Jennifer Gerber’s accomplished first feature emphasizes the disconnect between Pastor Eli and his Southern Baptist flock, which screenwriter Samuel Brett Williams details in a backstory about familial obligation and suppressed desires.
The makers of Trafficked walk a fine line, embedding their advocacy in an action film and conveying the horror of sexual slavery without edging into exploitation. Director Will Wallace achieves this balance by emphasizing the inner lives of enslaved women even as the men who peddle them see them as meat.
The small tobacco farm in East Bend, North Carolina where Angus MacLachlan filmed the lean, elegiac drama Abundant Acreage Available is a vision of bygone rural life, a contained microcosm where hard work and self-reliance could sustain a family for generations.
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory hits the familiar notes of Standing in the Shadows of Motown and 20 Feet from Stardom, documentaries focused on unappreciated musicians (like session players and background singers) who’ve made important contributions to pop history.
The petite Holly Hunter has an oversized onscreen presence, a vibrant intensity that can make her co-stars appear subservient. One of the best aspects of Katherine Dieckmann’s exquisite Strange Weather is its character parity.