MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 15, 2019: DAUGHTER OF MINE

motw logo 1-35A passionate exploration of the nature of motherhood, daughterhood, and connection, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine has a raw, naturalistic feel that makes its characters and their choices seem very real. Viewers are plunged right into the world of two Italian women who both lay claim to a young girl who finds herself torn between them.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 8, 2019: WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY

motw logo 1-35Every single Jew who died during World War II at the hands of Hitler and his Nazis had a story to tell — and the fact that so many of those stories died with them is an unfathomable tragedy. But some of their stories survived, including those preserved by the brave Polish Jews who risked their lives to create the Oyneg Shabes Archive. This astounding cache of documents and artifacts from the Warsaw Ghetto is the subject of Roberta Grossman’s moving, fascinating documentary Who Will Write Our History.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 28, 2019: COMMUNION

motw logo 1-35A tenacious Polish teen who’s had to grow up too soon takes center stage in Anna Zamecka’s powerful documentary Communion. The film invests viewers deeply in Ola as she works every angle she can think of to bring her family back together, even though the odds seem stacked against her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 11, 2019: WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?

motw logo 1-35 Thought-provoking and philosophical, Astra Taylor’s timely documentary What Is Democracy? takes a deep dive into a topic that many of us probably think we know a lot about. But, as is shown in this compelling film, it turns out that the concept of “democracy” has greater nuance and more room for interpretations than most average citizens (voters or, sadly, non-voters) around the world seem to realize.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 4, 2019: ON THE BASIS OF SEX

motw logo 1-35Most superhero origin stories don’t involve late-night typewriter sessions and legal arguments — but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no ordinary superhero. Director Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex offers viewers a glimpse of RBG’s life before she became notorious, when she was “just” a smart, tenacious lawyer (as embodied by Felicity Jones) who was determined to fight for gender equality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 14, 2018: DUMPLIN’

motw logo 1-30Set to a peppy, empowering soundtrack of Dolly Parton hits, director Anne Fletcher’s Dumplin’ is an appealing coming-of-age dramedy about a plus-sized teen who confronts stereotypes — and her own rocky relationship with her beauty queen mother — head-on by entering a small-town Texas pageant. Willowdean “Will” Dickson (Danielle Macdonald) loves her mom, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), but they couldn’t be more different.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 30, 2018: Best 2018 #MOTWs

motw logo 1-35.AWFJ’s Movie of the Week focuses attention on excellent films directed by women and/or centered on the stories of complex and fully realized women characters who are grappling — directly or metaphorically — with the issues women face in daily life. From January 1 to November 23 of this year, we have designated 48 Movie of the Week films. All of these have had strong women characters and 36 of them have been directed by women. We heartily applaud the variety of style and story, we honor the moviemakers who’ve brought them to the screen. As year end holidays approach and the movie awards season heats up, Team #MOTW members revisit our selections to suggest their favorites for immediate viewing.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 16, 2018: BECOMING ASTRID

motw logo 1-35When you hear the name “Pippi Longstocking,” you likely immediately picture a vivacious, free-spirited Scandinavian scamp with red braids and a talent for mischief. But what about her creator, celebrated Swedish author Astrid Lindgren? In Becoming Astrid, director/co-writer Pernille Fischer Christensen reminds us that the authors behind some of the world’s most beloved children’s book characters were living, breathing people with complicated lives and all-too-human struggles.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, November 2, 2018: WHAT THEY HAD

motw logo 1-35What They Had, the first feature from actress-turned-writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, is a stirring family drama in which adult siblings, Bridget (Hilary Swank) and Nick (Michael Shannon) are trying to cope with their mother’s (Blythe Danner) progressive dementia and their father’s (Robert Forster) denial of her disability. Chomko’s well-crafted script and sensitive direction, and the superb performances from the stellar ensemble bring a balance of heartbreak and humor to this painful and entirely relatable situation.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, October 26, 2018: LIYANA

motw logo 1-35Profound and poignant, the documentary affirms the value of story and storytelling as emotional relief and an element in healing for those who’ve been traumatized — the five orphaned children followed in this extraordinary documentary and, by extension, the survivors of war, rape, genocide, drought, starvation, extreme poverty and other disasters around the globe. Movies can matter. Liyana clearly does.

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