MOVIE OF THE WEEK Nov 26, 2021: WRITING WITH FIRE

Feminism meets the fourth estate in Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas‘ powerful documentary Writing With Fire. As it tells the story of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only female-run news outlet, it both examines the media’s critical role in supporting democracy and celebrates the women who won’t let anything get in the way of telling the truth. Armed with smartphones and determination, they shed light on those whose stories are far too often kept hidden in the dark.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 19, 2021: LADY BUDS

By turns idealistic and realistic, hopeful and frustrating, Chris J. Russo’s documentary Lady Buds is an engaging look at the budding (pun intended) legal marijuana business and a few of the determined, persevering, independent women who see opportunities for themselves and their friends/family members amid the cannabis plants’ verdant green leaves. As it tells their stories, it explores the impact that legalization has had on small businesses as large corporations swoop in on a new market.

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KING CORN – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Aaron Woolf’s documentary reveals that the majority of Americans eat mostly corn–or, to be more specific, food products derived from or containing corn. In King Corn, Woolf follows young eco-activists Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis–who met and became investigative cohorts while undergrads at Yale–as they return to the scene of their coincidentally similar family roots in rural Greene, Iowa, to plant and harvest an acre’s worth of corn, and then to trace their crop as it is processed into the food products that nurture the increasingly obese and unhealthy–and always hungry–American population.

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LADY BUDS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Chris J. Russo’s engaging and informative first feature documentary, Lady Buds, is an enlightening tell all about the troubles currently impacting the lives and careers of women who are working in the weed trade in Northern California. The film chronicles the struggles of six independent female cannabis growers and distributors who were once worried about facing criminal charges for their chosen careers, but are now fighting to hold their ground against Big Agro companies that are — with the complicity of local authorities — moving in to take control of the burgeoning medical and recreational market for marijuana.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 12, 2021: JULIA

Documentarians Betsy West and Julie Cohen treat their subject, the inestimable Julia Child, with both respect and honesty, building a portrait of a woman who was as complex as the food she so adored. Ultimately, Julia is very much like one of Child’s beloved French recipes: a proven quantity that’s made with excellent ingredients, flavored with the right blend of spices, and assembled with care and enthusiasm. And the cooking footage will leave you drooling.

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AWFJ @ Whistler Film Fest: Jurors and Nominated Films Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

For the ninth consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has had the honor to partner with Whistler Film Festival to recognize women filmmakers with presentation of EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature Film and Best Female-Directed Short at the 2021 festival, held in person from December 1 to 5, and online through December 31, 2021.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 5, 2021: HIVE

Perseverance in the face of uncertainty and repression is at the heart of writer/director Blerta Basholli’s feature debut, Hive, which illustrates the devastating real-life impact of the Kosovo War through the story of a determined woman named Fahrije (Yllka Gashi). Left in the painful limbo of not knowing whether her long-missing husband is dead or alive, Fahrije must defy norms and expectations to protect her family, proving herself a true heroine in the process.

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Tallgrass Film Fest: The Winners – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women film Journalists partnered with Tallgrass Film Festival to present EDA Awards for Best Female Directed Films at the festival’s 19th edition, held in Wichita, Kansas from October 20 – 24, 2921. One of the nation’s leading regional film festivals, Tallgrass Film Festival dubs itself as stubbornly independent and aims to foster an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film. Women in film are high priority on the festival’s agenda. This year, the festival presented 44 features and 128 shorts for in-person screenings.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 29, 2021: PASSING

Based on Nella Larsen’s same-named novella, Rebecca Hall’s powerful 1920s-set directorial debut, Passing, tells the story of two friends — Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga) — who unexpectedly reunite after a long separation, only to discover that their lives have taken very different trajectories. As it reveals what happens after their paths re-cross, the film examines complex issues related to race, identity, marriage, motherhood, and more.

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