MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 14, 2020: THE GRIZZLIES

The Grizzlies, based on a true story, is about a fired-up white outsider coming into a close-knit Indigenous community full of confidence that, with his passion and approachability, he can connect with the skeptical teens he’s there to teach and make a difference. And, to be fair, he does exactly that. But not before he’s forced to learn some hard truths about the folly of thinking you can “fix” another culture — or understand people who’ve been traumatized for generations by colonialism if you haven’t been through it yourself.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 7, 2020: A THOUSAND CUTS

So timely that it includes scenes filmed just a few weeks ago that show people wearing masks against the coronavirus, Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary A Thousand Cuts is a passionate call to arms. Centered on persistent, feisty Filipina journalist Maria Ressa and her fearless pursuit of the truth behind the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal, extrajudicial war on drugs, it will resonate with anyone who cares about preventing authoritarian attacks on the freedom of the press.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 31, 2020: RADIOACTIVE

In a time when we seem forced to plead with society daily to believe both women and science, the story of Marie Curie feels especially relevant, despite taking place more than a century ago. Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive brings this fierce, opinionated, passionate woman (played powerfully by Rosamund Pike) to vivid life, chronicling how she changed the course of history with her discovery of radium.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 24, 2020: WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS

Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton may have started filming We Are the Radical Monarchs in 2015, but this compelling documentary about a scouting troop specifically and intentionally centered on girls of color couldn’t feel any more timely than it does in mid-2020, with social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement (finally) at the forefront of the public consciousness.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 17, 2020: JOHN LEWIS – GOOD TROUBLE

“It’s because of you, John.” That was the short, powerful note that President Barack Obama wrote to Congressman John Lewis on Obama’s first inauguration day, and director Dawn Porter’s moving documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble shows us exactly how right the president was. The film chronicles the highs and lows of Lewis’ life and career, set into the political and historical context of the 1960s to the present day.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 10, 2020: THE OLD GUARD

Anyone who enjoys watching Charlize Theron kick ass is going to get a kick out of The Old Guard, director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s adaptation of Greg Rucka’s graphic novels about a squad of immortal mercenaries who fight for the good of humanity. Not only is it full of popcorn action, but it raises interesting questions about duty, loyalty, and chosen families.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 3, 2020: THE AUDITION

The old saying “still waters run deep” is an apt description of the main character in Ina Weisse’s intensely observed drama The Audition. Anna (Nina Hoss) is a wife, a mother, and a music teacher whose life might look calm and stable from the outside but whose inner life and conflicts threaten to boil over daily. Hoss’ magnetic performance will keep you invested in where Anna’s choices take her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 26, 2020: MR. JONES

As if we need further proof that cries of “fake news” are desperate attempts of the complicit to deny their wrongdoing, Agnieszka Holland’s truth-based thriller Mr. Jones tells the stirring story of 1930s Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. He broke the story of the Holodomor, a massive engineered famine in Soviet-run Ukraine, only to have his claims declared false by those who sought to champion the Soviet Union’s communist revolution and form advantageous alliances with the powerful nation.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 19, 2020: MISS JUNETEENTH

In a time when too much of the world is very belatedly waking up to the significance of Juneteenth — the holiday marking the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas finally learned of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation — Channing Godfrey Peoples’ coming-of-age drama Miss Juneteenth offers a thoughtful, relevant glimpse inside Black life in Texas more than 150 years after that momentous day.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 12, 2020: BLACK STORIES MATTER

BLACK LIVES MATTER! The Alliance of Women Film Journalists stands united with all who are demanding an end to the systemic racism that permeates American policy and culture. BLACK STORIES MATTER! To understand the depth of the injustice experienced by our nation’s Black communities and other people of color, we must listen to their stories and embrace their truths. BLACK MOVIES MATTER! Films presenting stories that reflect Black perspectives, culture and lifestyle are essential, entertaining and enlightening vehicles that drive home the need for change — at breakneck speed.

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