Reviews: H-J

INTRIGO – DEATH OF AN AUTHOR (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Intrigo: Death of an Author confuses the viewer both with its plot and with the mere fact of its having been made in the first place. Writer Birgitta Bongenhielm really has some explaining to do on this one, or maybe that should fall to Hakan Nesser, the author of the original novel. (GPG: 1/5) Review […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

AFTERWARD (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Bringing up issues of inter-generational trauma, nationalism, and the psychology of empire, Afterward is director Ofra Bloch’s journey toward understanding of herself and others. Anyone who has ever looked at the world (both past and present) and asked why and how people are capable of such acts of horror will be entranced by this psychodynamic […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Inspiring ‘Chhapaak’ shows triumph of human spirit

Meghna Gulzar’s heartbreaking film centers on 19-year-old Malti (Deepika Padukone) in the aftermath of an acid attack as she deals with legal and personal ramifications of the trauma. Told with grit and grace, this shocking true story follows Malti on her road to recovery. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. […]

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Reviews: U-W

THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES (2020): Review by FF2 Media

A profile of giraffe researcher Anne Dagg who, in 1956, became one of the first people to ever observe and report on animal behaviour. The Woman Who Loves Giraffes opens 1/10. FF2 review coming soon.

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Reviews: A

The ‘Advocate’ stars Lea Tsemel, a human rights lawyer and “angry, optimistic woman”

The Advocate is a documentary by Rachel Leah Jones that follows Isreali human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel’s life and career defending Palestinian clients. Focusing on the cases of 13 year old Ahmad and domestic violence victim Israa Jabis, The Advocate is a difficult and heart-wrenching watch reminding that there is always two sides to a […]

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Reviews: H-J

IP MAN 4 – THE FINALE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

IP Man 4: The Finale is the final part in an epic part-fiction-part-biopic series centering around the famous martial arts instructor Ip Man. In this finale, Ip Man travels to San Francisco to catch up with former student Bruce Lee and find a school for his son to attend. In America, Ip Man is met […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

‘Clemency’ stuns with Alfre Woodard at the helm

Clemency (written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu) follows prison warden Bernadine Williams (played wonderfully by Alfre Woodard) as she struggles to deal with the psychological implications of carrying out death row executions. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood Clemency opens with an immediate feeling of claustrophobia as Warden Bernadine walks down a stark […]

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Reviews: #

‘1917’ a compelling cinematic feat

Directed by Sam Mendes and co-written with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917 is a straightforward but wildly creative drama set over one day in World War I. Starring George MacKay in a memorable lead role that increases in intensity over two hours, the visually-fascinating film also features Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth and Richard Madden in […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

‘Little Women’ a perfect, faithful adaptation from Greta Gerwig

Written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, Little Women is a poignant retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, following seven pivotal years in the lives of the March sisters. Opening with the latter half of the novel, the film is told through flashbacks from the perspective of author Jo, portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan. 

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

‘The Invisible Life’: a tragedy of two separated sisters in a toxic patriarchy

The Invisible Life, based on the The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão by Martha Batalha, is a Brazillian-German film directed by Karim Aïnouz and written with Inés Bortagaray and Murilo Hauser. The movie follows two sisters that are kept apart due to a lie told by their father, and their differing lives connected by persisting […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

While some may critique its lack of subtlety, Sophia Takal’s Black Christmas is exactly the kind of energy we need going into the 2020 election cycle. Why subtweet Nazis with antifascist undertones when you can just have your characters roll up their sleeves and get the purge done themselves? (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor […]

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Reviews: B-D

Dazzling use of 3D brings avant garde dance alive in ‘Cunningham’

As a rule, 3D films have been a huge disappointment for me as a moviegoer. It seems only the big budget action films were in 3D. The movies cost more and often the result was new and interesting ways for the film to throw pointy-things at the viewer. The only exception for me was the […]

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Reviews: Q-S

Seberg: A tribute to the French New Wave actress’s legacy

Seberg is a political thriller directed by Benedict Andrews, from a screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Amy Waterhouse. Portrayed by Kristen Stewart, Jean Seberg was not only a pioneer of French New Wave cinema, but also a staunch activist, funding the Black Panther Party (3.0/5.0). Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri Seberg starts off with […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Genre-bending ‘Knives and Skin’ an inclusive, twisty teen noir

Writer/Director Jennifer Reeder’s teen noir is an ode to all-things-cult-film that came before. Set in a suburban Chicago high school, it’s Riverdale meets Carrie (and no, not the Carrie-themed episode of Riverdale). Part coming-of-age and part thriller, Knives and Skin is uniquely its own genre with a strong female presence in front of and behind […]

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Reviews: K-M

Little Joe: A mind-controlling plant is the star of this arthouse surrealist film

*This review contains spoilers, so proceed with caution! Little Joe is a surrealist horror film directed and written by Jessica Hausner, co-written with Géraldine Bajard. Alice is a plant breeder specializing in genetic engineering, developing a new species to sell for her corporation. She illegally brings home a plant for her son, Joe, oblivious to the […]

