By Hans Pedersen, November 2015 Issue.
In theaters Oct. 30 | PG-13 | 106 minutes
In this highly anticipated movie, Maud (Carey Mulligan) is a housewife who secretly joins the growing suffragette movement in England. Activist Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), who’s wanted by the law, inspires the young woman to commit to the early feminist movement. But when British police clamp down on the suffragettes, they’re forced underground and become bravely engaged in civil disobedience well before Gandhi popularized such tactics. Violence even becomes a method they utilize in their efforts to secure voting rights for all women in this film co-starring Helena Bonham Carter as Edith Ellyn and Ben Whishaw (Lilting) as Maud’s husband, Sonny.
DVD release Nov. 10 | Not rated | 102 minutes
Echo readers take note, this unique film is partly about the publication of the world’s first gay magazine. The drama, set in Switzerland in 1958, focuses on Ernst Ostertag, a shy teacher, and Robi Rapp, a cabaret artist who become lovers while meeting with a secret gay activist group, The Circle. Raids at dances, police interrogations and an underground publication are part of the drama of the early gay liberation days, told in a unique fashion (it’s part narrative, part documentary). Recollections of two trailblazers are interwoven with events dramatized by two cute actors (Matthias Hungerbuhler and Babett Arens). This film first screened at Outfest in L.A. in German and English.
DVD release Nov. 10 | Not rated | 87 minutes
A documentary audience award-winner at the Tribeca Film Festival, this groundbreaking film centers around a variety of people in Puerto Rico who identify as trans. This widely acclaimed biography includes profiles of such subjects as a seasoned sex-change activist, a sex worker who’s striving to make a difference and a couple hoping to get medical help for gender reassignment surgery. Directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, this heartfelt and emotionally riveting Puerto Rican documentary shows how gender is much more fluid than societal conventions usually allow by offering these intimate portraits of nine individuals from this U.S. island territory.
In theaters Nov. 13 | R | 124 minutes
From watching the pumped-up, dramatically scored trailer, you might think “Breaking Bad” ’s Walter White had lived a previous life as a leftist screenwriter in ‘50s Hollywood. Here, Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted by McCarthyites and wrote movies under a pseudonym to continue working. Trumbo went uncredited for many Academy Award-winning films – including the Oscars he earned for writing Roman Holiday and The Brave One – highlighting the injustice of the McCarthy witch hunt. Elle Fanning, Louis C.K., Diane Lane and Helen Mirren co-star in this timely reminder about what happens when intolerance and ignorance run amuck.