Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

Márta Mészáros’s ‘Adoption’ from 1975 defies society’s expectations at the time of the when—and why—a woman should want to be a mother

Hungarian director and screenwriter Márta Mészáros’s best-known film from 1975, Adoption, stars Katalin Berek as a middle-aged single woman who has realized that she wants a child. Through her own observations and friendships with neglected children, she becomes more and more convinced that it is the right choice for her at this point in her life. (KIZJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

Wasp depicts a family strained by circumstance yet bonded in love

A single mother in Dartford, England struggles emotionally and financially to support three young girls and a baby boy as she reconnects with an old flame from high school. Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning short film Wasp (2003) is an at-times charming and all-around painfully honest portrayal of a family strained by circumstance yet strongly bonded in love. (RMM: 5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

Mira Nair has us experience life on the streets through the eyes of children in ‘Salaam! Bombay’ 

Director Mira Nair directed and co-wrote the feature film Salaam! Bombay in 1988. Starring Shafiq Syed, Nair creates a documentary-like fiction piece that is a heart-wrenching depiction of the lives of children in the slums of Bombay. KIZJ: (4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Elaine May’s feature Mikey and Nicky is a telling portrait of a friendship between two men tainted by society’s expectations

Mikey and Nicky is Oscar-nominee Elaine May’s third feature from 1976. The film is a dark mystery laced with comedy and social commentary—all dressed up in a gangster setting. Starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, May’s piece is an intimate observation of a wavering friendship between two men over a long, long night in Philadelphia. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: B-D

‘The Cave of the Yellow Dog’ is an escape to a more peaceful world

Directed by Byambasuren Davaa, The Cave of the Yellow Dog is about a young girl who travels across Mongolia with her herding family. When she finds a dog and wants to keep it, it places her at odds with her father’s safety concerns. The Cave of the Yellow Dog is a tender, sweet and  cinematographically […]

CONTINUE READING
Uncategorized

‘The Virgin Suicides’ is a nostalgic portrait of teenage love and loss

TW: Suicide, Suicidal ideation Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides and written and directed by Sophia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is told from the perspective of a group of men looking back on their youth. They reflect on a tragedy they have never quite recovered from: the suicides of all five Lisbon sisters, formerly the […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Kathleen Collins makes us hold up a mirror to ourselves and question the role of art in life with 1982 film Losing Ground

Kathleen Collins wrote and directed Losing Ground (1982)—a film about a middle-class Black couple whose marriage is shaken by the lovers’ diverging paths towards self-discovery. This refreshing film explores the human condition of what makes us feel ecstasy in life. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: Q-S

Space Dogs is a disturbing new perspective on space exploration

Director Elsa Kremser forces us to rethink our relationships to the animals around us by putting us in their perspective. Following street dogs around Moscow and following space dogs through their Soviet training, Space Dogs is an unforgiving movie about how we treat our so-called best friends. (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto […]

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: Q-S

Sophie Jones will be uncomfortably familiar for many of us

An incredibly relatable coming of age story, Sophie Jones puts director and actress Jessie Barr on the map. As a debut and simply as a film, Sophie Jones brings many elements of adolescence into a complex narrative of exploration and loss. (GPG: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Anyone who was a theater kid […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Swedish director Mai Zetterling takes us into the lives and societal roles of three pregnant women in Loving Couples (1964)

Mai Zetterling directed and co-wrote her debut feature Loving Couples (1964)—a Swedish drama based on one of Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s seven-part Swedish feminism literary series, The Misses von Pahlen. Zetterling focuses on three women and their romantic relationships, their connection to motherhood, and the solidarity of their gender. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

Strangers in Good Company is a uniquely-female docufiction experience

It’s remarkable to have a film with no men present that is entirely focused on women simply existing together. But more importantly, the way that it deals with aging and mortality is unique.

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

Mineworkers and their families fight joyfully in Harlan County, USA

Full of conversations from the center of action at organizers’ meetings and on picket lines, the documentary gives a vivid picture of the mineworkers’ lives and dreams. (AEL: 4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Director Nicole Holofcener looks beyond the lovely and amazing parts of life

TCM will feature films from 12 decades—and representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles all created by women. Read more about this here!  Director and writer Nicole Holofcener’s movie Lovely and Amazing (2001) explores essential topics circulating in the media today––the never-ending fight for equality. From racial stereotypes to gender expectations, this film poignantly expresses […]

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: E-G

El Camino tells the story of village life under Franco

TCM will feature films from 12 decades—and representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles all created by women. Read more about this here!  Ana Mariscal’s El Camino is a historical document for anyone who wishes to study Franco era Spain, though the production values are admittedly not amazing. The film’s significance both to history and […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman sparks conversation on subtle racism perpetuated in assigned symbols

The Watermelon Woman focuses on a queer black novice filmmaker’s quest for clarity on the life of a fictitious Black actress of the 30s and 40s who was known for her roles as the archetypical “mammy”. Director Cheryl Dunye deftly yet subtly comments on racism in its stealthiest forms in this funny and conversation-sparking film. (RMM: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Uncategorized

