MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 25, 2021: TEST PATTERN

Heartbreaking and infuriating in its authentic portrayal of a woman left reeling after being raped, Shatara Michelle Ford’s Test Pattern makes it crystal clear just how stacked the system often is against the victims of sexual assault. Between endless bureaucracy and condescending skepticism, it’s no wonder so many women don’t even bother pursuing justice for these horrible crimes.

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IS LOVE ENOUGH SIR? – Review by Mythilly Ramachandran (Guest Post)

Is Love Enough Sir? is a tale of forbidden love. Rohena Gera marks her debut with a heart- warming and poignant story that holds a mirror to the class divide in India. “People will make fun of us,” Ratna says while acknowledging her feelings for Ashwin. “I don’t care,” he tells her. But she cares. In Hindi. Streaming on Netflix

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 5, 2021: TWO OF US

Boasting powerful performances by stars Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier, Two of Us is a poignant, empathetic drama about two aging women who live in Paris whose love has lasted for decades but who’ve never felt free to live the life they dream of. Nina (Sukowa) and Madeline (Chevallier) don’t have especially ambitious goals for their retirement: All they want is to live together, openly, in Rome, as the couple they’ve been in secret for so long.

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AWFJ’s Black History Month 2021 ‘One-A-Day’ Watch List

Welcome to AWFJ’ 2021 Black History Month Movie Watch List. We present a compendium of 28 watch-worthy films to view one-a-day during February 2021. Our titles were selected from hundreds of the beautifully crafted, relevant and relatable films that elucidate Black experiences, tell stories of Black lives and illuminate Black history — including recent trending and best productions , obscure titles and blockbusters, and films that represent a variety of diverse perspectives and cover genres ranging from romcom to horror, from scifi fantasy to biopic and documentary, with release dates ranging from 1934 to the present.

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Kavya Prakash on VAANKU – Mythily Ramchandran interviews (Guest Post)

Indian director Kavya Prakash opens her directorial career with Vaanku, about a young Muslim woman’s wish to lead the Islamic call for prayer, Adhan, generally done by men. When a young woman, Razia, expresses her wish to lead the prayer, it sets rolling a ripple effect in her family and society around.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 29, 2021: TRUE MOTHERS

Motherhood — in all its complexity — is at the heart of Naomi Kawase’s drama True Mothers, which tells the intertwined stories of Hikari Katakura (Aju Makita) and Satoko Kurihara (Hiromi Nagasaku). Their circumstances are very different, but they both fiercely love the same little boy, and that love ultimately helps each better understand the other.

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GARBO THE SPY – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

This wonderfully entertaining and educating documentary is a real life spy thriller that profiles the mystery man, a double agent during World War II, who who changed the course of history. He was the most important, successful and daring spy of his day, an unidentified legend in his own time, the only one to receive distinguished service honors from both the British and Germans.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 22, 2021: IDENTIFYING FEATURES

Heartbreaking and quietly powerful, writer/director Fernanda Valadez’ debut drama Identifying Features shines a light on the complex, tragic realities of what can happen when undocumented immigrants set out to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. It is a truly heartbreaking film that puts a very human face on a humanitarian crisis, sparking both empathy and outrage.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 15, 2021: ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY

The United States has never truly been a democracy, because it has never fully supported voting rights for all of its citizens. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the future. By focusing specifically on Stacey Abrams’ work and experiences in Georgia, All In reveals the path to true democracy — and, guess what? It works, but it’s hard.

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THE END OF AMERICA — Documentary Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Released in 2008, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundburg’s compelling documentary is a still timely analysis and report about the ten step blueprint to establishing a dictatorship that Hitler and other dictators used to subvert democratic process and put an end to personal freedoms. The film compares, step by step, events leading up to establishment of the Third Reich with what has happened in the United States in recent years. Very convincing. Very scary. And, before it’s absolutely too late to take action, it should be required viewing for anyone old enough to vote, pay taxes or join the army.

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