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Reviews: K-M

A MILLION LITTLE PIECES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, A Million Little Pieces is a film adaptation of the esteemed, if a little infamous, memoir written by James Frey. The film centers around James, who goes to rehab for his addiction to alcohol and crack (among other things); an addiction that is both figuratively and literally killing him. A Million […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: N-P

Freedom and friendship in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’

In Celine Sciamma’s new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an 18th century French painter finds herself with a difficult task. Secrets and deceit change the relationship dynamic between two girls. (SYJ: rating 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Set in 18th century Brittany, «Marianne» (Noemie Merlant) […]

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Reviews: A

‘After Parkland’ a numbing, necessary return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Filmmakers Jake Lefferman and Emily Taguchi take on the incredibly painful and horrifying task of detailing the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The only word to describe a film like this – other than numbing – is necessary. (4.5/5) […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

‘Atlantics’ a haunting supernatural tale of romance and societal injustice

Mati Diop directs and co-writes Atlantics, a supernatural drama feature, which intertwines its fictional narrative with social commentary. The French-Senegalese director’s work boasts 17 wins and 14 nominations so far, including a win at the Cannes Grand Prix. Atlantics is a rude awakening, a melancholic loss, and a haunting romance with Dakar’s societal issues deeply rooted in its story. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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Reviews: Q-S

QUEEN & SLIM (2019): Review by FF2 Media

An awkward first Tinder date turns into a modern day Bonnie and Clyde in Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim. “Queen” (Jodie Turner-Smith) is, in her own words, an excellent lawyer. “Slim” (Daniel Kaluuya) works at Costco. The unlikely pair are forced to team up when a racist police officer pulls them over and the routine […]

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Reviews: X-Z

Ximei: A peasant’s persisting fight for the AIDS movement in China

Ximei (2019), directed and written by Andy Cohen with Gayle Ross, is a documentary about Ximei Liu, a human rights activist focused on equal rights for AIDS patients. Ximei contracted the disease due to China’s “black blood economy”, and fights against state-inflicted discrimination of a disease the government gave to her in the first place. […]

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Reviews: B-D

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019): Review by FF2 Media

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a truly “beautiful” film. Love, pain, a family working through their issues–it’s got it all. The film is centered around the beloved children’s show host Mister Rogers and a reporter assigned to write an article about why he is a hero. Director Marielle Heller managers to make the […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

Stunning sequel ‘Frozen II’ will close out banner month for Disney

Directors Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Animation’s first and only female director on an animated film) and Chris Buck take Elsa and Anna back to the big screen with Frozen II, a bigger, sometimes better sequel to the 2013 blockbuster – one that became the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

Family and tradition unravel in ‘Hala’

In writer and director Minhal Baig’s new film Hala, a seventeen-year-old Muslim American teenager “Hala” (Geraldine Viswanathan) struggles to find a balance between her family and cultural values. (SYJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: K-M

‘Mr. Toilet’ is flushed with fun

Directed by Lily Zepeda and written by Zepeda, Tchavdar Georgiev, Hee-Jae Park, and Monique Zavistovski, documentary Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man is about Jack Sim: a man from Singapore who is obsessed with… well, toilets. It sounds crazy, but he has a point: almost half of the world’s population does not have access to […]

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Reviews: Q-S

“Shooting the Mafia”: The female photographer documenting the height of Sicily’s Mafia wars

Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto, centers on photographer Letizia Battaglia and her work documenting the perils caused by the Italian Mafia. (BV 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri Veteran filmmaker Kim Longinotto’s newest documentary is a thoughtful and evocative portrait of an unconventional hero. Letizia Battaglia is a woman of many layers, […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

‘Varda by Agnès’ is a splendid retrospective of Varda’s lifelong work

Varda by Agnès is a retrospective composite of interviews with legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda and clips of her films that span the beginning of her career to her final creative endeavors. Varda by Agnès is an exquisitely beautiful portrait of an artist that has done so much for the film industry and acts as […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Elizabeth Banks’ new movie makes me want to be one of CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Director and writer Elizabeth Banks’ new film Charlie’s Angels is the next installment of female dominated secret network of spies who save the world. This film empowers all women of any age to be independent and unashamed if their power. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Sophia Y Jin Charlie’s Angels begins with an intimate, […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops’ is heartbreaking yet feels unfinished

Jenifer McShane’s documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops follows San Antonio, Texas police officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, the leaders of a ten-person mental health unit of the San Antonio police force. Ernie & Joe recounts their efforts to place mental health safety at the forefront of officers minds when handling people in crisis, […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

‘To Kid or Not To Kid’ opens up conversations on completely serious topic of reproductive choice

Maxine Trump takes on multiple roles as the Director, Writer, and Cinematographer of documentary To Kid or Not To Kid. With many official selections already under its belt, the film is a brave attempt to open up conversations about reproductive choice. In a world where freedom of choice is increasingly important, why should people still feel afraid to talk about not having children? (KIZJ: 4/5)

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