Be prepared for Black is King, the new film and visual album written, directed, and produced by Beyoncé, to break the internet when it premiers on Disney+ on Friday. Travis Matthews

This week brings the brand-new Kerry Washington-produced ACLU documentary The Fight, the last chance to stream Sean Baker's brilliant iPhone-rendered Tangerine, and more opportunities to see ongoing films like Romola Garai's feminist horror Amulet. Plus, Saturday marks the beginning of a new month, which will bring with it lots of new releases on Netflix, Hulu, and other national streaming platforms. Read on for all of our top picks for this weekend streaming through local theaters and national platforms. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area, or check out our guide to streamable shows that received Emmy nominations this week.


Jump to: New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses | BIPOC-Focused Films | New & Noteworthy: Nationwide | Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week | Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

A Girl Missing
When the nephew of a home-care nurse is arrested for kidnapping the daughter of the family she has long worked for, the woman's relationship with her employers is (understandably) threatened. 
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

The Fight
Five civil rights attorneys fight for justice on behalf of a migrant mother separated from her child, a transgender soldier at risk of losing his career, and basic reproductive and voting rights that face threats from the Trump administration. This Kerry Washington-produced documentary will absolutely give you a new sense of appreciation for the ACLU.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF
Opening Friday

HUMP! Greatest Hits - Volume 1
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from years past in the first of several volumes of streamable compilations.
Available via The Stranger
Friday only

Black Fret Concert Series: The Black Tones
Streaming live from Nectar 10/28 at 8pm
Happy Halloween! Friday Oct 30 - SAVE 25% Storewide at Herbs House in Ballard.
Open Daily 8am-10pm - Order Online - People Like Pot - Come Say High!
Earshot Jazz Festival | Oct 16 – Nov 8
This week: Ahamefule J. Oluo, Charles Lloyd, Reggie Goings, Bill Frisell, John and Gerald Clayton

Lake Michigan Monster
Craving a quick bite of campy horror? This H.P. Lovecraft- and Mystery Science Theatre 3000-inspired romp follows Captain Seafield and his crew as they plot revenge against a sea monster that prowls the waters of their native Lake Michigan.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

Rebuilding Paradise
The November 2018 firestorm that devastated Paradise, California, killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents, and destroyed 95% of local structures, making it the worst fire in California history. Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard shows the community members who worked to rebuild the city in the aftermath. 
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

Strange Storytelling Hour – Dreamscapes
Storytellers recount peculiar tales and bizarre happenings based on their own experiences in this multi-episode series co-presented by the North Bend Film Festival. For this round, local comic and wizardly ex-Mormon Emmett Montgomery will tell tales revolving around the surreal happenings that "bend the senses and open the mind."
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Thursday only

BIPOC-Focused Films

I Am Not Your Negro
Sixteen years after Lumumba, Raoul Peck, who is Haitian, has directed I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary about one of the greatest writers of 20th-century America, James Baldwin. Now, it's easy to make a great film about Baldwin, because, like Muhammad Ali, there's tons of cool footage of his public and private moments, and, also like Ali, he had a fascinating face: the odd shape of his head, the triangle of hair that defined his forehead, and his froggy eyes. Just show him doing his thing and your film will do just fine. But Peck blended footage of Baldwin with dusky and dreamy images of contemporary America. These images say: Ain't a damn thing changed from the days of Baldwin and the Civil Rights Movement. But they say this with a very deep insight about the nature of time. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via Grand Illusion and Ark Lodge

John Lewis: Good Trouble
The late civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis fought for voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform, and immigration over the course of his long career. Using archival footage and interviews from his late years, Dawn Porter's documentary Good Trouble explores Lewis's childhood, his 1957 meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lasting legacy on social justice movements of the present.
Available via Ark Lodge, Northwest Film Forum, SIFF, and elsewhere