Barbara Loden is a Triple Threat for Acting, Writing and Directing in Wanda

Written and directed by and starring Barbara Loden, Wanda is a thoughtful, empathetic, and harshly realistic character study. It follows Wanda, a mid-thirties divorcee trying to find her way without a home or a job and alone in the middle of Pennsylvania. (JRL: 4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: H-J

Maria João Ganga’s Hollow City takes us into the midst of life during Angola’s civil war

Maria João Ganga directs Hollow City (2002), a narrative feature set in Luanda during the Angolan civil war in 1991. Originally titled Na Cidade Vazia, (translated as In the Empty City), this film portrays the effects of a civil war on its people through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. KIZJ (3.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: A

Director Lotte Reiniger’s animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, takes us on an inspiring silhouetted fairytale ride

In 1926, German director Lotte Reiniger completed her 65-minute long silhouette animation feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The film was influenced by author Hanna Diyab’s tales “The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Perī-Bānū” and “Aladdin” from the collection of literature in One Thousand and One Nights first published in 1775. After three years of work with a small team of animators, Reiniger brought these ancient stories back to life for new audiences to see the magical journey of Prince Achmed on the theatrical screen. KIZJ (4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Leontine Sagan’s German cult classic Mädchen in Uniform hails a ground-breaking all-female cast—filmed in 1931

In 1931, Leontine Sagan directed the feature-length German film Mädchen in Uniform (Maidens in Uniform). The German-language cult classic follows “Manuela von Meinhardis” (Hertha Thiele), a young girl who is enrolled at a boarding school for girls, as she adjusts to life in a strict, all-female environment. (KIZJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

The monotony of modern life in Je Tu Il Elle

A modern classic, Chantal Ackerman’s debut Je Tu Il Elle is both an ambiguous and precise film that deals with the cycles of desire, deprivation, and gratification that come with living in the modern world. (FEA: 5/5).

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: Q-S

Lina Wertmüller’s Seven Beauties is a poignant portrait of the worst of humanity

Expertly directed by Lina Wertmüller, the film is full of stunning visuals, even if it’s a difficult watch for a modern audience.

CONTINUE READING
Uncategorized

Sleepwalking Land is a timely story of human connection amidst devastation and loss

Based on the novel by Mia Couto and written and directed by Teresa Prata, Sleepwalking Land is about a young boy, lost amidst a war-torn Mozambique, looking for his family and his home. It is a timeless story of strength, perseverance, and the power of family love—both genetic and chosen. (JRL: 3.5/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S Reviews: T

The importance of the female gaze in Radioactive and The Dancer

A much-needed phenomenon occurs in films made by women that feature strong female leads, and that is the faithful portrayal of issues that women often have to face when breaking away from traditional roles. By FF2 Associate Farah Elattar This concept is brilliantly portrayed in Radioactive (Dir. Marjane Satrapi, 2019), and The Dancer (Dir. Stephanie […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

“Judy & Punch” a comedy, horror, and satire in one

In a town ruled by ignorance and public stonings, a married couple works to bring their locally successful puppet show to the big stage. When the husband’s blinding ambition leads to tragedy, the wife seeks vengeance. Horror, comedy, and satire prove an interesting and entertaining – though not always compelling – mix in Mirrah Foulkes’ […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

Radioactive: a celebration of Marie Curie’s life and discoveries

A film by Marjane Satrapi, Radioactive presents itself as a biopic with a twist. On top of capturing the complicated life of Marie Curie, it successfully examines the hardships that come with being a female scientist in early 1900s France. (FEA 4/5) Review by FF2 associate Farah Elattar Satrapi sets the scene by portraying “Maria […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

Mothers and daughters of “The Joy Luck Club” share their immigrant stories

Based on a novel written by Amy Tan, the 1993 film The Joy Luck Club follows women of four Chinese immigrant families who share their stories about life and hardship. Things don’t come easily to them. (SYJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

‘Banana Split’ is slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt

The slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt Banana Split is a stellar follow-up to writer, director, and actress Hannah Marks’s first feature After Everything. It has a lot to say about love, friendship, and coming of age, and comes in a snarky but bubblegum-pop package. (GPG: 5/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto The summer before […]

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

The story of the ‘Lost Girls’ is unveiled in an investigative mystery drama

Liz Garbus directs mystery drama Lost Girls based on real life stories surrounding the Long Island Serial Killer case. The Netflix production is a dark story of loss and biased investigations of multiple unsolved disappearances and murders. Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan stars as a determined mother whose mind is set on finding her mysteriously missing daughter. (KIZJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

A community of ‘Military Wives’ sing in unity and support

Writers Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard work together with director Peter Cattaneo on British comedy feature Military Wives, available on VOD today. When war takes their partners away, a group of women find themselves searching for something to occupy their minds. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, this is a film about the birth of a strong friendship between women of different backgrounds brought together by the act of singing. (KIZJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING
Reviews: Q-S Uncategorized

‘The Roads Not Taken’ is a marriage of intellect and emotion

In The Roads Not Taken, a daughter tries to find her father amid his dementia, while her father tries to find his own reality amid the many possible paths his life could have taken. The film is an Odyssey narrative playing out over multiple timelines, and from the perspective of the women in this Odysseus’s […]

CONTINUE READING