There’s a lot this week, including shows and films with some awesome representation. This includes a show from the UK, and movies from Germany, Greece, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.S. Let’s dive straight in:
We Are Lady Parts (Peacock)
showrunner Nida Manzoor
A PhD student is recruited to be the lead guitarist for an all-women, Muslim punk band.
Nida Manzoor created, writes, directs, produces, and showruns “We Are Lady Parts”. The UK series aired earlier this year to very strong reviews, and now comes available in the U.S.
You can watch “We Are Lady Parts” on Peacock.
Port Authority (VOD)
directed by Danielle Lessovitz
Paul is a Midwesterner fresh to New York. He quickly falls for a dancer named Wye, and discovers she’s trans. He wrestles with the bigotry he’s grown up with, whether he’ll be accepted by cis friends he’s making, and whether he’ll pursue his feelings.
“Port Authority” casts Leyna Bloom, a trans woman of color, as Wye. The film’s gotten both praise for its casting and representation, and some criticism for focusing through the lens of Paul’s journey.
This is the first feature from writer-director Danielle Lessovitz.
See where to rent “Port Authority”.
The Girl and the Gun (Netflix)
directed by Rae Red
A woman finds a gun sitting on her doorstep one night. Fed up with abuse, she decides to put it to use.
Rae Red has written several films and series in the Philippines. This is her second directorial effort.
You can watch “The Girl and the Gun” on Netflix.
Kajillionaire (HBO Max)
directed by Miranda July
A young woman named Old Dolio Dyne grifts, cons, and heists alongside her parents. It’s a living. They’re not very successful, though. They owe rent so they need a new mark, but things are complicated when Old Dolio connects with her. The cast is interesting, with Evan Rachel Wood as Old Dolio, Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins as her parents, and Gina Rodriguez as their new mark.
Writer-director Miranda July has an abstract storytelling style that centers on off-kilter, somewhat invisible characters, and the humanity in what’s ‘unremarkable’ about them. She’s known for “Me and You and Everyone We Know” and “The Future”.
I shared this when it hit VOD, but this is the first time it’s on a subscription service. You can watch “Kajillionaire” on HBO Max, or see where to rent it.
Sailor Moon Eternal (Netflix)
directed by Kon Chiaki
Behold, the progenitor of the magical girl genre returns. The first Sailor Moon films in 26 years were released in Japan as two 80-minute films, but they’re coming out paired in the U.S. That’s nearly 3 hours of new Sailor Moon.
A Pegasus appears in Tokyo during a solar eclipse, asking for help in breaking a magical seal. Meanwhile, a new villainous organization known as the Dead Moon Circus spreads nightmares with the intention of ruling the Earth and Moon. This is an adaptation of the Dream arc of the manga. I have to confess I’m not too familiar with Sailor Moon, but I’m told the Dream arc is an incredibly big deal.
Director Kon Chiaki has helmed adaptations of “Higurashi When They Cry” and the Book of Sunrise arc of “Naruto Shippuden”. She also directed the adaptation for “The Way of the Househusband” earlier this year (also on Netflix).
You can watch both parts of “Sailor Moon Eternal” on Netflix. Both parts are listed as episodes under the entry “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie”.
The World to Come (Hulu)
directed by Mona Fastvold
Neighboring women in the mid-19th century begin a whirlwind romance. Of course, they have to hide it from their husbands. Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby star.
Be aware that the film also stars Casey Affleck. He was sued by two women for repeated sexual harassment for his behavior on the set of “I’m Still Here”. The suits maintained that they weren’t paid for their work as a retaliation. It’s important to recognize that is a form of extortion. The suits were settled, and Affleck finally acknowledged culpability eight years later, in 2018. I mention all this because I know many are uncomfortable with watching him, and others may not know why.
This is director Mona Fastvold’s second feature after 2014’s “The Sleepwalker”. She may be best known as a writer on “The Mustang”.
You can watch “The World to Come” on Hulu, or rent it.
Kala Azar (MUBI)
directed by Janis Rafailidou
In the midst of what could be read as a post-apocalypse, a couple continues to care for both dead and abandoned animals, even risking their own lives and sense of self to do so.
The Greek film is the first feature from writer-director Janis Rafailidou.
You can watch “Kala Azar” on MUBI.
I Was at Home, But… (MUBI)
directed by Angela Schanelec
A 13-year old reappears a week after disappearing from home. The adults around him are confronted with questions that have no easy answers.
Writer-director Angela Schanelec has directed eight other feature films, and won the Berlin International Film Festival for this one.
You can watch “I was at Home, But…” on MUBI.
Dancing Queens (Netflix)
directed by Helena Bergstrom
A young woman stuck in the backwaters of a Swedish archipelago dreams of becoming a famous dancer. She misses an audition by a month, but chances upon a drag show that’s interested in casting her.
Director Helena Bergstrom has directed a great deal in the Swedish film and TV industries.
You can watch “Dancing Queens” on Netflix.
Trippin’ with the Kandasamys (Netflix)
directed by Jayan Moodley
In this South African film, two women were best friends before they became in-laws. They plan a getaway with their partners, but hijinks ensue.
This is the third in Jayan Moodley’s very successful Kandasamys franchise. The franchise is a South African-Bollywood co-production. This is the kind of thing that we American viewers are badly educated on, but South Africa is actually home to 1.3 million people of Indian descent, and Durban has one of the largest Indian populations outside India itself.
You can watch “Trippin’ with the Kandasamys”, as well as the two previous Kandasamys movies, on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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