MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 8, 2022: FIRE OF LOVE

Part romance, part breathtaking nature film, and wholly engrossing, Fire of Love tells the story of Katia and Maurice Krafft, two of the world’s foremost volcanologists. Their dedication to their calling — and each other — is captured deftly by director Sara Dosa, who mines extraordinary historic footage and pairs it with narration by Miranda July to produce a film that’s both quirky and a loving homage to two very passionate people.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 1, 2022: CLARA SOLA

The powerful need for expression and agency are at the heart of Nathalie Alvarez Mesen’s debut feature Clara Sola. The film centers on a 40-year-old Costa Rican woman named Clara (a mesmerizing Wendy Chinchilla Araya), whose deep connection to nature and animals seems to include the mystical ability to heal — but whose body and soul are constantly repressed, particularly by her devout mother, Fresia (Flor María Vargas Chavez). When Clara dares to test those constraints, the consequences are volatile.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 24, 2022: BITTERBRUSH

A unique coming-of-age story, Emelie Mahdavian’s immersive, observational documentary Bitterbrush takes viewers fully into a world many aren’t likely to have experienced. Following friends Colie Moline and Hollyn Patterson through their final summer herding cattle together on a remote ranch before life takes them in new, separate directions, it conveys emotions that are as big as the Idaho sky while maintaining a tight focus on the two young women and their relationship with each other.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 17, 2022: GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE

“Brave” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when it comes to acting, often when a performer — particularly a woman — dares to look unattractive on screen. Think Charlize Theron in Monster, Jennifer Aniston in Cake, and even Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones. Well, those ladies are all cowards compared to Emma Thompson, who boldly bares it all, literally and lovingly, in Sophie Hyde’s intimate drama Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 10, 2022: OFFICIAL COMPETITION

As long as there have been movies, there have been movies about making movies. Some are serious, some are silly; some are dark, some are light. One thing most have in common is that they always seem to bring those involved that particularly satisfying form of glee that comes from casting a critical light on something you have a complex relationship with. All of that is in play in Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat’s sharp showbiz satire Official Competition.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 3, 2022: THE JANES

It would be nice if Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ documentary The Janes could be viewed strictly as part of the historical record — a detailed account of “how things used to be.” But with women’s right to choose still under relentless attack and Roe v. Wade seemingly on the brink of being reversed, this film about a group of young women who worked tirelessly in the late 1960s and early ’70s to help provide access to safe illegal abortions couldn’t be more timely.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 27, 2022: SINCE I BEEN DOWN

Both infuriating and inspiring, Gilda Sheppard’s documentary Since I Been Down lays bare the fear and institutional racism that drive so much of the United States’ criminal justice system — but also shows how education and understanding can open minds and turn lives around. Focusing on the story of Kimonti Carter, a Black Tacoma, Wash., man who’s been incarcerated for murder since he was 18, it demands that viewers think critically about race, power, rehabilitation, and justice.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 20, 2022 – FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK

If you heard that David Bowie told Rolling Stone in 1999 that a group popular in the 1970s was “one of the finest f–ing rock bands of their time,” who would you guess he was talking about? Led Zepplin? The Who? Deep Purple? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. He was heaping praise on Fanny, the groundbreaking all-female band formed by Filipina sisters Jean and June Millington, whose story is told in Bobbi Jo Hart’s rousing documentary Fanny: The Right to Rock.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 13, 2022: TO WHICH WE BELONG

An optimistic documentary about climate change? Yes, such a thing exists (even in 2022), and it’s called To Which We Belong. As they explore the seemingly vast potential upside of holistic land management — speaking to farmers, ranchers, and even seaweed harvesters around the world — filmmakers Pamela Tanner Boll and Lindsay Richardson present a picture of hopeful, attainable change for a planet in dire need of exactly that.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 6, 2020: INBETWEEN GIRL

Relatable and honest, with a healthy dash of artistic quirk, InBetween Girl feels like the adaptation of a cool YA graphic novel — but it’s all direct from the brain of writer/director Mei Makino, making her feature debut alongside star Emma Galbraith. Together, these two talented women tell the coming-of-age story of Galveston high schooler Angie (Galbraith) as she navigates love, sex, friendship, high school, and her parents’ divorce.

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