AISHA – Review by April Neale

Smaller films can pack profoundly gargantuan messages about humanity and the pendulum of fate. Poor, in distress, and alone, Aisha, a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland, is at the mercy of bureaucrats and paper pushers as she awaits her hearing to see if she qualifies for Irish residency and Visa status. The Stranger in a Strange Land plot is a well-worn road for many filmmakers, but in Aisha, Letitia Wright gives a subdued and powerful turn as the titular young woman who struggles to maintain her dignity against the threat of deportation. As with all tales of this nature, there are bad actors and good souls, as this Nigerian refugee is not only sticking out like a sore thumb thanks to her race and religion (she is Islamic) but her days spent held in a Dublin detention center are made bearable by the kindness of an Irish security guard, played with great restraint and presence by Josh O’Connor.

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BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Wakanda Forever, then, had a tall order to fill, and if it’s flawed in parts, it also acknowledges this loss and moves forward in a way that’s ultimately satisfying. The plot is sometimes messy, with many moving parts, but the film gives its actors—especially Wakanda’s formidable women—powerful performances and moments to shine. Ultimately, Wakanda Forever delivers an emotional sendoff fit for a king—and a message that Wakanda, cherished by its creators onscreen and off, will carry on.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 16, 2022: THE SILENT TWINS

As the saying goes, truth is often stranger than fiction — though in the case of Jennifer and June Gibbons, both their truth and their fiction were pretty out there. In The Silent Twins, director Agnieszka Smoczynska tells the fascinating story of the real-life identical twin sisters who grew up in Wales in the 1960s and ’70s, speaking only to each other and spinning elaborate fantasies both via felt dolls and through their prolific writing.

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THE SILENT TWINS – Review by Liz Whittemore

The real-life story of twin sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons continuously confounds psychologists and curious onlookers alike. As young girls from Barbados whose father transferred to Wales for for work, they were the only Black family in their neighborhood. The girls experienced insurmountable isolation and bullying. As a result, they turned inward, refusing to speak to anyone other than each other. The Gibbons sisters’ enigmatic relationship wreaked havoc on their family, community, and each other. The Silent Twins creatively illustrates their experiences. Theirs is a story that baffles the world.

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THE SILENT TWINS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska serves up an edgy, unnerving and provocative drama with her latest movie The Silent Twins. Not since The Shining have female twins gotten so under my skin. This fictionalized true-life story focuses on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two Black sisters who grew up in Wales and stuck together. Both had a creative streak but they also had major mental illness issues, including incidents of self-harm and psychological woes.

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MANGROVE – Review by Diane Carson

British director Steve McQueen’s truth-based Mangrove, set in west London’s Notting Hill area beginning in 1968, imaintains disconcerting relevance today with racism on full display. Prevalent, brutal police prejudice sparks repeated, illegal and destructive raids and appalling harassment of restaurant-owner Frank Crichlow.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Letitia Wright Cast in DEATH ON THE NILE – Brandy McDonnell reports

Black Panther breakout star Letitia Wright has been cast in a key role of Fox’s adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie mystery Death on the Nile. The African-American performer will play Rosalie Otterbourne, a lead suspect in the story, who follows Poirot as he attempts to unravel the murder of a young heiress while on vacation in Egypt.

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