Keepers of the Dream: Seattle Women Black Panthers
Following its Oakland progenitors, Seattle was one of the first cities to form a branch of the Black Panther Party. Scored by SassyBlack, this series of five short documentaries, produced by Patricia Boiko and Tajuan LaBee, serves as an introduction to the courageous actions of women Black Panther activists, from Frances Dixon to Phyllis Noble Mobley.
Available via Seattle Channel

Miss Juneteenth
Channing Godfrey Peoples's debut feature centers around the fictional Miss Juneteenth pageant, an annual competition that awards the winner a scholarship to a historically black college or university of her choice. In a twist on the standard rivalries that drive the pageant genre (think Miss Congeniality and Drop Dead Gorgeous), the longtime winner in this case, Turquoise Jones, sees who she deems a more worthy winner in her daughter, Kai. "Instead of just depicting the myriad ways black women carry their communities, the movie goes further to explore how these women and black girls support each other in a world that often fails them," wrote Lovia Gyarkye for the New York Times.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
The rise of the prolific Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison dishes on her life busting up the white male literary hegemony in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders's documentary, with appearances by Hilton Als, Oprah Winfrey, Russell Banks, and Angela Davis, among others. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via PBS

Whose Streets?
Most of us remember scrolling through news about the Ferguson protests on Twitter in 2014, but Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ directorial debut Whose Streets? fills in the blanks of the story, offering a humanizing, much-needed portrait of those involved. Dedicated to Michael Brown, the film captures the aftermath of the shooting of the unarmed 18-year-old—by a white police officer, while the Black young man had his hands in the air—using unflinching interviews with the still-grieving Ferguson residents who’ve seen their community unify against police brutality. JENNI MOORE
Available via Northwest Film Forum and Ark Lodge

See also: Our resistance roundup for more anti-racism resources.

New & Noteworthy: Nationwide

Being John Malkovich
It took writer Charlie Kaufman about a decade to get this movie off the ground due to the necessity of having Malkovich in a central role. Malkovich loved the script. He even wanted to produce it, but he wouldn't be in it. Kaufman refused to make the film with anyone else, and Malkovich eventually came around to the idea that a film about an unemployed puppeteer who discovers a portal into John Malkovich's brain wouldn’t be the end of his career. Also: It’s so difficult to separate the character of Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) from the picture of David Foster Wallace on the back of A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. This movie will never not secretly be the story of David Foster Wallace finding a portal into John Malkovich's brain. That's just the situation.
Available via Netflix
Starting Friday

Black is King
Do any other words beyond "A Film by Beyoncé" need to be written in order to prompt folks to make the most of that Disney+ subscription this weekend? The question isn't "Will this rule all pop-culture discussion for the next week." The question is probably "Will this break every record that Hamilton only just set last month?"
Available via Disney+
Premiering Friday

Child's Play
Much like Freddy and Jason before him, Chucky survived the artificial extension of his celluloid lifespan by descending into self-aware, gloryhallastoopid self-parody as the sequels stacked up. But Chucky also shares with those two titans of horror a (comparatively) more low-key introduction—1988's Child’s Play introduced the idea that a doll could get possessed and kill the living shit out of you with way more seriousness than the premise ever deserved. Thanks to horror veteran Tom Holland's solid direction and Brad Dourif's sheer force of will, Chucky embodies a successful perversion of innocence that isn't just smirky and smug, it's also legitimately scary.
Available via Hulu
Starting Saturday

Deep Blue Sea 3
At long last, our national nightmare is concluded. No longer will we as a people have to live under the knowledge that a complete Deep Blue Sea trilogy eludes our grasp. This weekend, the saga concludes! And in grand style, as a sunken island town watched over by an "eminent marine biologist" (Tania Raymonde of LOST) is unduly terrorized by genetically enhanced bull sharks who seek to mate with Great Whites to become the most ultimate of all killer fish. Ponder this, dear reader: Is any other movie premiering this weekend going to have sex-crazed homicidal genetic freak sharks wreaking havoc underneath a rickety town made almost entirely out of houses on stilts stuck in the water? No. The answer to that question is No.
Available via Amazon Prime Video

