developing their projects. Among its successful programs, WIDC IS partnering with Whistler film Festival for the ninth year to present its In the Director’s Chair Story & Leadership program, an intensive mentorship that benefits eight mid-career and non-binary filmmakers from across Canada and representing Canada’s diverse population. The filmmakers selected for the 2022 program will attend this year’s Whistler Film Festival (taking place November 30 through December 4 and online until January 2, 2023), participating in the WFF Industry Immersion program.

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WASTE LAND – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Acclaimed Brooklyn, NY-based artist Vik Muniz returns to his native country of Brazil, where he embarks upon a remarkable creative journey with a group of men and women who toil as catadores (garbage pickers) at Jardim Gramacho, a Rio de Janiero landfill. Muniz taps several them for his art project — to photograph them, then work with them to convert their images into huge collages created from trash — which will be exhibited in his New York gallery. Filmmaker Lucy Walker follows Muniz, capturing the essence of the environment so truthfully you can practically smell the place. Huge garbage trucks roll in, upend their containers and, as garbage avalanches from them, garbage pickers scamper up the rising mountains of waste to glean anything that can be recycled and sold. Seeing Muniz transform detritus into art is truly inspiring.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK Nov 25, 2022: LAST FLIGHT HOME

Documentaries don’t get much more intimate than Ondi Timoner’s deeply personal Last Flight Home, which captures the last few weeks of her father Eli’s life before he chooses to end it through physician-assisted suicide. As Eli’s family gathers to bid him farewell and help each other through this heartwrenching transition, they celebrate his memorable life and their enduring love for him, as well as wrestle with their feelings about the decision he’s made.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 18, 2022: THE WONDER

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue — and supposedly inspired by a true story — Sebastián Lelio’s moody, atmospheric The Wonder features a powerful lead performance by Florence Pugh. She stars as Lib Wright, an English nurse brought to the remote Irish countryside in the early 1860s to help determine the truth behind a girl’s claim that manna from heaven — not food — is what has kept her alive for several months.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 11, 2022 – BEING THUNDER

The importance of being loved, just as you are, is at the heart of Stéphanie Lamorré’s quietly observational documentary Being Thunder. As it follows Niantic Narragansett teenager Sherenté Harris — a two-spirit gender-fluid 15-year-old who finds joy in competing in traditional Native American fancy shawl dancing — the film drives home the power of the unconditional acceptance that Sherenté receives from their parents, siblings, and community.

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AWFJ Presents I AM NOT A WITCH – Review by Jennifer Merin

I Am Not A Witch is a stunning fantasy-like tale about naive Shula, an eight year old orphaned girl in rural Zambia, who finds her way into a village where she happens to witness a local woman fall down and spill a jug of water she was carrying. The villagers accuse Shula of witchcraft, of causing the accident. Shula, who cannot properly identify herself, nor explain her circumstances, is put on trial by the local authority, represented by a manipulative bureaucratic functionary who handles all incidents of witchcraft.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 4, 2022: CALL JANE

Based on the true story of the Jane Collective, a group of young feminist activists who facilitated underground abortions in the Chicago area in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Phyllis Nagy’s heartfelt Call Jane illustrates, clearly and empathetically, why access to safe, affordable abortions is an essential aspect of female healthcare. The movie may take place 50-plus years ago, but in a world where the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the issue has never felt more timely.

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