Picks of the Week is Women and Hollywood‘s newest resource. W&H writers are often asked for recommendations, so each week they’ll spotlight the women-driven and women-made projects—movies, series, VOD releases and more—that they’re most excited about. (Sign up for the Women and Hollywood newsletter at womenandhollywood.com to get each week’s picks delivered to your inbox!)
Endzeit – Ever After
Directed by Carolina Hellsgård; Written by Olivia Vieweg
A zombie apocalypse provides the backdrop for Endzeit – Ever After, but Carolina Hellsgård’s film is more interested in grief, remorse and survivor’s guilt than straight-up horror.
After a virus hits Germany that turns humans into flesh-eating monsters, only two cities are left standing: In Weimar, anyone infected is killed; in Jena, research is underway for a cure. Most of Endzeit sees Vivi (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) and Eva (Maja Lehrer) making their way from the former to the latter.
The young women make quite the duo. Vivi is nearly paralyzed with fear and guilt, while Eva seems as if she was born to fight off zombies. But as they get to know each other, and as the audience gets to know them, secrets start coming to the surface. Perhaps Vivi isn’t as passive as she appears. Maybe Eva is more conflicted about killing zombies than she lets on.
Without giving anything away, Vivi and Eva’s personalities are also symbols of how we as people handle tragedy. Sometimes we freeze up or let the pain consume us, like Vivi. Or sometimes we fight like hell in order to bury the trauma, like Eva.
Endzeit doesn’t condemn or condone either of these survival mechanisms, but it does offer up a third option. Making space for trauma, the film suggests, is how we learn to live with it. (Rachel Montpelier)
Endzeit – Ever After opens in NY June 21. Find screening info here.
Written by Nicole Taylor
Jessie Buckley, whom some of us recently saw in “Chernobyl,” barrels through Wild Rose with such intensity that you can’t help but be sucked in.
Rose-Lynn (Buckley) is a Scottish country singer who dreams of Nashville, and she’s a mess. She’s just gotten out of jail, and her mom, who has been taking care of her kid, is waiting for her to give up the dream and get her act together. But Rose-Lynn just can’t give up. Sophie Okonedo gets pulled into her dream and helps her along the way, but Rose-Lynn, at times, can’t seem to get out of her own way—disappointing herself and others.
Wild Rose is about pursuing your dreams even if it isn’t easy—or if the end of the road is not what you expected. It’s about being true to yourself. Buckley pops off the screen and her energy is infectious and exhilarating. (Melissa Silverstein)
Wild Rose opens in NY and LA June 21. Find screening info here.