DEPRAVED – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Longtime independent Larry Fessenden, whose Glass Eye Pix has consistently supported young genre filmmakers, returns to a classic story he first tackled 25 years ago in No Telling, with a modern-day Frankenstein story that returns to one of the novel’s core themes: The dense and complex relationship between parents and children, however ambivalent the parents and however challenging the child. Fessenden pokes around some uncomfortable truths and the result is a discomfiting horror film for the social-media generation.

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AQUARELA – Review by Diane Carson

Without any narration, director Victor Kossakovsky’s documentary Aquarela pays homage to the majesty and power of water, along with the danger and tragedies global warming has caused. Observing but never interpreting, Kossakovsky travels the world: Greenland to Venezuela, Canada to Portugal, Russia to Costa Rica, in his tribute to water through absolutely astonishing images.

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KOKO-DI KOKO-DA – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Harkening back to Nyholm’s earlier work, Koko-Di Koko-Da features a notable inclusion of the same shadow puppetry-like animation that in style and content recalls his 2009 short Dreams from the Woods. Bringing back some of that short’s key characters, the filmmaker again has proven his strengths lie in merging form in a simultaneously dark and playful manner with a sharp thematic edge.

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I AM WOMAN – TIFF19 Review by Lauren Bradshaw

I Am Woman, directed by Unjoo Moon, is a timely, yet familiar biopic on music legend Helen Reddy and her contribution to the women’s liberation movement. It’s interesting (and disheartening) to see that many of the issues Helen and her compatriots were fighting for in the ’70s and ’80s are the same issues we are still fighting for today.

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HUSTLERS – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

It’s GoodFellas, except they’re gals. This based-on-fact drama about New York City strippers who conned their clients is wonderfully redolent of Scorsese’s mafia masterpiece in both style and substance: the seductiveness of easy money, the giddiness of getting away with a perfect crime. It’s a cinematic bonbon of delinquent deliciousness.

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FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES – Review by Martha K Baker

Even if you don’t like musicals but like documentaries, “Fiddler” has something to show you. If in the mix, you also like modern history, “Fiddler” shows you that, too. The result is kind of a miracle in itself, that is, a documentary that plaits parallel threads into a remarkable braid.

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EDIE – Review by Sheila Roberts

It’s never too late to embark on an exciting adventure to fulfill a lifelong dream, even if it means taking a few risks along the way. In Simon Hunter’s inspiring Edie, Edith Moore (Sheila Hancock) regrets not climbing Mt. Suilven in the Scottish Highlands after her Dad proposed they do it many decades ago but her authoritarian husband disapproved.

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THE NIGHTINGALE – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A twisty, slow-burning thriller, “The Nightingale” is both shockingly violent and profoundly poignant as it unflinchingly counts the costs of cruelty, revenge and colonialism. The film’s blunt depictions of rape, murder and dehumanization may make it too difficult for some to watch, but for those who can bear it, the payoff is deeply moving.

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