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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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 20, 2019: WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL

In an era in which a cacophony of critical voices competes for potential moviegoers’ time and attention — and yet not nearly enough of those voices represent the diversity of the public they’re speaking to — Pauline Kael’s iconic status seems like even more of an achievement. Her remarkable career is the subject of Rob Garver’s insightful documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK Dec 6, 2019: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

A picture is worth a thousand words — and leads to a thousand longing glances — in writer/director Celine Sciamma’s passionate drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Set in remote mid-1700s Brittany, it follows the increasingly intense relationship between painter Marianne (Noemie Merlant) and her unknowing subject, Heloise (Adele Haenel), who has just left sheltered convent life.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 22, 2019: SHOOTING THE MAFIA

Anyone who’s ever winced at the mob violence and manipulation in The Godfather will quickly realize it has nothing on the real-life crimes of the Italian Mafia, as captured through Letitzia Battaglia’s talented eye and focused lens. The fearless photographer is the subject of Kim Longinotto’s fascinating documentary Shooting the Mafia.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 8, 2019 – HONEY BOY

Part coming-of-age drama, part father-son story, and part therapy, “Honey Boy” is a compelling take on actor Shia LaBeouf’s troubled childhood and controversial behavior as a Hollywood star. Working from LaBeouf’s own script, director Alma Har’el builds sympathy for both LaBeouf and his father without excusing either for their actions.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 25, 2019: SERENDIPITY

Thoughtful, contemplative, and deeply personal, French artist Prune Nourry’s documentary “Serendipity” is an intimate glimpse inside the mind of a woman coping with the unexpected. Blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis at age 31, Nourry channels her anger and fear over her health into art, documenting her treatment, her feelings, and the profound changes her body goes through.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 4, 2010: ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH

Chronicling human impact on Earth’s geology, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is essential viewing. If our species survives the human epoch, our descendants may well look upon this film as we and our forebears consider the Bible as of record for ancient historic events that shaped our knowledge of our cultural and political roots as well as our understanding of our spirituality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 6, 2019: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

Gritty and raw, Issa Lopez’ dark urban fairy tale Tigers Are Not Afraid (titled Vuelven in Spanish, which translates to They Come Back) centers on the devastating consequences of the drug trade, showing how the cartels’ criminal ways affect everyone in their path — including children, whose innocence disappears as quickly as the grown-ups in their lives.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 23, 2019: AFTER THE WEDDING

Boasting powerful star performances by Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore and a story with big, emotional twists, Bart Freundlich’s “After the Wedding” is a gender-swapped remake of Susanne Bier’s same-named 2006 Danish drama. It’s a thought-provoking look at life choices, legacy, and motherhood that will stick with you after the credits roll.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 16, 2019: ONE CHILD NATION

Nanfu Wang’s One Child Nation is a frank, honest look at the devastating impact of China’s “one child per family” policy. Introduced by the Chinese government in 1979 as a radical way of curbing unsustainable population growth, the policy relied on powerful propaganda — and strict enforcement — to ensure compliance. In the documentary, the Chinese-born Wang, now a mother herself, explores the program’s long-term impact on her country and her people.

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