RIOT GIRLS – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Jovanka Vuckovic’s feature debut Riot Girls is set in a future where the adult population has been decimated by a plague kids have remained immune to. Riot Girls makes Vuckovic’s punk sensibility explicit not only through its very title (riffing on the underground 90s riot grrrl movement), but by the subcultural styling of its two central characters, Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski) and Nat (Madison Iseman).

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CULTURE SHOCK – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The spirit of empathy makes Culture Shock an unforgettable and important horror film. There is no subtext here; it would take some determined, dedicated ignorance to miss how the film’s title refers to the immigrant experience, where desperate people trying to change their lives for the better are forced to accept a new culture at the expense of one’s original one, shattering their sense of identity and self.

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KNIVES AND SKIN – Review by Alaxandra Heller-Nicholas

American filmmaker and artist Jennifer Reeder’s most recent film Knives and Skin is the crowning achievement of a career that has shown a notable interest in the experiences of young women. Reeder’s career as both a celebrated visual artist and a filmmaker collide here with spectacular effect; Knives and Skin is not just visually captivating, but also marked by an emotional intelligence and dark humor that renders it one of the year’s most unique cinema experiences.

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SADAKO – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Sadako is a film about women, trauma and connections; the film shifts its focus from the fun structural gimmick of the haunted video motif to an explicit fascination with women of different generations who have experienced deep trauma. It’s central concern is not the seven-day-countdown, but rather how the stories of these women entwine; how they find each other and leave an impact on each other both physically, emotionally and psychically. For better or for worse.

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