MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 17, 2020: CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY

Telling your story — bearing witness to your own life and those of the people you’ve loved (and lost) — is one of the most powerful things someone can do, especially when they’ve lived through historic events. But it’s not always easy, as we learn from watching Nicola Hens’ engaging documentary Chichinette: The Accidental Spy about former WWII spy Marthe Cohn, who, now nearly 100 years old, still travels the world sharing her experiences with others.

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CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY – Review by Leslie Combemale

For decades after the war, Marthe Huffnung Cohn, the subject of Nicola Alice Hens’s documentary Chichinette: The Accidental Spy, didn’t talk about her experience as a Holocaust survivor and Nazi fighter during World War II. Chichinette, loosely translated from French, means “little pain in the neck”. In watching the film, we get a sense of Cohn’s tenacity and the independent thinking that guided her from an early age. She was clearly a feminist from childhood, if feminism means believing women can and should be allowed to do all the things men do.

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CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY – Review by Pam Grady

Someday, some enterprising filmmaker will no doubt turn into thrilling drama Marthe Cohn’s eventful life as a Jewish woman who resisted the Nazis in France. But Cohn has lived a long enough life that filmmaker Nicola Alice Hens was able to commit the real woman and her memories to film in this entrancing documentary.

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CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY – Review by Sheila Roberts

Like many of her brilliant contemporaries — U.S. Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Holocaust survivor and renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and acclaimed Canadian zoologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg come immediately to mind – World War II spy Marthe Cohn’s crucial work behind enemy lines is finally receiving some well-deserved recognition in an inspiring documentary.

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CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

During this chaotic time of near-constant political upheaval, we need all the heroes we can get. Thanks to documentary filmmaker Nicola Alice Hens, we meet one in the unlikely form of a tiny yet feisty 96-year-old German-born Jewish woman named Marthe Cohn who managed to change the course of World War II by working for the French Resistance and saving the lives of countless Allied soldiers as the conflict came to a close.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK: January 10, 2020: THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES

What’s not to love about a passionate, confident Canadian scholar who fought her way to Africa in the 1950s to study the animals she’d loved since she was a toddler? As chronicled in Alison Reid’s engaging documentary The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, the story of Dr. Anne Innis Dagg is full of warmth, intelligence, and — above all — spunk.

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THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES – Review by Leslie Combemale

Have you heard of Anne Innis Dagg? The answer is probably not, and people around the world should know her. Writer/director Alison Reid’s The Woman Who Loves Giraffes shines a spotlight on Dagg, a Canadian who traveled to Africa alone in the 50s to do some of the first studying ever of animals in their own habitat.

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THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Lions and tigers seem like big house cats, at least at a distance. Elephants are portrayed as majestic beasts. And apes, well, they are our evolutionary cousins. But with their high-rise stature, fashionably patterned fur and head horns, giraffes have been perhaps a less relatable creature to the human race. But as the title of Alison Reid’s enlightening documentary reveals, there indeed was The Woman Who Loved Giraffes.

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THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES – Review by Sheila Roberts

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes is an intimate, emotional, and thought-provoking portrait of a trailblazing woman who passionately pursued her dreams. Despite the roadblocks Dagg encountered which ended her academic career and closed off an especially happy part of her life, she never gave up and used those experiences to shape her future endeavors. At 86, she remains relevant in her field and is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost animal scientists. In an era of extraordinary environmental change, Dagg is still convinced we can all make a difference if only more people become involved and carry on like she did. This is an inspiring and well produced documentary that should be at the top of everyone’s list of must-see films.

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