NYFF 2023: Female-Focused Wrap – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

Women directors held their own at this year’s New York Film Festival, with impressive films in each of the fest’s coveted programs, from the Main Slate to Revivals. We’ll dip into each of these categories, singling out some of the lesser-known titles, in a women-focused overview of the fest. Starting off with the generally crowd-pleasing Main Slate, a number of women-directed features stood out (eight out of thirty-two, in fact).

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THE WILLMAR 8 – Retroview by Marilyn Ferdinand

The first and perhaps most impactful documentary that filmmaker Lee Grant made is The Willmar 8 (1981). Now little more than a vague memory or a footnote in labor history, the strike of eight women in the small town of Willmar, Minnesota, against Citizens National Bank for sex discrimination was a watershed moment in U.S. labor relations that led to a widespread investigation of unfair labor practices in the banking industry.

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