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Janicza Bravo’s Zola

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 King’s actions that weekend. As such, the film overlooks King’s experience with sex work beyond the stripper’s pole.

Cannes 2021: Tomorrow Now and Then

Absence makes the heart grow fond, but does that apply to Cannes? Returning to this biggest, most stressful of film festivals after a year’s enforced absence due to the ongoing pandemic was strangely ambivalent—the pleasure and privilege of finally seeing new films on the big screen tempered by the worry and uncertainty of the current situation.

In Conversation

Christine Sloan Stoddard with Regina Beach

Sirena’s Gallery chronicle’s the grief and struggles of gallery owner Sirena who is mourning her husband’s 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.

In Conversation

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 Borden’s 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.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2021

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