MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 29, 2021: TRUE MOTHERS

Motherhood — in all its complexity — is at the heart of Naomi Kawase’s drama True Mothers, which tells the intertwined stories of Hikari Katakura (Aju Makita) and Satoko Kurihara (Hiromi Nagasaku). Their circumstances are very different, but they both fiercely love the same little boy, and that love ultimately helps each better understand the other.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 22, 2021: IDENTIFYING FEATURES

Heartbreaking and quietly powerful, writer/director Fernanda Valadez’ debut drama Identifying Features shines a light on the complex, tragic realities of what can happen when undocumented immigrants set out to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. It is a truly heartbreaking film that puts a very human face on a humanitarian crisis, sparking both empathy and outrage.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 15, 2021: ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY

The United States has never truly been a democracy, because it has never fully supported voting rights for all of its citizens. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the future. By focusing specifically on Stacey Abrams’ work and experiences in Georgia, All In reveals the path to true democracy — and, guess what? It works, but it’s hard.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 1, 2021: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Smart, bold, and refreshingly original, Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman marks the feature directorial debut of a major filmmaking talent.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 25, 2020: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Anyone who thinks female directors should stick to telling women’s stories is a) sexist and b) in for a surprise when they watch Regina King’s powerful directorial feature film debut One Night in Miami. Based on Kemp Powers’ same-named 2013 play, it imagines the fascinating conversation that might have happened between activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay, singer Sam Cooke, and NFL star Jim Brown had they all found themselves in the same place on the night of February 25, 1964.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 11, 2020: FAREWELL AMOR

Love — and the best of intentions — may not be enough to overcome a 17-year separation for the reunited family of three who are at the heart of writer/director Ekwa Msangi’s touching first feature, Farewell Amor. This affecting drama raises thoughtful, heartfelt questions about what it means to be a family, And, it takes an honest and insightful look at the difficulties of immigration.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 4, 2020: LUXOR

Centering on a powerful performance by Andrea Riseborough, Zeina Durra’s dreamy, introspective romantic drama Luxor explores what-ifs and second chances as its characters explore ancient Egyptian ruins, finding their way to a place of connection and understanding. Riseborough plays Hana, a British doctor who’s come to the city of Luxor to rest and recuperate from the stresses of her efforts as an international aid worker.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 27, 2020: AMMONITE

Human connection brings warmth and joy to a bleak time and place in Francis Lee’s Ammonite, which centers on renowned British paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and her relationship with a woman named Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). While its details may be more speculation than fact, there’s no denying its message about the transformative power of kinship and attraction.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 20, 2020: ANTIGONE

Quebecois writer/director Sophie Deraspe brings fresh life to ancient source material with Antigone, her powerful update of Sophocles’ classic play. Trading a Greek chorus for smartphone-wielding teens and city-state rivalries for clashes related to gang loyalty, it centers on the smart, resourceful titular teen, played rivetingly by Nahema Ricci.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 13, 2020: CODED BIAS

Designed largely by white men, it turns out that a lot of facial-recognition programs are best at recognizing…white men. So when those technologies are used to scan the faces of women and people of color, they’re far more likely to make incorrect associations and conclusions. Inconvenient if you want to use your face to open a biometric lock; potentially devastating if a database suggests you’re a terrorist.

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