MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 19, 2021: LADY BUDS

By turns idealistic and realistic, hopeful and frustrating, Chris J. Russo’s documentary Lady Buds is an engaging look at the budding (pun intended) legal marijuana business and a few of the determined, persevering, independent women who see opportunities for themselves and their friends/family members amid the cannabis plants’ verdant green leaves. As it tells their stories, it explores the impact that legalization has had on small businesses as large corporations swoop in on a new market.

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Blerta Basholli Celebrates HIVE in DC – Leslie Combemale reports

There’s a dream every female filmmaker must have of their projects getting support on a grand scale, as amplification from studios and outside sources with influence can make all the difference to a film’s success. That being true, writer/director Blerta Basholi must be over the moon after November 9th’s screening of her award-winning film Hive in Washington, DC. Not only were Basholli and Hive’s star, Yllka Gashi in attendance, but so were the president of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, who is only the second female president in Kosovo’s history, and AMA, MTV, and Grammy-winning musician, supermodel, and activist Dua Lipa.

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LADY BUDS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Chris J. Russo’s engaging and informative first feature documentary, Lady Buds, is an enlightening tell all about the troubles currently impacting the lives and careers of women who are working in the weed trade in Northern California. The film chronicles the struggles of six independent female cannabis growers and distributors who were once worried about facing criminal charges for their chosen careers, but are now fighting to hold their ground against Big Agro companies that are — with the complicity of local authorities — moving in to take control of the burgeoning medical and recreational market for marijuana.

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LADY BUDS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

I was never a person who enjoyed smoking pot. First, it made me dizzy. Second, it gave me the munchies. Third, it made me fall asleep. But after watching the new documentary Lady Buds, I have a renewed appreciation for what cannabis can do for those who suffer from pain (full disclosure: I take CBD gummies daily for my own aches these days) and also for longtime farmers who benefited financially by harvesting crops over the years in Northern California despite illegalities.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 12, 2021: JULIA

Documentarians Betsy West and Julie Cohen treat their subject, the inestimable Julia Child, with both respect and honesty, building a portrait of a woman who was as complex as the food she so adored. Ultimately, Julia is very much like one of Child’s beloved French recipes: a proven quantity that’s made with excellent ingredients, flavored with the right blend of spices, and assembled with care and enthusiasm. And the cooking footage will leave you drooling.

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LANGUAGE LESSONS – Review by Martha K Baker

You know how Ted Lasso was exactly the series we needed to watch during the pandemic? Well, Language Lessons fits into that category, too, as it’s also about believing and healing, and it’s also funny and poignant and so well done. Credit goes entirely to writers and stars Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales. She directed the lovely little film.

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JULIA – Review by Sherin Nicole

Icon is a difficult word to wear but Julia Child steps into it easily. She was the first celebrity chef on television, she made Americans more adventurous with our food, and she did it with whimsical charisma, technical skill, and an indomitable business sense. Julia gives us a window into her many facets, in large part narrated by the grande dame herself, but also through footage going back to her early 20s, and through the remembrances of family, friends, and her celebrity chef scions.

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JULIA – Review by Loren King

Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, Julia combines crowd pleaser and feminist perspective. It celebrates Child’s accomplishments and outsized personality as she became an unlikely TV star at age 50 when her cooking show The French Chef debuted on Boston’s WGBH in 1963. Child’s low budget show was unedited, allowing for the ad libs and occasional gaffes that endeared her to viewers.

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JULIA – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

One probably should not watch this doc on an empty stomach, given how West and Cohen recreate Child’s famous dishes, including a delectable succulent chicken laid out like a centerfold that might just require an X rating, delicate filets of sole drenched in butter and a delicious example of beef bourguignon, whose aroma seems to virtually waft from the screen.

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Rebecca Hall on PASSING, Family Identity and Heritage – Pamela Powell interviews

Passing, having premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, is taking its turn with a theater run before its arrival on Netflix, November 10. Rebecca Hall’s first-time writing and directing feature film is based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen. The story resonated personally with Hall who recently sat down to talk about the making of this film, sharing intimate glimpses into her struggles with her own family’s identity and proudly recognizing her heritage.

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