Idiocracy: Extended Version
In 2006, 20th Century Fox looked at Mike Judge’s follow-up to Office Space and decided whatever Idiocracy was, it wasn’t good enough for theatrical distribution. They abandoned it in a couple theaters for a week, stuck it on DVD, and called it good. But the film not only found an audience on home video, that audience spent the next decade proselytizing on its behalf. Idiocracy was no longer a sloppy-yet-satisfying satire of our culture’s inability to handle progress—it was a prophetic vision of how access to all the information in the world doesn’t matter if the people accessing it don’t give a fuck about reading. Except now, on the other side of the shit-smeared, Trumpian looking glass, Idiocracy seems quaint more than anything. A lot of the jokes still land, yeah. But the belly-laughs are a little more sour and sad than you might remember. For example: Terry Crews was, in retrospect, playing this role a little too well. Damn.
Available via HBO Max
Starting Saturday

I'll Be Gone in the Dark
This weekend sees the finale of HBO's new documentary series, based on the late Michelle McNamara's true-crime book about her life, and her fixation on figuring out the Golden State Killer's identity and bringing him to justice. Directed by Liz Garbus, and using interviews, archival footage, and police files, all narrated using original recordings of McNamara and actor Amy Ryan reading from her book, the series alternates between examining the effect this hunt had on McNamara, and the effect the Killer himself had on California communities in the '70s and '80s.
Available via HBO Max
Starting Sunday

Inception
Celebrate this movie's 10th birthday (it's been a decade since it came out? Damn.) by giving it a spin now that it's been added to Amazon Prime. Inception's surreal, jarring visuals are nothing short of breathtaking; when paired with Nolan's gorgeous, visceral soundscapes (BRAMMMMM), they're riveting to discover and impossible to forget.
Available via Amazon Prime Video
Starting Sunday

In My Skin
In Kayleigh Llewellyn's semi-autobiographical BBC series, a teenage girl spins a more socially acceptable homelife to her friends at school, when in reality she's forced to behave beyond her years in dealing with a bipolar mom and an alcoholic dad.
Available via Hulu

Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Before Zack Snyder was allowed to turn the DC Universe into an objectivist nightmare starring Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg, he was given the keys to a children's book series about warmongering owls with abs and knives strapped to their feet. Maybe the books didn't have the abs and knife-feet, but the movie does, and that's why Zack Snyder is a "visionary." If you're thinking this Ga'Hoole thing sounds like film executives with too much money saw Snyder's adaptation of 300 and thought "What if this, but owls?" you are correct. That's what this is. If you don't have any drugs this weekend but want to feel like you've smoked something dangerous and are now utterly lost and bewildered in an incomprehensible visual wilderness, stream this.
Available via Hulu
Starting Saturday

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
The year is 1805 and Napoleon is running roughshod over Europe. The only thing stopping France from infecting the whole of the continent is the tiny island of England, which may be lacking in ground forces, but kicks ass on the high seas. Master and Commander may not be sexy, but it's extremely realistic, filling its ship with lashings, maggot-filled food, dirty stinking sailors, and the occasional goat. It's also the last great film by Australian writer/director Peter Weir (Witness, Dead Poets Society, Fearless).
Available via Hulu
Starting Saturday

Muppets Now
Kermit the Frog and his beloved puppet friends of Jim Henson’s '70s-bred comedy show will enjoy yet another incarnation on Disney+ for their first "unscripted" series, wherein backstage stalwart Scooter uploads the digitized segments of each episode so they’ll be available to stream. In this new format, folks of all ages "can enjoy it and believe it connects directly to their own sensibility, a quality that the overly adult, straining-to-be-edgy The Muppets lacked," as one Vulture review puts it. 
Available via Disney+
Premiering Friday

The Shadow of Violence
With a screenplay based on Colin Barrett's novella Calm with Horses and a leading role from The Killing of a Sacred Deer's Barry Keoghan, Nick Rowland's gritty feature debut follows an ex-boxer in an Irish coastal town who joins a crime family after killing an opponent in the ring. 
Available via VOD
Premiering Friday

