Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

The African Desperate (Martine Syms)

Early into Martine Syms’ The African Desperate, MFA finalist Palace (Diamond Stingily) sits for her last exam in an upstate New York art school tucked deep in the woods. It’s the end of a three-year voyage, the kind of moment that should trigger swaths of pride and relief. But Palace, a Black student in an exceedingly white college, is frustrated, tired, on the verge of a breakdown. Her art has already shown at the Venice Biennale, a feat her all-Caucasian examiners don’t really know how to respond to. (Did she earn a spot because of talent, or…?) Even after they christen her a Master of Fine Arts, the mix of animosity and envy lingers acridly in the room. “There are lots of female artists your age and race making the same stuff you’re doing,” a professor chides her over drinks, “how are you going to differentiate yourself?” – Leonardo G. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Bitterbrush (Emelie Mahdavian)

Watch an exclusive clip above.

While they don’t know it yet, this is, for friends Colie Moline and Hollyn Patterson, the end of five years range riding together in the American Pacific Northwest. It’s also their most comfortable after trading the usual camper for an old cabin this summer. With only themselves and a crew of herd dogs for assistance, they take to the Idahoan plains in search of the beef cattle and calves they’ve been contracted to reclaim. The work is tiring and tenuous in consistency, but also spiritually and physically rewarding—if not financially. Colie and Hollyn have grown close: an easy rapport and trust that allows director Emelie Mahdavian (and us) a glimpse into their personal lives, thoughts, and aspirations. It’s western living sans artifice. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Descendant (Margaret Brown)

Over half a century after international slave trade was abolished in the United States, Timothy Meaher made a bet that he could transport a ship of captives from Africa to the Alabama coast. As owner of the ship The Clotilda, following the 1860 voyage which brought 110 people from West Africa to Mobile, Meaher covered up his crimes (which could have brought him to death) by burning and sinking the vessel. More than 150 years later, Mobile’s Africatown community––made up of direct descendants whose ancestors were ripped away from their lives of freedom––are searching for truth and closure as the remnants of the slave ship remained a buried mystery. As captured in Margaret Brown’s intimate, powerful documentary Descendant, the quest for answers and the story of how this overlooked community has been marginalized throughout history has ripples far beyond a sunken ship. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Dreamed Path (Angela Schanelec)

Angela Schanelec’s The Dreamed Path is so beguiling that we, the audience, have to take comfort in pointing out its one clear structural point: it’s split into two halves, each about a different couple in separate time periods. Our first is Kenneth (Thorbjörn Björnsson) and Theres (Miriam Jakob), who we see arriving on vacation in Greece in 1984; the film is quick to divert our attention to a protest about the nation’s place in the European Union, and here already feeling the weight of democracy and mythology. A young, attractive couple (easily the film’s liveliest sequence is when they busk “In the Jungle”), circumstances suddenly drive them apart when Kenneth’s parents in England fall sick and Theres gets a teaching job back in Germany. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement+

Earwig (Lucile Hadzihalilovic)

Those who know Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s work will recognize a new film as an event. Having only made two features this century––2004’s Innocence and 2015’s Evolution––a limited output has nonetheless established her as one of the most singular filmmakers working today. Relying on mood more than story, and pulling from horror and fantasy to create surreal, isolated spaces, her films act as cerebral nightmares. Earwig, her latest, offers more of the same for better and worse; the level of control over image and sound remains as potent as ever, but in service of a lackluster story. – C.J. P. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Nosferasta: First Bite (Adam Khalil, Bayley Sweitzer & Oba)

An allegory of vampiric colonial encounter folds documentary footage into a narrative spanning five hundred years. A psychopolitical-supernatural comedy of horrors, Nosferasta replaces fangs with gold teeth, menacing fog with pot smoke, and topples a vaunted pirate from his pedestal.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

V/H/S/99 (Various)

The inescapable problem at the core of any omnibus or anthology film with multiple cooks in the kitchen is, by all design, things will be uneven. Yet V/H/S/99 is fun enough in the context of TIFF’s Midnight Madness—including standouts from the usually gross and reliable Flying Lotus and Johannes Roberts, whose film is genuinely terrifying before turning a bit silly in its final moments. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Shudder

Also New to Streaming

Apple TV+

Raymond and Ray (review)


Dashcam (review)

MUBI (free for 30 days)

She Mad: Bitch Zone
The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain
Lake of Dracula

Prime Video

Argentina, 1985


Official Competition

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