THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT – Review by Jennifer Merin

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and the political scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s eventual resignation from office on August 8, 1974. It was a turning point in US history, one in which Martha Mitchell played a role, Martha was the whistleblower wife of former US Attorney General John Mitchell, a close Nixon advisor and ally who was jailed for his complicity in the Watergate case. Two films currently in release commemorate the Watergate events and era by taking another look at Martha’s perspective on Watergate, how it happened and its impact on our nation.

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Debra McClutchy and Anne Alvergue on THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT – Nell Minow interviews

On Netflix, a new documentary from directors Debra McClutchy and Anne Alvergue is called The Martha Mitchell Effect, named for a psychiatric term inspired by Martha Mitchell’s story. It means someone whose comments are dismissed as mental illness but turned out to have been telling the truth. In an interview, the directors talked about doing research at the Nixon Library, what Martha liked about talking to the press, and why they see her as a hero.

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100 DAYS WITH TATA – Review by Jennifer Green

Shot during the Covid19 quarantine, 100 Days with Tata is Spanish director/actor Miguel Angel Muñoza’s heartwarming documentary love letter to Luisa Cantero, his 95-year-old great-aunt who never married, worked as a cleaning lady, and took care of him, her sister’s great-grandchild, as if he were her own son.

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Miguel Angel Muñoz on documenting life with TATA – Jennifer Green interviews

100 Days with Tata, the documentary that Spanish actor/director Miguel Angel Muñoz crafted out a year spent in Covid19 quarantine with his great aunt, Luisa Cantero, the titular Tata, is a testament to the power of love, the difficulty of aging, the reality of death and the importance of family.

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BORGEN: POWER AND GLORY – Review by Diane Carson

Borgen: Power & Glory, the long-awaited fourth season of this absorbing Danish series, finds Denmark’s ex-Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg firmly ensconced, a decade on, in her new position as Foreign Minister. Her prickly relationship with the current government head, Signe Kragh, carries over from season three, continuing the political and personal tension between the two women.

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HALFTIME (Tribeca 2022) – Review by Valerie Kafrin

The Netflix documentary Halftime peeks into the whirlwind life of global superstar Jennifer Lopez—but don’t expect to get too close. “One of the things that I’m proud of is that I’m able to hold it together in front of everybody without anybody knowing how I feel,” she tells the filmmakers. Earlier, she says that she doesn’t even let on when she’s sick. Lopez is an undeniably charismatic performer, yet in exploring her drive, Halftime shows us only half the picture. “My whole life, I’ve been battling and battling to be heard, to be seen,” she says. If only we’d seen more of that.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Laura Dern stars in Susannah Grant’s LONELY PLANET – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award and Primetime Emmy nominee Susannah Grant is writing, directing and producing Lonely Planet, a love story set in Morocco, for Netflix. The film is to star Oscar winner Laura Dern, currently to be be seen in the blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion.

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HOLD TIGHT – Review by Diane Carson

Set in a Warsaw suburb, the Netflix series Hold Tight just might be encouraging the viewers with that title because it periodically becomes confusing. The through line, however, remains clear. Teenage Adam has disappeared after his best friend Igor died under mysterious circumstances. Adam’s mother Anna drives the narrative with her single-minded determination to find him.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Kathryn Bigelow to direct AURORA – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow is directing a feature film adaptation of Aurora for Netflix. The film will be based on David Koepp’s upcoming novel, to be published June 7 by HarperCollins. The story follows characters who are coping with the collapse of the social order, set against a catastrophic worldwide power crisis.

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WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

One of the most horrifying things that has happened in these horrifying times in human history is the war Russia is waging against Ukraine. This documentary shows how Ukrainians have protested Russian dominance with the Euromaiden movement that began in November 2013 in Kyiv’s Independence Square with a three-month long peaceful demonstration that ended in a bloody confrontation with police, security forces known as Berkut, and paid thugs called Titushky that cost 125 lives, mainly of unarmed protesters, in less than 48 hours.

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