What better way to socially distance than to get stuck into some of the amazing female-driven film and TV that’s hit our screens this month?
1. Black is King(Disney+)
When Beyoncé took on the voice acting role of the 2019 remake of The Lion King, she added a gospel-inspired track to its soundtrack, too – Spirit. It ended up as part of an accompanying album for the movie, The Lion King: The Gift, in which she collaborated with African and diaspora musicians. Last month, the superstar surprised her fans with the release of this new visual album on Disney+, in the footsteps of Beyoncé and Lemonade. It takes her celebration of African-descended art, fashion, poetry and power to new heights. Visually arresting and stunningly beautiful, you don’t want to blink and miss a moment.
2. Taste the Nation (Hulu)
What is American food? Food writer Padma Lakshmi – who immigrated to the States aged 4 – takes her audience on a journey across America to explore the rich diversity of food culture brought by different immigrant groups, meeting the people that shape American food as we know it and the relationships between culture and food. The first episode focuses on Mexican food, and how the border-split towns of Juarez and El Paso share their food heritage.
US comedian Amy Schumer is at the zoo, telling her handheld camera that she found out that she’s pregnant – and just might document it. That’s how this HBO miniseries begins, before continuing to document a complicated pregnancy marred by hyperemesis gravidarum – severe nausea that saw her hospitalised 10 times, while still managing to undergo a standup comedy tour. It’s an unprecedentedly intimate insight into the intensity, stress and downright grossness that pregnancy can bring.
This chilling US death row drama comes from director Chinonye Chukwu, the first black woman to win the Grand Jury Prize Award at Sundance last year. Focusing on Bernadine Williams, an unravelling prison warden played captivatingly by Alfre Woodard, the film doesn’t so much ask whether the prisoner in question (Aldis Hodge) deserves to die – although there’s a big question mark over his culpability, drawing on racialised themes in the US prison system – but instead, whether the state can stomach killing him.
5. Promising Young Woman
This candy-coloured yet darkly comic thriller ignites a fiery #MeToo revenge tale, showing us how sexual assault can present itself in an innocuous, normalised package. Med school dropout lead character Cassandra Thomas (Carey Mulligan) devotes herself to hunting out would-be rapists in bars, posing as a vulnerable woman until they make their non-consensual move. Mulligan delivers a scathingly bracing, broad critique of toxic masculinity, and the destructive effect its playing out has on victims.
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