There’s nothing preachy about Jinn, even though Nijla Mu’min’s elegant debut feature is about a teenager coming to terms with her mother’s newly embraced religion.
Miriam Makeba is an artist, a symbol, and a woman in the fractured documentary Mama Africa, but never all three at once. Mika Kaurismäki toggles between these roles in his 2011 biography of the South African singer and civil rights activist.
Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) arrives in Somalia as an opportunist and leaves an advocate. Writer/director Bryan Buckley treats Bahadur’s 2008-09 odyssey as an elucidating examination of kinship more than a biopic.
Love Beats Rhymes is more of a showcase for star Azealia Banks than director RZA, but his influence is still felt in this formulaic hip-hop romance, which exudes the generosity of an experienced artist putting a young musician in the best possible light. Banks’s first film isn’t a self-congratulatory star vehicle.
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.