Janicza Bravo’s ZolaBy Ayanna Dozier
Zola (played by Taylour Paige) is rendered as an audience stand-in rather than an active force who managed to negotiate her safety during an attempt to sex traffic her on a hoe trip. Zola is more invested in the absolution of Kings actions that weekend. As such, the film overlooks Kings experience with sex work beyond the strippers pole.
Cannes 2021: Tomorrow Now and ThenBy James Lattimer
Absence makes the heart grow fond, but does that apply to Cannes? Returning to this biggest, most stressful of film festivals after a years enforced absence due to the ongoing pandemic was strangely ambivalentthe pleasure and privilege of finally seeing new films on the big screen tempered by the worry and uncertainty of the current situation.
Christine Sloan Stoddard with Regina Beach
Sirenas Gallery chronicles the grief and struggles of gallery owner Sirena who is mourning her husbands death by suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. We chatted over Zoom this summer about destigmatizing mental health issues, the power structures of who gets to make and curate art, and what it means to connect to your heritage as an adult.
Lizzie Borden with Steve Erickson
Born in Flames, set 10 years after a democratic socialist revolution, stages the disillusionments of the Reagan era against a backdrop of failed promises from mainstream liberalism. Some of the actors in Born in Flames were also part-time sex workers, which kindled Bordens interest in socioeconomics and feminism in that context. Working Girls, which received a theatrical re-release and became a Criterion Blu-Ray this summer, premieres on the Criterion Channel this month.