MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 14, 2020: THE GRIZZLIES

The Grizzlies, based on a true story, is about a fired-up white outsider coming into a close-knit Indigenous community full of confidence that, with his passion and approachability, he can connect with the skeptical teens he’s there to teach and make a difference. And, to be fair, he does exactly that. But not before he’s forced to learn some hard truths about the folly of thinking you can “fix” another culture — or understand people who’ve been traumatized for generations by colonialism if you haven’t been through it yourself.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 7, 2020: A THOUSAND CUTS

So timely that it includes scenes filmed just a few weeks ago that show people wearing masks against the coronavirus, Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary A Thousand Cuts is a passionate call to arms. Centered on persistent, feisty Filipina journalist Maria Ressa and her fearless pursuit of the truth behind the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal, extrajudicial war on drugs, it will resonate with anyone who cares about preventing authoritarian attacks on the freedom of the press.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 31, 2020: RADIOACTIVE

In a time when we seem forced to plead with society daily to believe both women and science, the story of Marie Curie feels especially relevant, despite taking place more than a century ago. Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive brings this fierce, opinionated, passionate woman (played powerfully by Rosamund Pike) to vivid life, chronicling how she changed the course of history with her discovery of radium.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 26, 2020: MR. JONES

As if we need further proof that cries of “fake news” are desperate attempts of the complicit to deny their wrongdoing, Agnieszka Holland’s truth-based thriller Mr. Jones tells the stirring story of 1930s Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. He broke the story of the Holodomor, a massive engineered famine in Soviet-run Ukraine, only to have his claims declared false by those who sought to champion the Soviet Union’s communist revolution and form advantageous alliances with the powerful nation.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 19, 2020: MISS JUNETEENTH

In a time when too much of the world is very belatedly waking up to the significance of Juneteenth — the holiday marking the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas finally learned of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation — Channing Godfrey Peoples’ coming-of-age drama Miss Juneteenth offers a thoughtful, relevant glimpse inside Black life in Texas more than 150 years after that momentous day.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 12, 2020: BLACK STORIES MATTER

BLACK LIVES MATTER! The Alliance of Women Film Journalists stands united with all who are demanding an end to the systemic racism that permeates American policy and culture. BLACK STORIES MATTER! To understand the depth of the injustice experienced by our nation’s Black communities and other people of color, we must listen to their stories and embrace their truths. BLACK MOVIES MATTER! Films presenting stories that reflect Black perspectives, culture and lifestyle are essential, entertaining and enlightening vehicles that drive home the need for change — at breakneck speed.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 5, 2020: JUDY & PUNCH

Moody and revisionist, Mirrah Foulkes’ dark dramedy Judy & Punch speculates about the story behind the classic British puppet show. In the process, it ably explores the important and ageless themes of artistic talent, revenge, superstition, allyship, and domestic violence, all wrapped up in lush cinematography and lavish production design.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 29, 2020: KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL

Part Behind the Music episode, part intimate video diary, and part indictment of the way the music industry treats women, director Amy Goldstein’s Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is a frank, endearing documentary about what it means to “make it.” It was filmed over the course of four and a half years, following rocker/actress Kate Nash as she figures out what comes after her big break — and the slump that followed it.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 22, 2020: LUCKY GRANDMA

It’s not often that a sharp-tongued, chain-smoking grandmother is the main character in a movie. Tsai Chin’s gutsy, riveting performance as the acerbic, chain-smoking titular character in Lucky Grandma, Sasie Sealy’s tight script and admirable direction, a stellar ensemble and a strong sense of place make the film a sure winner.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 15, 2020: SOUTH MOUNTAIN

Marriage, like life, is a complicated beast — and there often aren’t clear-cut answers and easy resolutions when things get messy. That compelling theme is the dynamic at the heart of Hilary Brougher’s intimate, poignant drama South Mountain, which follows Lila (Talia Balsam) over the course of a summer as her marriage crumbles and the world she knows shifts into new and discomforting directions.

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