AWFJ Presents: QUEEN OF HEARTS: AUDREY FLACK – Review by Liz Braun

Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack is a love letter to the artist and a mini-lesson in 20th Century gender politics and American art history. Directors Deborah Schaffer and Rachel Reichman trace the career of the now-91-year-old Flack by letting her do most of the talking. From Josef Albers getting handsy with her while she attended Yale to the exigencies of being a single mother and somehow finding time to paint, Flack’s history as a painter is also history of second wave feminism, entailing general survival in a male-dominated society and specific work in a milieu where women were barely acknowledged.

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THREE MINUTES: A LENGTHENING – Review by Beth Accomando

The three minutes of the title refers to a home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland. The footage is presented as the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. Filmmaker Bianca Stigter constructs the documentary exclusively from those three minutes of home movies – some in color, some black and white, all silent. She slows the images down, freezes moments, and zooms in for closer inspection. In some ways it plays out like a police procedural as the identities of some of the people are discovered and tiny details are used to determine where the footage was shot and what was going on.

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KILI BIG – Review by Joan Amenn

Director Ida Joglar takes us on an inspiring and empowering journey with the members of the “Curvy Kili Crew” in this wonderfully touching film that explores the impact a support group can have on personal growth. Although the women of the “Crew” have experienced painful stereotyping for being plus sized, they find solidarity and compassion for each other as they setnout to scale one of the most famous mountains in the world, Kilimanjaro.

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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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A MAN’S PLACE – Reviewed by Marilyn Ferdinand

In her documentary feature debut, French director and screenwriter Coline Grando examines what a man’s place is with regard to abortion. In a featureless room, Grando interviews five French-speaking Belgian men between the ages of 20 and 40 who all had to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. All five were reluctant to talk about their experience and probably were persuaded to do so only because their interviewer was a woman. It’s not something men talk to each other about, one of her subjects says.

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RUTH STONE’S VAST LIBRARY OF THE FEMALE MIND – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Most people have no idea who Ruth Stone is. Our modern society is too prosaic and lacking in subtle feeling to pay attention to poetry and the people who write it. Stone herself didn’t know how to promote her work, dooming her to become a “poet’s poet” whose works the wider world never found. Yet, in a short 77 minutes, Jacobson not only tells us who Ruth Stone was, but also why we should pay attention to her and her poetry.

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Movie of the Week: FREE PUPPIES!

“Adopt, don’t shop.” It’s a pet-rescue mantra we’ve probably all heard, and it comes to vivid life in Christina Thomas and Samantha Wishman’s poignant, informative documentary (or should that be “dogumentary”?) Free Puppies!. As they follow a group of tireless volunteers who work on many fronts to help control the prolific pet population in largely unregulated Southern states, the co-directors shine an empathetic light on both the animals and those who want to help them find happy forever homes.

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LOST TIME (EL TIEMPO PERDIDO) – Review by Jennifer Green

There’s something about aging that pushes people toward introspection. Maybe it’s knowing there’s more time behind you than ahead, or maybe it’s the sum of joys and losses added up over the course of a lifetime or the missed opportunities and regrets that nag at you. Whatever the inspiration, Marcel Proust captured the nostalgia and the vivid life of human memory in his 7-volume masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, first published between 1913 and 1927. In the 2020 documentary Lost Time (El Tiempo Perdido), a group of elderly Argentinians meet regularly in a café to read and discuss Proust’s novel.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: OVID.tv’s August streaming slate focuses on women’s issues – Brandy McDonnell reports

OVID.tv, a subscription video on demand service for streaming independent documentaries, art-house and global cinema, has revealed its August slate of 22 releases for its second annual Doc Month. Every film in August is a documentary, all of which will be exclusively streaming on OVID. The August lineup includes several documentaries directed by women, and many of these films highlight timely topics, including abortion, access to contraception and more.

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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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