THE RESCUE – Review by April Neale

What seems to most interest documentarians E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin is capturing human tenacity. Whether it was Alex Honnold in their Oscar-winning film, Free Solo, or The Rescue, their latest film that details the story of a group of unlikely heroes who banded together with strapping military forces from America, Australia, and beyond to help Thai Navy Seals strategize and rescue a boys’ soccer team

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MY HOUSE IS FULL OF MIRRORS – Review by April Neale

Rags to riches stories with a side of betrayal never whetted the appetite like My House is Full of Mirrors does. Like a bowl of endless pappardelle smothered in a tasty ragu, screen legend Sophia Loren stars in the lengthy and satisfying two-part miniseries, playing her own mother, Romilda Villani. It’s a glimpse of Loren’s family life based on her sister Maria’s eponymous memoir.

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ZOLA – Review by April Neale

Noir dramedies based on “real people” and “true events” always resonate deeper and more receptively with those who find the characters familiar, relatable, and through the magic of great scriptwriters and stellar acting, redeemable.

In Zola, writer and director Janicza Bravo gives us a female “almost buddy” film that goes horribly south, showing off the worst of a particular class of white people, black people, and skeevy characters in-between the lot. Nobody, save for Zola, is someone you would want to know, but they sure can be funny.

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CENSOR – Review by April Neale

Censor is a cleverly wrapped thriller that wears the classically turned up London Fog overcoat of a period horror film. However, Prano Bailey-Bond’s feature film steeps the tea strongly, setting the action during the Margaret Thatcher years in a workplace rife with sexism, and a lead actor grappling with memory repression and the ticking time bomb of a loss she carries from childhood. And not only guilt for being the surviving child in her family, but perhaps some insidious involvement in her sister’s vanishing.

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BAMBOO AND BARBED WIRE – Review by April Neale

The internment of Japanese Americans in Idaho and other states during World War II is a dark part of our American history. Bamboo and Barbed Wire, a 2019 documentary by Karen Day, is having a renaissance of interest at the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival in large part due to the concern over the spiking Asian hate crimes and the afterburner legacy of the Trump Muslim ban.

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Karen Day on BAMBOO & BARBED WIRE, Idaho and Social Justice – April Neale interviews

Karen Day’s Bamboo and Barbed Wire is an all-American horror story. During World War II, the Minidoka internment camp, located just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho, became home to Japanese-American families ripped from their real homes on the West coast. Their story of sacrifice and this chronicling of the injustices they suffered is a solid call to action for concerned Americans who never want the past to repeat itself.

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