IN OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS – Review by Martha K Baker

The title comes from a book by Alice Walker, who wrote: “How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers’ names.” The third documentary sponsored by filmmaker Ava DuVernay under the Array title bangs drums of Black family history. Director Shantrelle P. Lewis celebrates all things family by interviewing a raft of Black women about their ancestors. Some sit and reminisce, some cook and rail, some show up in old films or albums, some rehearse stories their mothers told about their mothers. The stories they tell are magnetic, and this film demands attention.

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IN OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS – Review by Leslie Combemale

In Our Mothers’ Gardens is a fearless, confessionalist record, from inside personal histories, of Black mothers and grandmothers, and it is steeped in Black love and culture. It can open the eyes of people who have no true understanding of the strength of family and matriarchy in Black communities. It is a celebration that reflects, through a wide diversity of real stories by Black women, the power, importance, influence, and, above all, the perspective, of Black matriarchy

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WEEK IN WOMEN: DuVernay Adapts Wilkerson’s CASTE for Netflix – Brandy McDonnell reports

Ava DuVernay will direct, write and produce the feature adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed new book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The new project will reunite the Oscar-nominated moviemaker with Netflix, although it will be her first feature film for the streaming giant.

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MIU MIU WOMEN’S TALES – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

For roughly the past decade, Italian high-fashion brand Miu Miu, a subsidiary of Prada, has been commissioning and releasing short films from some of the world’s most renowned women directors. As long as the films include Miu Miu fashions and accessories, the directors have been free to express their own creative impulses and personalities. Within the series, film fans will recognize signature flourishes along with great invention.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: DuVernay to Produce, Narrate ONE PERFECT SHOT Docuseries – Brandy McDonnell reports

HBO Max has greenlit a new docuseries celebrating iconic movie moments guided by Hollywood’s most exhilarating cinematic voices. One Perfect Shot, a half-hour unscripted series, will be executive produced and narrated by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay and produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television with DuVernay’s production company, ARRAY Filmworks.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Ava DuVernay to receive Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize – Brandy McDonnell reports

The Gish Prize Trust has announced that writer, producer, director, and social justice activist Ava DuVernay has been selected to receive the 27th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in recognition of her ongoing achievements in inspiring change through the power of film and television.

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13TH – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Ava DuVernay’s incisive and shocking documentary 13th hit like a body blow when she first unveiled it in the autumn 2016 film festivals. Donald Trump had not yet been “elected” President of the United States, but already, the shock of him ascending to the status of Republican nominee was unsettling. Fast forward to *checks watch* now, and this is a brutal and necessary watch.

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SELMA – Review by Sharronda Williams

Ava DuVernay’s Selma, focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s heroic fight for voting equality in Alabama, never shies away from showing the inherent dangers of being Black in the South. DuVernay embraces terrifying moments to honor the spirit of Dr. King and all those whose struggle, and sometimes death, became a catalyst for change. Selma is still relevant today because the fight for equality still rages on.

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DuVernay and Jenks get Funko Pops, per AWFJ’s Suggestion! Yes!!! – Jennifer Merin reports

There’s no way to know how much, if any, Funko’s introduction of Female Film Director Pops was influenced by Leslie Combemale’s essay for AWFJ.org in 2018, but in March, 2020, Funko introduced it’s Ava DuVernay Pop. The Patty Jenkins Pop followed in April.

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