WEEK IN WOMEN: Leslye Headland’s STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE heads to Disney+– Brandy McDonnell reports

Lucasfilm’s new live-action original series Star Wars: The Acolyte, created by Leslye Headland, launches on June 4 with the first two episodes exclusively on Disney+. Two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) created the series, based on Star Wars by George Lucas, and serves as an executive producer along with Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Emanuel, Jeff F. King and Jason Micallef.

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MY ANIMAL (Sundance FF2023) – Review by Nadine Whitney

What lets My Animal down is Jae Matthews’ script which meanders in too many directions and engages in a kind of fatalism that feeds into queer misery. Despite the strong central performances, technically accomplished direction, and an excellent soundtrack, My Animal doesn’t quite know what its central thesis is. Is it worse that Heather is a lesbian in a small community, or is it worse that she’s an actual mythical monster? If she becomes open about her sexuality does she unleash a beast?

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BODIES, BODIES, BODIES – Review by Susan Granger

Here’s the set-up: five longtime friends and their respective companions gather at a remote vacation house on the eve of a predicted hurricane. They decide to play an improv game in which players ‘kill’ someone by touching them. Whomever discovers the ‘murder’ yells: “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” – and everyone has to figure out who the ‘killer’ is. The chaotic shrieks and scares are supposed to be great fun until – one after another – various participants are brutally slaughtered. Whodunit? Who cares?

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THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Susan Granger

Based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling 2017 YA novel, this social justice drama revolves around teenage Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is trying to maintain an emotional balance as she straddles two disparate worlds. Raised in the poor, predominantly black Georgia neighborhood of Garden Heights, Starr goes to Williamson Prep a private, predominantly white suburban school. That involves constant code-switching.

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THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

The Hate U Give is an important film and a weighty film, one that raises questions about what we as a society will accept — from our community members, from our leaders, from the politicians who are supposed to represent us, from the police who are supposed to protect us. The movie, based on the novel by Angie Thomas, considers a tragedy that feels simultaneously ripped from the headlines and quite commonplace: the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

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SPOTLIGHT September 2015: Amandla Stenberg, Actress, Activist In the Making

amandla 2At age 16, Amandla Stenberg stands beside AWFJ’s previously SPOTLIGHTed champions of diversity and feminism. Since Stenberg burst onto the scene with her portrayal of Rue in the first Hunger Games movie, she’s become a leading force in conversations surrounding cultural appropriation and the need for intersectional feminism.

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