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Weekly Update for April 1: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for April 1: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening This Week
No Home Movie (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Chantal Akerman

“No Home Movie” is a portrait of director Chantal Akerman’s  relationship with her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor and familiar presence in many of Akerman’s films. The film fixates on Natalia’s world inside her Brussels apartment, with only glimpses of the hustle and bustle just outside her window. In the apartment, time all but stands still. Centered around conversations between the filmmaker and her dying mother, the film’s poignant connection to Akerman’s oeuvre is impossible to ignore. (Press materials) 

Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles – Written and Directed by Chantal Akerman (Restored Print, Opens in NYC)

A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s “Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow — whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son and turning the occasional trick. (Press materials) 

Read about BAMcinématek’s tribute to Chantal Akerman.
 
H. – Co-Written and Co-Directed by Rania Attieh

The film follows two women, each named Helen, who live mirrored lives in the town of Troy, New York. The first Helen (Robin Bartlett) is in her 60s, lives with her husband and takes care of an eerily lifelike baby doll called a “Reborn Doll,” which she cares for as though it were alive. The second Helen (Rebecca Dayan) is in her 30s, has a successful art career and is four-months pregnant. One night, something unexplainable falls out of the sky and explodes over the town. In the aftermath of this event, bizarre and unexplainable things begin to happen. As people in the town go missing en masse and unnatural cloud formations begin appearing in the sky, the two women find themselves and their lives spinning out of control. “H.” explores change and being changed. Helen and Helen are changed by forces outside of their own control.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Rania Attieh.

Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hanna Arendt (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Ada Ushpiz (Opens in NYC April 6)

Forty years after her death, Hannah Arendt, one of the 20th century’s most brilliant and influential philosophers, remains a figure of fierce controversy. A German Jew who fled Europe for New York in 1941, she was the author of many studies of history, violence, anti-Semitism, revolution and power. But none were more provocative than the book “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” in which she coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe how a man as seemingly insignificant as Adolf Eichmann could be responsible for mass murder. Arendt was pilloried for her criticism of some Jewish leaders and criticized for a love affair with her professor, Martin Heidegger, a Nazi supporter. In this no-holds-barred documentary, Ada Ushpiz lets Arendt’s critics have their say, but she also features the woman herself, most dramatically, in a 1964 interview for German television in which she shares fascinating insights into Eichmann: “His inability to speak was connected to his inability to think.” Rarely has an intellectual, even one as public in her pronouncements as Arendt, incited so much anger, praise, devotion and scorn. (Press materials)

Sold

A young girl, Lakshmi (Niyar Saikia), leaves her home in a quiet village in the Nepali Himalayas in the expectation of a job in big city India. However, upon her arrival in Kolkata, she soon realizes she has been trafficked into a prison brothel, where she must struggle daily to survive against impossible odds. A U.S. photographer (Gillian Anderson) hears her cries for help and works with an NGO, to spearhead a dangerous mission to rescue her. Finally, Lakshmi must risk everything for freedom. “Sold” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a clarion call to action. (Press materials)

God’s Not Dead 2

Welcome back to Hope Springs, home not only of Hadleigh University, but also Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where beloved teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) helps students understand and enjoy history. Her love of teaching, her love for her students and her love of life all come from the same place: her love of Christ. When a student later asks an honest question about Jesus in the classroom, Grace’s reasoned response lands her in big trouble — almost before she even finishes giving her answer. With the principal and superintendent joining forces with a zealous civil liberties group, Grace faces an epic court case. (Press materials)

