ONE CHILD NATION – Review by Sheila Roberts

One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, is a gripping, thought provoking, deeply personal examination of the impact of China’s one-child policy.. Wang, who was born in China in the 1980s and later emigrated to America, began shooting the film not long after she gave birth. Through moving interviews with Wang’s own family, former midwives and family planning officials, artists, journalists, and human traffickers, Wang exposes a disastrous 35-year social experiment that had tragic consequences for multiple generations.

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ONE CHILD NATION – Review by Liz Whittemore

Comprised of intimate first hand accounts and government made propaganda, One Child Nation will undoubtedly tap into your soul. If you are a mother, it will offend your understanding of the world. How can government care so little for the lives of its own citizens? Fighting back, telling stories is what brings enlightenment to the ignorant and empowers progressive change. One Child Nation shows us how great filmmaking can educate a new generation. You can’t rewrite history but you can prevent it from ever happening again.

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GEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND – Review by Leslie Combemale

Geek and You Shall Find doesn’t just follow the history of comic books, it explains the connection they have always had with social justice and a focus on inclusion and representation. This is not fluff, it successfully brings the threads together of why millions of people all over the world flock to comic books stores, conventions, and movie houses, and why they spend thousands on costumes to cosplay their favorite characters that follow the hero’s journey referenced in Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth and The Man With A Thousand Faces.

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SPUTNIK MANIA – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Timed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America’s moon landing, the Apollo 11 documentary reminds us that humans are capable of making miracles happen, but it also calls up memories of the fearsome USA vs USSR race to space. David Hoffman’s Sputnik Mania (2007) chronicles the space race rivalry in a way that still resonates today.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 2, 2019: HONEYLAND

Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s documentary “Honeyland” tells the compelling story of Hatidze Muratova, a Macedonian beekeeper whose quiet rural life with her ailing mother is upended upended by the arrival of an itinerant family, complete with seven children and a herd of cattle. Intimate and immersive, the film captures a place so removed from Western hustle and bustle that it almost feels like another century.

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APOLLO 11 – Review by Jennifer Merin

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mankind’s first landing on the Moon, Apollo 11 is being released theatrically and on line. The new documentary, a compilation comprised entirely of previously unseen archival footage, offers viewers an extraordinary ‘you are there’ experience of the moonshot, especially the film is seen on IMAX or other large screens.

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Waad al-Khateab, Hamza al-Khateab, Edward Watts Talk FOR SAMA – Sarah Knight Adamson interviews

For Sama has been championed as, “One of the most important films you’ll ever see in your life.” At the age of 21, Wadd al-Khateab, a college student in Aleppo, began filming the uprising in Syria. She continued filming for five years, capturing over 500 hours of film. “For Sama” is a love letter to her daughter Sama, a record of war conditions that presents Waad and husband Dr. Hamza al-Khateab’s reasons for staying in Aleppo until the end. Sarah Knight Adamson interviews Waad, Hamza and co-director Edward Watts about For Sama.

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HONEYLAND – Review by Sheila Roberts

Honeyland is a riveting, deeply human story about a vanishing way of life. Kotevska and Stefanov enjoy a comfortable rapport with their subjects who appear natural and at ease revealing themselves in front of the camera. It makes for a breathtaking cinematic journey that’s not to be missed.

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HONEYLAND – Review by Cate Marquis

Honeyland is a documentary but it plays out so much like a narrative film, a touching drama, perhaps even an epic, that one has to remind oneself that it is documentary. There is no introductory text at the start to tell us who she is or where we are, and there is no voice-over. Instead it is just the fly-on-the-wall camera, some strikingly beautiful photography, and a dramatic story that unfolds like a narrative film, with moments of drama, of humor, and an unspoken message about cultural change and caring for the earth.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 26, 2019: FOR SAMA

Raw, intimate, and devastating, Waad Al-Khateab’s documentary For Sama is a powerful story of what it was like to live in Aleppo during several years of Syria’s destructive civil war. Co-directed by Edward Watts, the film explores the human consequences and casualties of battle, while simultaneously proving that life can continue — and even flourish — in even the most hellish circumstances.

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