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© 2017 The Strand Magazine

The Best from Summer's Sundance Festival

August 15, 2017

Having enjoyed a full day of screenings and press interviews in June for this year’s Sundance Film Festival, many of the highlights are now hitting our screens to stream. If after this never ending summer break you’re broke and can’t afford to go see the films I just mentioned in cinema, then maybe this is the article for you.

First up, The Incredible Jessica James. Incredibly witty, unfiltered and unapologetic, the incredible Jessica James is the exact film us Millennials needed. Jessica reminds us that a woman doesn’t need a relationship to tell her she’s worthy. She knows she’s a ‘unicorn’ rare and stunning, with or without a guy’s approval. Undeniably an up and coming star, Jessica, playing the role of Jessica, shows a confident, realistic performance of strong women today. The writer is unafraid of exploring taboo topics on big screen regarding sex, the patriarchy and relationships today, but successfully sugar coats with a surface of comedy to keep the film light hearted and entertaining to watch. A rare rom-com which is less about the romance and more about knowing how amazing you are, got to love it!

We all love a good light hearted film in the summer, but let’s get real for a second. Lakeith Stanfield. Heard of him? No? Seriously, this guy is a star. He has a mediocre role in The Incredible Jessica James too (as well as Get Out) but really stood out in Crown Heights, adapted from the popular ‘This American Life’ podcasts. This film captured everything wrong in law, but everything right in family, perseverance and the importance of making the right choices alone. Lakeith’s performance In Crown heights for me was unforgettable. The emotion carried in his eyes really captured the wrong doings of the American law system but also the strength of character needed to pursue an ongoing battle for mercy. To learn of such a devastating true story left me feeling frustrated throughout, as the director made evident how unjust and hasty murder convictions can be, but more importantly how a few manipulated words can change someone’s fate forever.

 

If you’re here hoping for a something more educational but still visually stunning, I got that covered to. Chasing Coral is an eye opening, shocking documentary accounting global warming in a way I’ve never seen before. We all think that global warming is a threat to our future, that it’s not our generations fault. This documentary however, reminds us that it’s here, it’s now, and only we can change it. To visually witness the bleaching, and the passion in which the marine team have towards putting their message across, really moved me. From stunning ocean captures and documented camera work to the team’s hardships and problems encountered, the documentary was beautifully framed as a story surrounding the protagonist, Coral. Only we, the audience, can save her. The ending is the one we create.

 

So there you have it, a bunch of films to waste your summer away with instead of getting a start on the reading lists for next month. You’re welcome.

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