HALF MAGIC
2018, Momentum Pictures, 94 min, USA, Dir: Heather Graham

Heather Graham's debut as a writer and director is this sparkling comedy, which follows three women who use their newly formed sisterhood to fight against sexism, bad relationships and low self-esteem. Through embracing their wild adventures, they learn the secret to ultimate fulfillment.


A TEACHER
2015, Oscilloscope Laboratories, 75 min, USA, Dir: Hannah Fidell

Part psychological thriller and part provocative character study, A TEACHER explores the unraveling of a young high school teacher, Diana (Lindsay Burdge), after she begins an affair with one of her teenage students, Eric (Will Brittain). What starts as a seemingly innocent fling becomes increasingly complex and dangerous as the beautiful and confident Diana becomes fully consumed by her emotions, crossing boundaries and acting out in increasingly startling ways. Burdge delivers a deeply compelling and seamlessly naturalistic performance that brings us into the mind of an adult driven to taboo against her better judgment.


THE WOUND
2017, Kino Lorber, 88 min, Dir: John Trengove

Brimming with sex and violence, THE WOUND is an exploration of tradition and sexuality set amid South Africa’s Xhosa culture. Every year, the tribe’s young men are brought to the mountains of the Eastern Cape to participate in an ancient coming-of-age ritual. Xolani, a quiet and sensitive factory worker (played by openly gay musician Nakhane Touré), is assigned to guide Kwanda, a city boy from Johannesburg sent by his father to be toughened up, through this rite of passage into manhood. As Kwanda defiantly negotiates his queer identity within this masculine environment, he quickly recognizes the nature of Xolani’s relationship with fellow guide Vija. The three men commence a dangerous dance with one another and their own desires, and the threat of exposure soon elevates the tension to breaking point. “John Trengove's hard-edged but beautifully wrought study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity will be an eye-opener to outsiders - and some South Africans, too.” - Guy Lodge, Variety.


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