MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 15, 2019: DAUGHTER OF MINE

motw logo 1-35A passionate exploration of the nature of motherhood, daughterhood, and connection, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine has a raw, naturalistic feel that makes its characters and their choices seem very real. Viewers are plunged right into the world of two Italian women who both lay claim to a young girl who finds herself torn between them.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 8, 2019: WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY

motw logo 1-35Every single Jew who died during World War II at the hands of Hitler and his Nazis had a story to tell — and the fact that so many of those stories died with them is an unfathomable tragedy. But some of their stories survived, including those preserved by the brave Polish Jews who risked their lives to create the Oyneg Shabes Archive. This astounding cache of documents and artifacts from the Warsaw Ghetto is the subject of Roberta Grossman’s moving, fascinating documentary Who Will Write Our History.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 1, 2019: RUST CREEK

motw logo 1-35Smart, strong, and determined, college senior Sawyer (Hermione Corfield) is no victim. But she is someone who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time in Jen McGowan’s tense survival thriller “Rust Creek” — and what happens as a result will ensure that you never leave home without rock-solid directions (or a backup phone battery) again.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 25, 2019: ROMA

motw logo 1-35Winner of the AWFJ’s 2018 EDA awards for Best Film and Best Non-English Language Film (as well as Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing), Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” is a lushly filmed, beautifully specific slice-of-life drama that presents its central female characters with love and compassion. The story centers on Cleo (newcomer Yalitza Aparicio), the cook/maid/nanny to an upper middle class family living in Mexico City’s Roma district in the early 1970s.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 28, 2019: COMMUNION

motw logo 1-35A tenacious Polish teen who’s had to grow up too soon takes center stage in Anna Zamecka’s powerful documentary Communion. The film invests viewers deeply in Ola as she works every angle she can think of to bring her family back together, even though the odds seem stacked against her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 11, 2019: WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?

motw logo 1-35 Thought-provoking and philosophical, Astra Taylor’s timely documentary What Is Democracy? takes a deep dive into a topic that many of us probably think we know a lot about. But, as is shown in this compelling film, it turns out that the concept of “democracy” has greater nuance and more room for interpretations than most average citizens (voters or, sadly, non-voters) around the world seem to realize.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 4, 2019: ON THE BASIS OF SEX

motw logo 1-35Most superhero origin stories don’t involve late-night typewriter sessions and legal arguments — but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no ordinary superhero. Director Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex offers viewers a glimpse of RBG’s life before she became notorious, when she was “just” a smart, tenacious lawyer (as embodied by Felicity Jones) who was determined to fight for gender equality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 21, 2018: BIRD BOX

Atmospheric and tense, Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box” is both a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller story and a character study. Anchored by Sandra Bullock’s star performance, the film explores what happens after the majority of the world’s population is struck down by an affliction that makes them see visions so nightmarish that they’re driven to kill themselves as quickly as possible.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 14, 2018: DUMPLIN’

motw logo 1-30Set to a peppy, empowering soundtrack of Dolly Parton hits, director Anne Fletcher’s Dumplin’ is an appealing coming-of-age dramedy about a plus-sized teen who confronts stereotypes — and her own rocky relationship with her beauty queen mother — head-on by entering a small-town Texas pageant. Willowdean “Will” Dickson (Danielle Macdonald) loves her mom, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), but they couldn’t be more different.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 7, 2018: CAPERNAUM

motw logo 1-35.Nadine Labaki’s painfully honest drama about a street-smart Lebanese boy who sues his parents for neglect (“for giving me life,” as he tells the judge) is relentlessly gritty, but it also never loses its humanity. The latter is largely thanks to 12-year-old Zain (Zain Al Rafeea), the compelling character at the center of the story. Because, despite every awful thing life throws in his path, he never stops caring for those who’ve earned his affection.

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