ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY – Review by Loren King

All In: The Fight for Democracy puts voter suppression and its attendant racism into historical context as the film traces its origins from Reconstruction to Jim Crow. The film cogently lays out, with fascinating historical footage and insightful interviews, how methods such as poll taxes, impassable “literacy” tests, gerrymandering and voter ID laws, right up to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by the US Supreme Court, systematically disenfranchised vulnerable voters around the country but especially in the South.

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NASRIN – Review by Loren King

This urgent documentary offers an up-close look at Iranian human rights lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh who for nearly 20 years, at great personal risk, has fought for the rights of women, children, LGBTQ people and political prisoners condemned to death by the Iranian government. For anyone not familiar with this ordinary yet extraordinary figure, Nasrin will be an eye-opening and life-changing experience.

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ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – Review by Loren King

Regina King is such a brilliant actor that it’s not surprising she works wonders with the stellar male ensemble in her directing debut, One Night in Miami. Adapted by Kemp Powers from his 2013 speculative stage play, the action is set in just a single night —Feb. 25, 1964, the night that Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) won the world heavyweight championship at age 22 by defeating Sonny Liston in a title bout at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It unfolds largely in single hotel room where Clay celebrates with friends Malcolm X (Kinglsey Ben-Adir); football legend Jim Brown Aldis Hodge; and singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.).

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MODERN PERSUASION – Review by Loren King

Jane Austen’s literary works continue to provide an endless source of material for screen adaptations. Director Autumn de Wilde’s Emma starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the title character, was released to enthusiastic reviews earlier this year. Now there’s the new romantic comedy Modern Persuasion, an updating of Austen’s 1817 novel Persuasion aimed less at the PBS crowd and more at Millennials.

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FAREWELL AMOR – Review by Loren King

One of the most realistic and insightful works of art about the immigrant experience, Ekwa Msangi’s beautifully shot and acted Farewell Amor is a revelation. It looks at three lives torn apart by war and displacement and is crafted much too thoughtfully and skillfully to resort to glib resolutions or political points. Instead, it weaves a delicate and moving tale of the messiness of separation and reconnection.

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AMMONITE – Review by Loren King

With his stunning 2017 debut feature God’s Own Country, writer/director Francis Lee created complex gay and working class characters and put them front and center. His follow up, the romantic, historical drama Ammonite starring Kate Winslet as real-life, self-taught British paleontologist Mary Anning who lived and worked on the coast of England in the 1840s, does the same for women straightjacketed by both gender and class.

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ANTIGONE – Review by Loren King

Sophie Deraspe’s very contemporary film is loosely based on the Greek myth. But there is nothing stale or stodgy here. Deraspe has made a film that it is immediate, visceral and vibrant, one that’s worthy of its title and lineage. As Antigone, newcomer Nahema Ricci’s a Joan of Arc figure for the social media age in Deraspe’s bold, modern film.

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US KIDS – Review by Loren King

I was moved while watching director Kim A. Snyder’s Us Kids — to tears, to rage, to action. To deep admiration and to hope. Us Kids is a compelling story of several ordinary but remarkable young people who refuse to be victims and of their incessant efforts to reclaim democracy.

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ON THE ROCKS – Review by Loren King

Writer-director Sofia Coppola re-teams with her Lost in Translation”star Bill Murray for On the Rocks, a New York-set father-daughter dramedy costarring Rashida Jones. Murray plays womanizer, bon vivant and high end art dealer Felix who tools around in a chauffeured car, constantly dropping in on his daughter Laura (Jones), a non-productive writer conveniently working off an advance, who lives in SoHo with workaholic husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) and their two young daughters.

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