Top three revenge-filled films from the ‘Vengeance is Hers’ series

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There are tons of retribution-focused films in BAM Cinematek’s “Vengeance is Hers” film series, but perhaps not enough time for most people to catch all of them. Here are three of co-curator Nellie Killian’s top picks for the program.

‘Terminal Island’

This 1973 action feature, directed by grindhouse icon Stephanie Rothman, follows a group of death row inmates who are shipped to an island off the coast of California and left to work things out for themselves. The men create a patriarchal work system, but are quickly overthrown by their trigger-happy female counterparts. “It is a really fun movie and an exploitation film, but also a very interesting subversive film,” Killian said. “‘Terminal Island’ is especially radical.”

Feb. 18 at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.

‘Jeanne Dielman’

Belgian director Chantal Akerman paints a stark, three-and-a-half hour portrait of a widowed mother who handles day-to-day chores with robotic precision — until her ultimate breakdown. The 1975 film is renowned as a minimalist portrait of a woman whose frighteningly boring life becomes too much for her to handle. “That is the most central movie of everything we are showing,” Killian said. “It is a movie that is all about developing rhythms and seeing them break down.”

Feb. 9 at 2 pm and 6 pm.

‘Secret Defense’

A research scientist realizes her father might have died at the hands of his business partner, so she swears to get — you guessed it — revenge. French New Wave director Jacques Rivette’s 1998 thriller is a rare treat, Killian declared. “We had the chance to show it, so we definitely wanted to include it,” she said.

Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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