DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART (2011) – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

In remote Uzbekistan, documentary filmmakers Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev find an unknown museum in which a single collector, Igor Savitsky, managed to save 44,000 world class art works from sure destruction by the repressive Soviet regime that deemed them anti-Soviet and had banned them. If you love art and history and heros, you will love The Desert of Forbidden Art.

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ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Anvil Still Rocks! UTOPIA is releasing a newly restored version of Anvil! The Story of Anvil, filmmaker Sacha Gervasi’s energetic 2009 documentary telling the intriguing tale of Toronto-based musicians Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner. They’re two engagingly humorous guys who’ve been best friends since childhood and have played together in Anvil, the heavy metal band, since they were in their teens.

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SKIES OF LEBANON – Review by Jennifer Merin

Skies of Lebanon opens the mind to deep consideration of the invasive impact that war and social strife have on families who work hard to contribute to society and, in return, just want to live in peace. Thanks to its genre-defying style, it is a lot of fun while it’s being quite serious in touching on themes that are currently relevant around the world, as well as right here, at home. The film is a must see.

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THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT – Review by Jennifer Merin

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and the political scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s eventual resignation from office on August 8, 1974. It was a turning point in US history, one in which Martha Mitchell played a role, Martha was the whistleblower wife of former US Attorney General John Mitchell, a close Nixon advisor and ally who was jailed for his complicity in the Watergate case. Two films currently in release commemorate the Watergate events and era by taking another look at Martha’s perspective on Watergate, how it happened and its impact on our nation.

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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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FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – Review by Jennifer Merin

Fanny: The Right to Rock is filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart’s completely captivating documentary about the first all-girl rock band, Fanny, and how this sisterhood of talented and tenacious Filipina women musicians almost became the female equivalent of The Beatles — but didn’t. But hopefully this lively film will bring them the recognition — read that as adoration — they deserve.

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FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

There was a time when girl groups like the Ronettes, the Crystals and the Supremes would simply sing, prance and dance while providing eye candy on stage. But everything changed in 1969, when two sisters of Filipina descent, ended up living in Los Angeles and forming a backyard rock band. Lead guitarist June Millington and her bass-playing sibling, Jean, decided to upset the norm, as they strapped on their axes and beat male rock bands at their own game.

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FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – Review by Liz Whittemore

Sexism, racism, and rock & roll, Fanny: The Right To Rock is the story of how two Filipina American sisters started Fanny, the legendary rock group you may have never heard of until now. Jean and June Millington used to gather a crowd in their California backyard. After they decided to put together a band comprised of extraordinarily fearless and talented female musicians, the road to Fanny began.

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TO WHICH WE BELONG – Review by Jennifer Merin

To Which We Belong is an informative and encouraging advocacy documentary from filmmakers Pamela Tanner Boll and Lindsay Richardson. The subject is climate change, and the fundamental message is that we humans can actually manage the use of our land to protect our planet from its demise and, ultimately, our own. As illustrated in the film, what is most immediately needed is restoration of healthy soil. which is not all that difficult to accomplish.

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LADY BUDS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Chris J. Russo’s engaging and informative first feature documentary, Lady Buds, is an enlightening tell all about the troubles currently impacting the lives and careers of women who are working in the weed trade in Northern California. The film chronicles the struggles of six independent female cannabis growers and distributors who were once worried about facing criminal charges for their chosen careers, but are now fighting to hold their ground against Big Agro companies that are — with the complicity of local authorities — moving in to take control of the burgeoning medical and recreational market for marijuana.

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