MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 18, 2023: BELLA!

In a USA that’s lucky enough to have strong women like Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, and Katie Porter speaking up, persisting, reclaiming their time, and generally schooling the White male political old guard, it’s important to remember that Bella Abzug did it all first. Jeff L. Lieberman’s engrossing documentary Bella! reminds us what a trailblazer — and force of nature — Abzug was, detailing her impact on American government and culture.

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BELLA! – Review by Loren King

Enlightening, passionate, nostalgic and endlessly riveting, Bella!, a documentary about feminist trailblazer and force of nature Bella Abzug, is all these things and more. One thing I didn’t expect is that the film is also sad. That moment happens when Abzug’s friend and fellow activist, the writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin says that Abzug, who died in 1998, is all but forgotten now because she’s not being taught in schools and Pogrebin’s own grandchild had no idea who she was. All the more reason that “Bella!” needs a release as wide as the whole world.

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BELLA! – Review by Jennifer Merin

Bella! And, yes, be sure to include the exclamation point in the film’s title because the subject of Jeff L. Leiberman’s well researched and beautifully crafted documentary deserves emphatic punctuation.  Bella Abzug (1920-1998) was a champion of civil rights for women in every aspect of our lives. She was the feminist activist politician who fought fiercely to enact laws to establish and protect equity in the workplace, in government representation, in family matters — all of the women’s civil rights that we are now at such high risk of losing in our nation’s current regressive climate. 

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SIDNEY – Review by Martha K Baker

Sidney Poitier became a legend, as an actor, as an activist, as a Black man in racist America. He died in January, 2022, at age 94. This documentary honors him as that legend, avoiding hagiography but certainly raving about the contributions of one hard-working actor, the first Black man to win an Oscar. Within the adulation of the bio-doc, Poitier stands out from the many interviewees, who include his five daughters and two wives. His voice, largely from a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, remains quiet and sure, modest and cool. Winfrey produced the laudatory film of her friend, whom she called her “great Black Hope.”

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Are 2015’s Gender Gains Sustainable? Plus Blanchett, Streisand and Hollywood’s Most Powerful Women — Brandy McDonnell Reports

As 2015 comes to a close, the question becomes are women’s box office successes just milestones in a particularly good

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: ‘Systematic Change Project’ for Gender Parity, HUNGER GAMES Sustain, Barbra is Back and more – Brandy McDonnell reports

‘It’s time for action’: With the new ‘Systemic Change Project,’ Women in Film Los Angeles and the Sundance Institute are

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