Darling

In “Darling,” a young woman (Lauren Ashley Carter) takes a seemingly simple job as the caretaker for an enormous, historic New York estate. In fact, as she’s picking up the keys, the woman who hired her mentions that it’s the oldest house in New York. And with that age comes several stories, including odd rumors about the former caretaker, who the young woman discovers committed suicide. With that, she is out the door, leaving the replacement with a check and the first pangs of anxiety about her latest career move. But with no other choice, she resigns herself to her decision and starts to get to know the place. When she finds herself frightened by an innocuous encounter with a man on the street, she starts to spiral out of control. (Press materials)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Miss India America – Written by Meera Simhan
Jane Wants A Boyfriend
I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman (Documentary) – Directed by Marianne Lambert 
April and the Extraordinary World
My Big Fat Greek Greek Wedding 2 – Written by Nia Vardalos
Krisha
The Bronze – Co-Written by Melissa Rauch
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Lolo – Directed by Julie Delpy; Written by Julie Delpy and Eugenie Grandval
Hello, My Name is Doris – Co-Written by Laura Terruso
Marguerite – Co-Written by Marcia Romano
10 Cloverfield Lane
Eye in the Sky
Miracles From Heaven – Directed by Patricia Riggen
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Trapped (Documentary) – Directed by Dawn Porter; Written by Sari Gilman and Dawn Porter
Zootopia
The Other Side of the Door
Cemetery of Splendour
The Witch
Neerja – Co-Written by Sanyukta Shaikh Chawla
How To Be Single – Co-Written by Dana Fox and Abby Kohn
The 5th Wave – Co-Written by Susannah Grant
The Boy
The Lady in the Van
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Carol – Written by Phyllis Nagy
Mustang – Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven; Written by Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour
Brooklyn

Films Directed by Women Opening This Week

Standing Tall – Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot; Written by Emmanuelle Bercot and Marcia Romano

Emmanuelle Bercot’s stirring narrative focuses on feisty teen Malony (Rod Paradot), who contends a neglectful single-parent household and attempts by a committed judge (Catherine Deneuve) to straighten out his act. That bumpy relationship forms the backbone of a story in which the system designed to help kids like Malony collides with his evolving individuality. (Indiewire)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Emmanuelle Bercot.

Catching the Sun (Documentary) – Directed by Shalini Kantayya (Opens in NYC)

Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, “Catching the Sun” explores the global race to lead the clean energy future. Over the course of a solar jobs training program, “Catching the Sun” follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry. With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, “Catching the Sun” tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. 

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

They Will Have To Kill Us First (Documentary) – Co-Written and Directed by Johanna Schwartz 
Ron and Laura Take Back America – Co-Written and Co-Directed by Janice Markham
Thank You For Playing (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall
The Brainwashing of My Dad (Documentary) – Directed by Jen Senko; Written by Jen Senko, Melodie Bryant, Fiore Derosa and Kala Mandrake (Also Available on VOD)
Sweet Bean – Written and Directed by Naomi Kawase (Opens in NYC)
City of Gold (Documentary) – Directed by Laura Gabbert
Here Come the Videofreex! (Documentary) – Co-Directed by Jenny Raskin 
King Georges (Documentary) – Directed by Erika Frankel (Also Available on VOD)
Kung Fu Panda 3 – Co-Directed by Jennifer Yuh

Films Written by Women Opening This Week

Meet the Blacks – Co-Written by Nicole DeMasi

The Black family is getting out of Chicago in hopes of a better life. After Carl Black (Mike Epps) recently came into some unexpected funds. Carl takes his family and leaves the hustling lifestyle behind for something better. Carl, his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), son Carl Jr., daughter Allie Black (Bresha Webb) and cousin Cronut (Lil Duval) pack up and move to Beverly Hills. Turns out, Carl couldn’t have picked a worse time to move. They arrive right around the time of the annual purge, when all crime is legal for twelve hours. (Press materials)

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

No Letting Go – Co-Written by Randi Silverman
Kapoor & Sons – Co-Written by Ayesha Devitre Dhillon
My Golden Days – Co-Written by Julie Peyr
The Preppie Connection – Co-Written by Ashley Rudden
The Young Messiah – Co-Written by Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh
London Has Fallen – Co-Written by Katrin Benedikt
Race – Co-Written by Anna Waterhouse
In the Shadow of Women – Co-Written by Caroline Deruas and Arlette Langman
The Good Dinosaur – Written by Meg LeFauve
Room – Written by Emma Donoghue

VOD/DVD Releasing This Week

Portrait of a Serial Monogamist – Co-Directed and Co-Written by Christina Zeidler (VOD, Available Now) 
Tumbledown – Written by Desiree Van Til (DVD, April 5)
Miss India America – Written by Meera Simhan (VOD, April 5)
#Horror – Written and Directed by Tara Subkoff (DVD and Blu-ray, April 5)
Anguish (DVD, April 5)

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