Back to IndieWire

Weekly Update for September 18: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for September 18: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week

Sicario 

Emily Blunt continues her streak playing kickass women in this gripping thriller about an idealistic FBI Agent, Kate Mercer, who is scouted by a government task force: Their mission is ostensibly to make strides in the war against drugs, specifically in the border area between the U.S. and Mexico, but the lines dividing legal and illegal, just and corrupt, and even good and evil quickly blur, leading Kate to question if she’s on the right side — and if there is such a thing. Blunt delivers a compelling portrayal of a well-intentioned agent struggling to make sense of the most effective way to protect and serve, and dealing with the emotional and psychological costs of her stressful and violent job. (Laura Berger)

East Side Sushi

“East Side Sushi” introduces us to Juana (Diana Elizabeth Torres), a working-class Latina single mother. Forced to give up her fruit-vending cart in order to find a more secure job, Juana lands a position as a kitchen assistant at a local Japanese restaurant and discovers a whole new world of cuisine and culture, as well as a new friend. While working in the restaurant’s kitchen, Juana secretly observes the sushi chefs and eventually teaches herself to make a multitude of sushi. Her creativity sparked, Juana’s re-ignited passion for food drives her to want more from her job and her life. Eventually, she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the “wrong” race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream. (Press materials)

The New Girlfriend

When Claire’s (Anaïs Demoustier) best friend dies just months after giving birth to her baby daughter, she vows to take care of Laura’s (Isild Le Besco) infant and widower. But Claire quickly discovers that her Laura’s husband David — dealing with his own journey of gender fluidity — will require much more of her than she’d previously thought possible to give. In a review for The Wrap, I wrote, “‘The New Girlfriend’ is a delicate figurine: too quaint to feel necessary in the current climate of ever-bolder representations of trans lives, and yet rescued from disposability by its delicate beauty. Adapted from a 1985 short story by Ruth Rendell, it’s a politically timid work, but an unabashedly emotional experience. By turns suspenseful, aching, and exuberant, it offers a buoyant tale of self-discovery that’s rooted in questionable modes of mourning. There are no LGBT role models here — only people who know what they’re doing isn’t quite right, but can’t help being true to themselves.” (Inkoo Kang)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Breathe – Written and Directed by Mélanie Laurent
Number One Fan – Written and Directed by Jeanne Harry 
The Second Mother – Written and Directed by Anna Muylaert
Z For Zachariah
Grandma
Learning to Drive – Directed by Isabel Coixet; Written by Sarah Kernochan
Mistress America – Co-Written by Greta Gerwig 
Ricki and the Flash – Written by Diablo Cody 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Written and Directed by Marielle Heller 
Phoenix
Trainwreck – Written by Amy Schumer
 Inside Out
Spy
Tangerine
Testament of Youth -Written by Juliette Towhidi

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

Prophet’s Prey (Documentary) – Directed by Amy Berg

When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and under-age marriage. In a short time, Warren managed to expand these practices and the power of his position in unprecedented ways. He bridged the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastical rape, blurring the moral compass of his entire congregation. The film examines Warren Jeffs’ life and shows how he became a worshiped and adored Prophet. Warren has a devout following numbering in the tens of thousands — many of whom would give their life at any moment with just one word from the Prophet. Despite a trail of abuse and ruined lives, Warren has maintained his grip on power. (Press materials)

Songs From the North (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Soon-Mi Yoo

An essay film that offers a unique look at the enigma of North Korea, a country typically seen through the distorted lens of jingoistic propaganda and derisive satire. Interweaving footage from director Soon-Mi Yoo’s three visits to North Korea with songs, spectacle, popular cinema and archival footage, “Songs From the North” tries to understand the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people. To look closely and objectively at North Korea, a country that challenges our most fundamental assumptions about the human condition, is ultimately to question the meaning of freedom, love and patriotism. (Press materials)

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

 
Sleeping With Other People – Written and Directed by Leslye Headland
Meet the Patels (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Geeta Patel
Goodnight Mommy – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Veronika Franz
Paul Taylor: Creative Domain (Documentary) – Directed by Kate Geis 
Rosenwald (Documentary) – Directed by Aviva Kempner 
Meru (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelvi
Infinitely Polar Bear – Written and Directed by Maya Forbes 
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – Co-Directed by Joan C. Gratz and Nina Paley 
The Wolfpack (Documentary) – Directed by Crystal Moselle

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

None

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

We Are Your Friends – Co-Written by Meaghan Oppenheimer
She’s Funny That Way – Co-Written by Louise Stratten 
Straight Outta Compton – Co-Written by Andrea Berloff 
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis 
Terminator: Genisys – Co-Written by Laeta Kalogridis
Jurassic World – Co-Written by Amanda Silver

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week 

Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman (DVD) – Directed by Mary McDonagh Murphy
Pitch Perfect 2 (DVD)  – Directed by Elizabeth Banks; Written by Kay Cannon
Pushing Motherhood (VOD) – Directed by Sybil Azur and Linda Cevallos-French
In the Name of My Daughter (DVD) 
The Farewell Party (DVD) – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Sharon Maymon

This Article is related to: Features and tagged