Summerland
IFC Films continues to bring the indie goods to VOD, this week premiering Summerland, Olivier Award-winning director Jessica Swale's debut film, set during World War II, about a reclusive English writer (Gemma Arterton) who ends up becoming an adoptive mother to a boy who escaped the London bombings, while also finding herself falling in love with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, like, you know, everyone does when they're around Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Available via IFC
Premiering Friday

Top Gun
Much in the same way Die Hard's status as a Christmas movie started as a cute observation that came to swallow it whole, Top Gun's innate gayness was once just a knowing, winking in-joke among film dorks, but now has become the aspect that defines Tony Scott's glistening, teeth-clacking ad for the US Navy. You can try to watch it as it was presumably intended it be seen in the repressed-yet-beefy heart of the Reagan '80s. But those abs! Those butts! ("I want butts!") The volleyball game. 30 years of time has reframed Top Gun entirely, and unlike Die Hard's redefinition, this glossy, fetish-friendly framework has helped make the film more entertaining. We may not be getting Tom Cruise's Maverick sequel this year like we were hoping, but being able to take the highway to the Danger Zone whenever we want is a nice consolation.
Available via Amazon Prime Video, Hulu
Starting Saturday

The Umbrella Academy Season 2
Netflix premieres the second season of their superhero dramedy based on the stylish, punchy comic written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way and drawn by Brazilian artist Gabriel Bá. Lovers swoon, time-space gets ripped apart, and there’s a lot of shooting and punching; The Umbrella Academy captures the same heightened sensation offered by My Chemical Romance’s music: operatic melodrama, given life by gleeful riffs and catchy hooks.
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012
In acknowledgment of the 2020 Olympics, which would have kicked off in Tokyo this week, the Criterion Collection is streaming its monumental collection 100 Years of Olympic Films on their streaming platform, the Criterion Channel. The collection includes 53 films and covers 41 editions of the Olympic Games, from Stockholm in 1912 to London in 2012. Need help deciding what to watch? Every week, The Stranger's Chase Burns writes about key films and moments from the collection. 
Available via Criterion Channel

Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly
Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, who's known for his bold public criticisms of the Chinese government's stance on democracy and human rights, was a force behind the portrait exhibition @Large, which depicted images of prisoners from all over the world—from Nelson Mandela to Chelsea Manning—on the exterior of Alcatraz Island, and also featured an inmate letter-writing project. This documentary explores the exhibition's process from start to finish.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Thursday-Friday

All I Can Say
Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon recorded himself on his Hi8 video camera for the better half of the '90s, all the way up to the hours preceding his death at the age of 28. The hundreds of hours of footage show everything from his creative process to the birth of his daughter to his struggles with addiction to the rising power of the internet. This film, released in 2019, compiles key moments of that footage into a video diary.
Available via Scarecrow Video and Northwest Film Forum
Thursday-Friday

César and Rosalie
In Claude Sautet's classic romantic drama César et Rosalie, two men (the wealthy César and David, an old flame) battle for the affections of a beautiful, recently divorced lady (played by Isabelle Huppert in her first film role). 
Available via Ark Lodge
Thursday-Friday

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things
From her 1934 performance at the Apollo Theatre when she was just 15 years old to her late career, Leslie Woodhead's documentary celebrates the life of the iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald through rare interviews and images.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Fantastic Fungi
At its worst, Fantastic Fungi gets too woo-woo wacky for its own good (when the film’s discussion turns to magic mushrooms, the visuals turn into what is, as far as I can tell, a psychedelic screensaver from Windows 95), but at its best, the doc pairs fantastic time-lapse imagery with a good dose of actual, mind-blowing science. Affable, passionate mushroom researcher Paul Stamets is joined by talking heads Michael Pollan, Andrew Weil, and narrator Brie Larson to examine everything from massive fungal networks that carry signals between disparate, distant plants to the psychological benefits of psilocybin. It’s an uneven trip, but a good one. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Available via Ark Lodge
Thursday-Friday

