Tag Archives: Female Empowerment

May 07

Changing Reels Ep. 18 – Pariah

How does a teenager come to terms with her sexual identity in an environment that refuses to acknowledge who she really is? This is the predicament that 17-year-old Alike finds herself in as she tries to navigate an overbearing mother, a father in denial and her own quest to find a relationship. We celebrate LGBT […]

May 04

Hot Docs 2017: Hobbyhorse Revolution

I was excited to see Hobbyhorse Revolution because I’d heard of, and was mystified by, ‘hobbyhorsing’ and needed to know more about it. Hobbyhorsing is a lot like the horse competitions you’re used to seeing on TV, or in Olympic events.  Dressage, an equestrian sport, is the highest expression of horse training. In the events, […]

May 02

Hot Docs 2017: Step

As the final credits began to roll on Amanda Lipitz’s Step, a woman sitting next to me turned and said “wow.” She stated that she felt like she had cried throughout the whole film, the sound of sniffles and the frequent dabbing of eyes did not go unnoticed, but these were clearly tears of joy. […]

February 25

Changing Reels Ep. 13 – Beyond the Lights

The world of pop music is often explored in film through a satirical lens. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights is one of those rare films that takes an honest look at the complexities of the industry. Centered around a romance between a pop star and a police officer, the film boldly examines topics such as […]

November 30

Miss Sharon Jones!

When a film includes punctuation in its title, it’s a signal that you should pay attention. The exclamation adorning Miss Sharon Jones is no anomaly. The woman is a phenom worthy of exclamation. Often called the female James Brown, you’ll notice the similarities not just in the soulful tone of her voice, but in her […]

November 18

The Birdwatcher

One of the inherent fears that comes with parenthood is the thought of dying before your children are old enough to take care of themselves. While some might be fortunate enough to have family members willing to take on the responsibility, there are those who have no other option but to let child services dictate […]

May 07

Hot Docs 2016: Urmila: My Memory is My Power

Sold into child slavery at the age of six by her impoverished family, Urmila Chaudhary’s life story is one of both pain and perseverance. It is the latter that anchors Susan Gluth’s inspirational film Urmila: My Memory is My Power. After enduring almost twelve years of slavery, Urmila has dedicated her life to helping to […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2016: Cheer Up

When it comes to sports movies, and cheerleading ones in particular, we’ve seen the gamut. We’ve seen decisive wins, tragic near misses, hard-earned second places, and undeserved firsts. Canadian-born director Christy Garland shows us the side rarely observed in movies but always there in real life; she shows us the losers. In Cheer Up, we […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2016: Sonita

“If there’s money she will listen.” says eighteen-year-old Sonita Alizadeh while responding to a question regarding if she is fearful of an upcoming conversation with her mother. An Afghan refugee living in Iran, Sonita dreams of pursuing a career in the music industry. Unfortunately, her family back in Afghanistan wants her to marry so that […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2016: League of Exotique Dancers

When divvying up which Hot Docs titles to see, the League of Exotique Dancers was my obvious top pick. I figured the concept of a burlesque hall of fame would be an easy topic to write about. As so often is the case when dealing with women, I turned out to be right for all […]

March 23

Zootopia Offers Parents a Gateway to Discourse

A little over a year and a half ago, I was at MacDonald’s with my wife and then three-year-old son hoping to grab a quick bite before running a few errands. While my wife stood in line to order our food, my son and I rushed to grab the only seat available in the surprisingly […]

January 22

Shorts Spotlight: The Bumblebees

During her initiation period for one of New York’s deadliest gangs, The Bumblebees, Betty Sue (Christina Paterno) gets more than she bargains for when a night out with her friend Kitty (Catherine Peters) takes a dark turn. Unsure of Kitty’s whereabouts, Betty Sue has no alternative but to head back to the gang’s hideout and […]

January 14

Mustang

There is a poignant moment in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s wonderful debut Mustang where Lale (Güneş Şensoy), the young narrator of the tale, tries desperately to sabotage her sister Ece (Elit İşcan) as she prepares treats for their guest. A traditional act of hospitality in most households, Lale’s actions seem like nothing more than an act […]

November 30

The Female Pioneer of American Experimental Cinema: Maya Deren

Rebellious visual artists have always given the world of cinema a distinctive aesthetic. Experimental films, therefore, continue to help cinema remain an art in itself. In an age when Hollywood was producing large scale films with clear narratives, directors like Maya Deren persistently created films which knocked audience off-balance and often left them uncomfortable and […]

November 24

BITS 2015: Save Yourself

The road trip from hell has been a frequently used trope in the realm of horror. It not only plays to the audience’s primal fears of strangers, but also provides an excuse to subject characters to some thrilling isolated terror. Playing within such a familiar space, it is easy for a director to fall into […]

October 20

TADFF 2015: Tag

One of the most surprising, bloodiest, and surreal pro-feminist films you will see this year, Sion Sono’s Tag is a sight to behold. An action-fantasy that is unlike any other, it is a film whose brilliance does not reveal itself at first. If one was to go solely on Tag’s jaw-dropping opening set piece it […]

October 19

TADFF 2015: Shut In

Anna (Beth Riesgraf) suffers from a severe case of agoraphobia, one that has prohibited her from leaving her house for the past ten years. Her phobia is so crippling that her only source of human interaction comes from her dying brother Conrad (Timothy T. McKinney) and a local delivery boy named Danny (Rory Culkin). When […]

June 06

Mad Max: Fury Road

From director George Miller, the man who introduced the world to Mel Gibson, comes Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that not only continues the story of cult hero Max Rockatansky, but also redefines how audiences will forever look at action films. He reinvents the notion of a man searching for redemption by turning it […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2015: Love Between the Covers

Scoff if you will at novels whose covers feature strapping, and occasionally shirtless, young men locked in a passionate embrace with equally desirable women. Go ahead and call them drivel if you dare. Regardless of the ways you attempt to dismiss the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and other popular titles in the romance […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2015: Exotica, Erotica, Etc.

A hypnotic allure sails through the waves of loneliness encapsulated in Evangelia Kranioti’s Exotica, Erotica, Etc. The film revolves around Sandy, a former prostitute who reflects on her encounters with the numerous sailors who travelled through the Spanish port where she resides. Despite the nature of her past profession, Sandy’s stories are not tales of […]