Rick Rowley talks KINGDOM OF SILENCE and Revealing Hidden Truths – Nell Minow Interviews

Kingdom of Silence is a new documentary about the relationship of the United States and Saudi Arabia. It is a powerful film with two unforgettably shattering scenes. In one, we see the transcript of the cold-blooded murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the killers sounding like Mafia hit men. Director Rick Rowley talks about telling this complicated and murky politically entrenched story and what his top priority would be for whomever wins the Presidential election on November 3.

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The New MULAN’s Critical Chi – Nell Minow comments

Nothing is simple and straightforward and uncontroversial in 2020, not even a live-action remake of a popular Disney animated film. Whether intended to or not, the new Mulan has achieved one of the essential goals of any work of art in provoking thoughtful conversations that transcend but are illuminated by the story we see on whatever screen we see it on.

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Eliza Hittman on NEVER, RARELY, SOMETIMES, ALWAYS – Nell Minow interviews

Writer/director Eliza Hittman did a lot of research for her film about a teenager who has to go to another state for an abortion, Never Rarely Sometimes Always. The authenticity of the story is deeply felt throughout the film. In an interview, Hittman talked about taking the literal journey she would later show her characters on, why stories about teenagers are so compelling, and what her “dream world” would be for access to reproductive health care.

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FEELS GOOD MAN (SXSW2020) – Review by Nell Minow

Feels Good Man is not just comic artist Matt Furie’s story, or even that of his creation, Pepe the frog. It is the story of us, and it illuminates some confusing and painful realities about the way we communicate, form opinions, and make vital decisions about the future of our country, and so much that doesn’t feel good, man.

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I USED TO GO HERE (SXSW2020) – Review by Nell Minow

Imagine visiting the house where you lived as a child and standing next to the marks on the doorway where your parents measured your growth each year. All around us are invisible marks that measure where we are and every so often, usually unexpectedly, we get a chance to see exactly how far we have — and haven’t gone. Whether we want to or not.

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Trey Shults, Taylor Russell and Kelvin Harrison on WAVES – Nell Minow interviews

Waves is the story of a tragedy that tears a family apart, and it is the story of what happens then, told in an impressionistic, almost pointillist style by writer/director Trey Edward Shults. In an interview, Shults and stars Taylor Russell and Kelvin Harrison, Jr., who play teenaged siblings, Emily and Tyler, talk about the making and meaning of the film.

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Sarah Timberman, Susannah Grant, and Lisa Cholodenko on UNBELIEVABLE – Nell Minow interviews

Unbelievable Netflix’s truth based series about a vulnerable young woman who was wrongfully charged with filing a false rape complaint, is brought to life by an exceptional ensemble. The three women who helm the show speak about casting and the players.

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Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL, Immigrants and Traditional Cultures – Nell Minow interviews

Lulu Wang lets the audience know right away that her new film, The Farewell, is “based on an actual lie.” Awkwafina plays a character based on Wang herself, the daughter of Chinese immigrants to the US. The story is about what happened when Wang’s grandmother, still in China, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The practice in China is to tell family members, but not the patient. In an interview, Wang talked about the inevitable conflicts between immigrants and their American-raised children and about deciding when to lie and when she’d like to be lied to.

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Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM – Nell Minow interviews

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is not the typical biographical overview; it is more a thoughtful examination of and by Morrison of her work and her era. In an interview, writer/director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, whose long friendship with Morrison shines through the film, talked about why he likes to shoot people in front of blank backgrounds, the question he asked the interview subjects but could not answer himself, and how Morrison inspired his work.

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Tracy Edwards and Alex Holmes on MAIDEN – Nell Minow interviews

In 1989-90 Tracy Edwards led an all-women crew in an around-the-world sailing race called the Whitbread. The boat was called Maiden, and that is also the name of a new documentary about the crew and the race. The film is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week. In an interview, Edwards and the film’s director, Alex Holmes, talked about tracking down the treasure trove of footage taken by one of the women on the boat and why Edwards changed her mind about calling herself a feminist.

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