Guest of Honor
A father (David Thewlis) and daughter (Laysla De Oliveira) unravel their intertwined secrets in this 2019 time-weaving thriller from director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). Luke Wilson plays a priest who kind of solves everything for everyone. Way to go, Luke!
Available via Grand Illusion
Thursday only

Runner
When he was just eight years old, Guor Mading Maker (later known as Guor Marial) fled war-torn Sudan to seek safety in the US, where he went from running track in high school to qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. As a means of taking ownership over his new life and condemning the acts of violence in his birth country, he refused to represent Sudan and instead ran independently. This documentary depicts the athlete's journey, including a reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Tangerine
Good movies can sometimes give off a hum—a feeling that the energy and chemistry on screen can't be constrained by the edges of the frame. Tangerine fits this description and then some, creating a kinetic rush with enough spillover juice to light up LA for a year. While chock-full of innovations both welcome (a story about transgender characters, played by transgender performers) and potentially eye-strainingly worrisome (the movie was shot entirely on tricked-out, stabilized iPhones), the main takeaway is just how alive it seems. ANDREW WRIGHT
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Thursday-Friday

Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Americana Kamikaze
NYC's interdisciplinary performance group Temporary Distortion blends theater, film, and installation to freakily contort Japanese ghost stories and horror (aka J-Horror) through an American musical tradition. In a 2009 New York Times review of the play, Jon Weiss wrote, "Hard-core horror fans should take notice, because with Hollywood’s rarely risking something truly upsetting anymore, preferring funny zombies and by-the-numbers remakes, you might have to go to the theater to see death performed live to really test your limits."
Available via On the Boards

Amulet
Seeking refuge in London from an ambiguous foreign conflict, an ex-soldier (played by Alec Secăreanu of God’s Own Country) finds room and board as a repairman in the decrepit estate of a mysterious young woman and her dying mother, who stays locked in a room in the attic and may or may not be possessed by an evil spirit. Romola Garai (Atonement) classifies her directorial debut as "feminist horror."
Available via Northwest Film Forum and Grand Illusion

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
There are only 18 hours left until the Roaring '20s, a dive bar off the Vegas Strip, closes for good—and its regulars hold out until the bitter end. "It's less a portrait of a long goodbye to a drinking establishment than it is an exploration of the community that calls such places home and their fellow barflies family—and what happens when you take away that collective space after the very last call," reads a Rolling Stone review. If you're not already pining to reclaim your spot at your favorite watering hole, this'll change that.
Available via SIFF

Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful
A quick flip through a retrospective of Helmut Newton's work will reveal the legendary photographer's core subject: subversive and provocative portrayals of mostly-naked ladies, many of whom (Catherine Deneuve, Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini) are famous. Gero von Boehm's documentary examines the artist's influences and features some of his home movies.
Available via SIFF

Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton Through Film and Music
Acclaimed Seattle director Lynn Shelton died too soon, and the grief felt by her fans, collaborators, and loved ones comes through in this documentary by Shelton's longtime friend Megan Griffiths. It's free to watch on YouTube and features a star-studded lineup of appearances, including Emily Blunt, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark and Jay Duplass, Jeff Garlin, Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, Michaela Watkins, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as live music from her partner Marc Maron, Andrew Bird, Ben Gibbard, Laura Veirs, and Tomo Nakayama.
Available via YouTube

The Infiltrators
In this docu-thriller, two young immigrants purposely get themselves thrown into a shady for-profit detention center to dismantle the corrupt organization from the inside. Their detainers don't know that they're members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

My Darling Vivian
Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian Liberto (for whom the country singer wrote his famous song I Walk the Line), has long been obscured in stories of Cash's life (see: 2005's Walk the Line, in which she's played briefly by Ginnifer Goodwin). Matt Riddlehoover's documentary, featuring interviews with Cash's children and archival footage of Liberto, reframes her narrative. 
Available via Scarecrow Video

Now I'm Fine
Sean Nelson wrote, "Ahamefule J. Oluo, of Stranger Genius Award winning band Industrial Revelation, remounts his autobiographical odyssey, a harrowing, hilarious personal story punctuated by astoundingly strong songs, brilliantly arranged and performed by several of the most talented musicians in Seattle." Originally staged at On the Boards, Now I'm Fine received rave reviews during its recent New York run, and will now be screened online. 
Available via On the Boards

Police Beat
Police Beat, a fictional film I made with the director Robinson Devor (we also made Zoo), is also a documentary about a Seattle that's recovering from the dot-com crash of 2000 (a crash that sent Amazon's shares falling from nearly $100 apiece to $6—they're now around $2,400), and entering its first construction boom of the 21st century (between 2005 and 2008). The hero of my film, the police officer Z (played by the beautiful but sadly late Pape Sidy Niang), could actually afford a little Seattle house on his salary (around $45,000). The median price of houses in 2003 was a lot (about $300,000) but not out of reach for a middle-class immigrant with a stable job. Lastly, the film is a documentary about Seattle's beautiful and virid parks. How I love them all and wanted to film them all: Volunteer Park, Freeway Park, the Washington Park, Madison Park, the parks on either side of the Montlake Cut. So green, so urban, so natural. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via The Stranger

Skate Kitchen
If Crystal Moselle's new HBO series Betty has you hungry for more scenes of womxn landing tricks on their skateboards and displaying acts of friendship in its purest form, you should watch its 2018 feature-length predecessor Skate Kitchen, which has all the same actors playing the same characters. It centers on Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), an introverted skater from Long Island who falls for the mysterious Devon (Jaden Smith) just as she's falling out with her mom and making friends with a new group of gals rightly hellbent on reclaiming kickflips from the boys who overcrowd the NYC skate scene.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

SPLIFF 2019 & 2020
A new vibe of stoner entertainment is emerging—witness the rise of Broad City, High Maintenance, and basically every TV show created on Viceland. And, most importantly, The Stranger presents SPLIFF, your new favorite film festival created by the stoned for the stoned. Because we can no longer congregate in person, we're rescreening the 2019 and 2020 festivals (the latter of which is hosted by Betty Wetter and Cookie Couture) online! Got some weed on hand? Check it out from the comfort of your home. All contributions received will be shared with the filmmakers.
Available via The Stranger

2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour
See six short films selected from this year's Sundance Film Festival, including Malaysian director Diffan Sina Norman's "Benevolent Ba," about a devout woman's path to sacrificial slaughter, and Ashley Williams's "Meats," about a pregnant vegan's newfangled craving for meat.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

The Tobacconist
A man named Franz walks into a Vienna tobacco shop frequented by Sigmund Freud et voila: a historically inspired fictional friendship is born. When Franz falls for music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that he, too, is baffled by the opposite sex. This film, which is being wide-released online, is based off of Robert Seethaler's bestselling novel.
Available via Scarecrow Video

Tijuana Jackson
Regina Hall stans, unite! Romany Malco's debut feature features the Support the Girls star as the love interest of Tijuana Jackson (aka TJ, played by Malco), a man determined to move beyond his checkered past and live out his dream of becoming a world-renowned motivational speaker.
Available via Grand Illusion

Widow of Silence
Deep within the powder keg of Kashmir, a beleaguered Muslim “half-widow” repeatedly makes the hazardous trek to the nearest government center to try to claim the death certificate of her long-missing husband. Her attempts to move on, however, are stymied by a society where, to quote one of the wormier bureaucrats, it’s the “responsibility of the people to keep their government happy.” Writer/director Praveen Morchhale’s film isn’t exactly subtle about its message, beginning with the image of an elderly woman literally tied to a chair. Thankfully, though, much of the thematic heavy-handedness is leavened by an expert use of framing, Shilpi Marwaha’s clear-eyed lead performance, and a final moment of irony that’s keen enough to shave with. ANDREW WRIGHT
Available via SIFF